A preoccupation of Americans. On one hand, we have a lean, classical image of physical beauty. On the other, we overeat and don't move much. Weight loss is an attempt to bridge the distance between these two. It may involve calorie reduction, special diets, drugs that stimulate metabolism or decrease appetite, and increased exercise. Weight loss can also be caused by illness.

Why such a stigma against anorexia?
Because it’s a horrible, life-threatening psychological disease.

That said...

Why such a stigma against attractive, well-proportioned young women trying to just lose those damn five pounds? Because it’s a shame to destroy something beautiful. Especially when it’s yourself. Because it’s a shame not to realize something is beautiful when it is.

Jennifer, I’m willing to bet that the people who so flippantly challenge your efforts to lose weight and who do so in a way that makes you feel like you’re being belittled are too insecure to tell you you’re lovely just the way you are, and try to make light of their worry by comparing you with mental illness.

Or that behind their breaths, in the places that must know beauty, they’re just hoping you know you’re beautiful, too.


Should a friend/collegue/partner or passerby comment on the few extra ripples on your waistline, deal with the situation thusly:

Howya Tom, haven't seen ya in a while. Be Jaysus, you're packin' on a few extra pounds there son, been eatin' packs of butter again?

Well Jimmy, you know what they say. You can't drive a big nail without a big hammer!

Weight loss is easy.

Well, no, that's not quite true. But I like saying it, if only to get a rise out of people. The truth is that weight loss can be easy if you make it easy. If you're really determined.

I used to be a compulsive overeater. That's another flawed statement- I'll probably never have a healthy relationship with food again, always on edge when I'm eating in case I slip back into bingeing. By Christmas 2006, I estimate that I weighed about 185lb (84kg). For a short girl, that's pretty hefty. And because I'd spent all my adolescence getting there, I'd never felt sexy, in my eyes or anyone else's. This was really getting to me. I can't say, exactly, when I really and truly made the decision to lose weight. I'd considered it before, but never made an honest-to-goodness stab at it. I do know that in my weight loss log, the first entry is Sunday the 14th January, 2007, but by that time I suspect I'd already dropped about ten pounds. Had I not started recording my weight, it probably would have ended there, and the weight would have come back, eventually, and the vicious cycle of 'feel bad about being fat -> comfort binge -> feel bad about being fat' would stay set in place.

Reasons I've retrospectively thought of, or at least cumulative causes of the decision, include the fact that my father moved out just before Christmas. This wasn't a tumultuous event, really, as my parents hadn't been a couple for some years. But it hurt, it really hurt, that he hadn't taken me with him. Rejection does strange things to people.

I decided to weigh myself every Sunday, record the weight on my computer, and put it all together on a nifty graph. I got obsessive. I think, really, so long as you're sensible about it, obsession is the only way to go. In essence, from being addicted to overeating, I became addicted to losing weight. Even so, I was sensible about it. From the Excel document, I can see that I've lost an average of half a pound a week. Slow weight loss, I gather, is more likely to be permanent. Yo-yo dieting is no substitute for a complete overhaul of one's lifestyle and diet.

So there we have it. I don't pretend to be one of these people who works a miracle on their own body, dropping hundreds of pounds in a year. Neither do I intend to fall below a weight where I lose my curves. I love my curves. Another ten lb is as far as I'll go. It's taken me a long time, and a lot of dedication/obsession, but I managed it, and managed it alone.

Weight loss is easy.

If your goal is to lose weight quickly, laxative, diuretics, and amputations will all quickly reduce your overall mass, at least as defined by what your read on a scale.

If you want to lose fat, however, you're going to need to pass most of it through your nose and mouth. No worries, though, you'll first need to break down your globs of fat, rearrange them, and ultimately pass a few electrons onto oxygen to form water.

By the time you're done, most of your fat's mass is now carbon dioxide (the oxygen came from water during hydration reactions). The solid jiggly stuff that some folks see as a problem is released as a gas! But not from the end you might have thought....

(On the flip side, the solid stuff of trees is mostly from a gas--yep, carbon dioxide again!)

More fun with high school chemistry
ScienceQuest 2013

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