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 Post subject: "Well-placed Fat," an Autobiography
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2000 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
Well, before I bid adieu for the holiday, and wish all of you a safe and healthy one, I am compelled to bring up a topic, and am purposely putting it under miscellany because I'm not sure I want it to be considered something as "violent" as an issue. <P>In the midst of all this talk about SFB and the chubby kid, who now will have to live most of her life trying to shrug off the stigma of being the protagonist of the tale about SFB and the chubby kid ... and, in the midst of, in general, a great deal of hypersensitivity about weight, we must face the truth that the U.S. is a country where overeating is the greatest of all of its people's addictions. Go to your local mall over the holidays and watch all the heavy people walk out holding their bags and looking disgruntled. All the stuff they buy will never make up for how dissatisfied they are with the "hanger" -- yet, they never seem to wise up to this fact, and the disease of obesity trickles down to their children, who are now the fattest generation of all, and candidates for early onset of diabetes, heart disease, etc.<P>Now, weight was not something that particularly affected me personally. I was told in childhood that I had a hollow leg. Some time ago, a psychologist friend of mine (who played soccer and folk danced for exercise and fun) expressed his simple philosophy that people were meant to "eat a lot, move a lot, and sh_t a lot." When all is said and done, I agree. The problem with moving a lot is that many folks don't understand that moving should have a sense of play. Instead, we are buying and selling machines for exercise that look just as serious and business-like as those in corporate settings.<P>Incidentally, the title of this thread comes from a remark I heard back in college that a teacher made about a particularly heavy student who still moved quite well. For the purposes of this thread, I have now taken on this description, because I am dealing for the first time with the onset of weight, and I am not a paranoid, prepubescent dancer. I am a mature woman who is active, healthy and reasonably intelligent about nutrition. But as the metabolism has slowed down some, I am seeing numbers on the scale that are new to me. As a dancer, I am not concerned so much about image -- pooh, I'm past that point in my life. But I am concerned that -- practically speaking -- extra pounds do pose the risk of joint pain, fatigue, and less ease of movement. I am also concerned that because of hypersensitivity about weight in this country, I don't feel free to exchange calm, meaningful dialogue about a person like myself who is slim to the "lay" world but still has what she believes is a valid, emerging problem. I read in Peggy Fleming's new book that even though she is still an athlete, she recently, because of her age, had to switch from a primarily carb diet to one with much more emphasis on protein to control her weight for the first time. I am coming across this concept more and more about people as they approach middle age having to shift the components of their diet. Yet, there is some concern that too much protein also poses harm (including kidney stones, cancer, etc. etc.) and that a high protein diet is really just another term for a low cal diet. <P>I feel that if I want to continue to enjoy dance, I must find a healthy,workable solution to the "well-placed fat" besides just listening to people say, "Oh, you look fine, I don't know what you're talking about." I'm not interested in more hypersensitivity. I'm not interested in denial. I'm interested in real dialogue about how women as they grow older maintain a relatively lean, mean machine. <P>For those who need some point of reference, I am 5 feet 5 inches tall, have a body fat of 15%, have a bone structure that is between small and medium, and have just hit the 140 mark on the scale. I initially chucked up some of the weight gain and slow down to cancer 5 years ago, but I feel that still using that as an excuse is like saying you're still trying to lose the weight from pregnancy years later. <P>Okay ladies, hit me with your thoughts. This is my new year's quest.


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 Post subject: Re: "Well-placed Fat," an Autobiography
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2000 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Christina - are you leaving? or just for the holiday? I hope you are not leaving!!!!!<P>Anyway, back to the subject... I am probably the oldest around here and since three years ago when I was injured and had to quit my dance career, overnight, I have put on about 15-20 lbs. I am 5'7". However, I was so slender before that I am still quite slender. <P>However, I do some sort of exercise everyday - walk or ballet class or ride my bike around a lake. This is not a lightweight racing bike but a heavy one gear balloon tire Schwinn cruiser - so it is quite a workout. I can ride it for 6 miles and barely break a sweat. I feel very guilty when I haven't exercised that day. <P>What I really think makes a difference, besides eating in a healthful manner, is the size of the portions. The stomach is elastic and will expand to fit what you put into it - and shrink when less is put into it. I have a sweet tooth - but I don't have to have 5 cookies. I take one and divide that into two-three pieces - and only take one piece at a time. Satisfies the "need" without much extra calories. <P>I try to have lots of low or no fat snacks around. Pretzels, pudding made with non-fat milk, fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc.<P>I try to take one spoonful less of food than I would REALLY like to take - and then just not bother to get up to get the second spoonful -because I am no longer seeing it with really hungry eyes.<P>When I crave chocolate (and heaven knows I do) I take one or two of those chocolate morsels that are put into cookies - and that satisfies the craving without eating an entire candy bar.<P>I promise myself all week that on Saturday I am going to have this and that treat - but by the time Saturday comes along - the desire has vanished - or I have forgotten about it.<P>I also try to go by how I feel inside - rather than what I am seeing in the mirror. I also look at my age peers and I can see that compared to them, I am slender indeed. But it is an adjustment. Dancers are so physically self-critical.<P>Just try to think of how you feel inside - if you are happy with your inside - you will be happy with your outside, I think.<P>------------------<BR>Approach life as a dancer approaches the barre, with grace and purpose.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: "Well-placed Fat," an Autobiography
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2001 9:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
No -- not leaving for good. Just for holidays. Went to ballet soiree Friday night and, although went wild for the goose pate, am 138 today (2 lbs less). Party was attended by, among others, owner of studio where I take class from my "surrogate papa" who says things like "Christina, you know, you really not so skeeny." This woman is about my age and everyone has been commenting about how thin she has gotten and trying to attribute it to some trauma, like her mother is sick, or something. So, instead of getting involved in this gossip, I simply asked her, and she told me that, in fact, she wanted to get back to the weight she was before she had her three children. She is now in her 40s and wanted to be smart about this (is also married to physician) and joined Weight Watchers. She lost approximately 2 pounds per week, using mostly portion control, and over a 3-month period, lost 23 pounds and is now on maintenance. She is 105 pounds now and a little shorter than I -- about 5'3". I think it's great. But isn't it funny that everyone, rather than just ask her about it, assumed that the weight loss was a negative thing and brought on by unhappiness ... Sometimes people harbor some secret insecurities and jealousies in this regard. I have a sister who has been markedly overweight all her adult life, and my parents dealt with it by commenting that I ought to gain. Weight, weight, weight. Such a touchy issue. <P>Your comments about other activities are well taken. I used to be a competitive race walker, who did a 10K every day, followed by stretches with pulleys, and about 40 laps in the pool. I could eat ANYTHING. I would still do that now. Motivation is not an issue. But I live in a city where the combination of 1. crime 2. pollution and 3. weather all pose problems with doing racewalking on a regular basis. <P>Am not giving up on this one, however. <p>[This message has been edited by Christina (edited January 02, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: "Well-placed Fat," an Autobiography
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2001 11:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Ok - here goes - the big irritation to me is when "friends" (female) look at me and say, "Basheva, you are sooooooo <B>lucky</B> you don't gain weight - wow !!" <P>After years of this, I finally started saying back "luck has nothing to do with it - would you like to come with me on my six mile bike ride or to ballet class?"


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 Post subject: Re: "Well-placed Fat," an Autobiography
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2001 11:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
Do they ever say anything back, or is there just uncomfortable silence at that point? I ask only because it seems that people who are slim, either by luck or by working at it, are somehow expected to be somewhat more magnanimous in attitude. <P>Except for my teacher, of course. He's allowed to be brutal. "Now eeeeeemagine 16 young skeeeeeny girls doing theees." <P>(Yeah, why don't you imagine me kicking you when you turn around to change the CD.)<p>[This message has been edited by Christina (edited January 02, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: "Well-placed Fat," an Autobiography
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2001 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
There is a stunned silence - but on my side there is a smile. And then I change the subject ........


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 Post subject: Re: "Well-placed Fat," an Autobiography
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2001 5:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I don't feel free to exchange calm, meaningful dialogue about a person like myself who is slim to the "lay" world but still has what she believes is a valid, emerging problem. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>christina, i can identify with this, and would like to participate in this discussion, but just too busy for a few days, and then YOU may be gone somewhere - didn't quite catch how long you're going for, but REALLY hope its not for long? - you're such a fun contributor to our board...<P>so, i'll get back to it later, hopefully,.....and meanwhile, we'll miss you! Image<P>

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 Post subject: Re: "Well-placed Fat," an Autobiography
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 8:41 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
Can't talk much now -- the legal world calls. But I did want to share that I just read an article in "Shape" magazine about eating in a way that emulates the diet of our ancestors (going wayyyyyyyyy back). I believe the same woman who wrote the article was the one who spoke to Matt Lauer on the Today Show earlier this week about the same 'tips.' <P>This is the closest thing I've found to echo my intrinsic beliefs about diet and when I do follow it, it seems to, at the very least, keep me from gaining any further. The two most salient principles of this method are: <P>1. 8-10 servings of fruits, vegies daily (considerably more than the traditional 5-7, which most people still don't meet), divied up by 2 servings per meal; <P>2. 5-6 meals per day consisting of the same amount you would get from 3 (thereby also allowing for the 2 servings of fruits and vegies per meal);<P>3. No processed food.<P>When I follow the 8-10 servings of fruits and vegies, I simply cannot fill myself up with much other food, so it does work. However, now I need a manservant to go to the store daily for me to bring all that produce home. <P>P.S. As of today, 138 lbs. and holding.


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 Post subject: Re: "Well-placed Fat," an Autobiography
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 11:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
what constitutes a serving?


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 Post subject: Re: "Well-placed Fat," an Autobiography
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
Basheva, good question. I forgot to mention that this same nutritionist discussed portion savvy as well. As example for fruits and vegetables -- getting two per meal, she showed a breakfast of a cup of orange juice (1) with a bowl of cereal, milk and a banana (2). She didn't get much into vegies, but I have read that those of us who eat BIG salads for dinner are easily getting 4 servings or so. <P>For things like pasta, she showed the typical restaurant serving on a platter which was EIGHT (8!!!!!!!) servings. Next to it was a cup of pasta (the proper size). The poor little cup looked so pitiful. The platter looked ridiculous (my fiance and I always split entrees to avoid this pitfall and to avoid waste of food). <P>The typical bagel and bran muffin were enormous, about 4 times the proper size. A portion of meat was supposed to be about a the size of your palm. Fish could actually be greater. <P>I also have been reading that portion control in terms of protein is important if you are prone to kidney stones.


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 Post subject: Re: "Well-placed Fat," an Autobiography
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2001 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I think that as I mentioned in an above post - it has always been "portion" to me or let's say "amount" is equally important as to "what". <P>I think that a lot of times people still eat in their 40's or 50's as they did in their 20's. They "forget" to audit the portion size downward.<P>On that note, I think I will go start supper.....<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited January 04, 2001).]


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