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Stop Telling Me To Lose Weight!

I get it. I packed on a pound or two over the past year and maybe, MAYBE I could lose them. But then again, candy is delicious and you can pry that packet of Nerds from my cold dead fingers. Mmmkay?



Honestly, I feel like every week or month every publication, website, etc. reminds me of the top ten ways to lose weight, how losing five pounds will make me a faster runner and how eating asparagus will totally shrink my waistline. There's always an OCCASION to lose weight, and maybe that's what bugs me the most. Here's my summation of a typical year of weight loss information:

January: Woo-hoo! It's New Year's and time for resolutions. This will definitely be the year. The year you lose weight, get incredible abs and become a model. Let the deprivation diets begin!

Ok Magazine, July 2010
February: The 6 pounds you lost in January were great. However, now you need to deal with Valentine's Day. Every website and magazine on the planet will simultaneously give you recipes for incredible chocolate desserts and also remind you to stick to your diet. You will lose 2 pounds in the first 2 weeks and then gain 5 thanks to cheap leftover Valentine's Day candy.

March: Don't worry about that little slip-up with V-Day. No biggie. TIME TO FOCUS ON SPRING BREAK BODIES! You'll want to start lifting weights now, because you need to look toned in those bikinis, not just skinny. Don't worry, every magazine has 26 workouts to get you started.

April: So you gained 8 pounds on your Spring Break booze cruise. Don't beat yourself up about it. Just eat well, be positive and remember not to give in to Easter candy temptations. You learned your lesson after Valentine's Day, right? RIGHT?

I never learn that lesson.
May: Ugh. You never learn. Damn chocolate bunnies. Luckily there are some great new HIIT workouts to get you in shape for summer. Memorial Day is coming up!

June: Read new article on bathing suits that play to your features. Buy the perfect bathing suit for your vacation. Skipping meals is now required for two reasons: to fit into bikini, and to pay for aforementioned bikini. Totally worth the month's rent because it MINIMIZES THIGHS.

July: THIS IS IT. This is what you worked for. This is the big bikini reveal. Salads, protein powders and six thousand crunches combine to give you the body that you've always dreamed of. Just be careful not to go overboard on burgers, beer and hotdogs. Thankfully there are dozens of articles giving you low cal barbecue recipes, yes!

August: Summer vacation! The perfect time to show off your new bathing suit. You plan to try stand-up paddle boarding, jog on the sand every morning and do sunset yoga before your healthy seafood dinners. Instead, you gain 8 pounds by consuming 17 bottles of wine and trying every single flavor of gelato in existence. Bummer.

September: BACK ON TRACK! Whether you're heading back to school or work, it's time to completely overhaul your appearance. Plus, its finally cool enough to actually be active outside. DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN LOSE 75 POUNDS JUST BY WALKING? The girl on the cover totally did!

Shape Magazine, September 2010
October: Don't buy Halloween candy in bulk. Don't buy Halloween candy in bulk. Don't buy Halloween candy in bulk. Don't buy Halloween candy in bulk. Don't buy Halloween candy in bulk. Yes! I did it!

November: Halloween candy on sale. Eat every single bag on the clearance shelf, plus all the chocolates you can steal from your child's basket without them noticing. Spend two weeks being "healthy" in penance and then stuff yourself silly on Thanksgiving.

December: You don't have to gain weight during the holidays! Try one of the six thousand workouts perfect for winter. Spend $800 on show shoes because it burns 500 calories per hour! Break leg snow shoeing and drown sorrows in food. Decide Christmas doesn't count - diet starts January 1st.


Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.


So here's my question: do you think it's harmful to regularly lose/gain weight throughout the year? It is natural to gain in the winter, lose in the summer?
From the little I understand on the subject, losing large amounts of weight only to regularly gain them back isn't ideal. However, I do think most people fluctuate throughout the year - myself included.

Any other predictable weight loss messages you hear year after year?

Comments

  1. Ugh you nailed it! This is why I subscribe to a whopping ZERO women's magazines.

    I do think it's normal to fluctuate throughout the year. I certainly do!

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  2. Holy cow, are those Peeps on a skewer?! That is fantastic!!

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    Replies
    1. 100% agree. That was GENIUS Vanessa

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  3. I get tired of all of the weight loss hype as well. For years, I spent my life worrying about being in shape for certain events and seasons. My lucky day was when I realized it was easier to be in shape ALL the time than to gain and then fight to lose. One of my favorite quotes is, "Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels." Running and mindful eating have helped me overcome my battles with food and weight.

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  4. I totally get what you are saying, these annoying reasons to lose weight get me too. I think that it would be more beneficial if we were all encouraged to be healthy all of the time rather than lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks for that sexy v-day date. It just makes no sense to me

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  5. Well, my cat always loses weight during the summer and gains it back during the winter, so it must be okay.

    I on the other hand tend to be the opposite. I think the stress of wearing shorts and bikinis all summer actually causes me to gain weight. In the winter, I don't care, and so I am not a freak when it comes to worrying about what I eat (and then subsequently binge-eating ice cream).

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  6. This could've been my break down exactly. Like seriously I LIKE CANDY AND CHOCOLATE.

    I hate feeling bad about the fact that I have some fat on my body......I don't think it's harmful to have fluctuating weight - within reason.

    I'm starving myself right now ;)

    JUST kidding ate a chocolate bar, now biking! lol cancels out

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  7. I tire of said issues to lose weight if only because it's nothing new. "OMG, you mean if I eat almonds and fruit instead of those delicious Pretzel M&Ms, I'll lose weight? NO WAY!"

    I think it's better to maintain a lifestyle of modern and occasional indulgences than to live the vicious cycle that magazines perpetuate.

    And, on a random note: I reminded myself of your Nutella post last night when I convinced myself that I was doing nothing wrong by dipping my tangerine in warmed up Nutella.

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  8. I agree with Paige (The Last Doughnut). I was always dieting for a trip or event that I fluctuated all the time (there is always something, right?). -5 for a cruise +7 b/c I binged on the cruise, etc...
    Now I'm pretty consistent (within 3-5 lbs). I exercise regularly (not just as needed) and I eat clean (not starve myself for 2 weeks to wear a bathing suit). I think I tend to be a little lenient during the holidays, but isn't everyone?

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  9. This is sooo true! Not only do magazines teach us how to binge diet and eat so do the celebs that we watch all the time. What they are not saying is how hard it is on your body to go up and down all the time. Yes it is completely normal to go up a little in the winter and down in the summer or vice versa but losing 10 lbs in 10 days! no way that is good for you. It just confuses your body and it doesn't know what to think or do next. It really annoys me if you can't tell already ;)

    Maintain and set long term goals for yourself. Teach your self patience and know that if you work hard for something it will pay off and last way longer then 10 days.

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  10. I hate the weight lose hype. I know if I eat fresh produce and lean meat, with very few whole-grain only carbs that I will lose weight. But does that taste anywhere near as good as a Reese's PB cup? I didn't think so.

    It takes time to change eating habits and behaviors, so that you can break the cycle of losing and gaining weight that magazines never seem to focus on.

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  11. I love your summary of August! Pretty much sums up every vacation I take.

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  12. Oh, and I meant to add that I think it is totally normal to gain a little weight in the colder months and lose in the warmer months. I'm in NY and it's just hard to be as active in the winter, especially if you don't have some money to spend. A lot of winter sports cost money, as do gym memberships. Plus doesn't it help you stay warm? It seems to work for the bears...

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  13. Peanut always gets fat in the summer. She just doesn't care about bikini season no matter how many times I explain it to her. This is why Dog Fancy needs more articles like Shape.

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  14. haha. this was a perfect recap of a year. i mean magazines dont even need to publish an article now that seems all new and "YES THIS IS THE TIME"...they can just publish "refer to Gourmet Runner Blog"

    i definitely fluctuate throughout the year. it gets frustrating but i also have learned to just not freak out about it because i know for the most part its normal and natural!

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  15. I feel like Runner's World is like this too! Every month or so they have a new article saying that blueberries and almonds are super-foods!

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    Replies
    1. Definitely! I signed up to receive their daily emails and somehow they're even worse. Constant reminders about weight loss!

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  16. I think you nailed every single one! I love how some covers say "guaranteed!" REALLY?!?! My weight fluctuates all the time too! I think most people's do and it's just something to live with :) I have bigger pants and smaller pants...and just roll with it!

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  17. Shape magazine drives me insane! Ostensibly a fitness magazine but every issue my wife brings home has a crash diet and/or some 'targeted' workout routine to make you Shapelier. I hate having it in my house.

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  18. Totally on track with this - my favorite was August. A classic. :-) I always try to stand up paddle board, do yoga, go for long runs, squeeze in a tennis match, & snorkel every day of vacation. If you don't, you're a slacker. ;-)

    My weight does fluctuate. It's harder for me to get out & run in the fall/winter, & I get a ton more opportunities to be active in the spring/summer. Also, my bathing suit is good motivation to drop a few extra pounds, honestly.

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  19. This is so funny, but sadly so true! I'm so tired of magazines barking at me to lose weight. Where are the articles on just being happy with yourself? Where are the articles teaching you how to just maintain for once?

    Sure, we all fluctuate a little. It's nothing to be grossly concerned about. At least not until Shape or Fitness or, god help us, Us Weekly, tells us that our weight is a problem.

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  20. I think you're bound to fluctuate your weight. When people ask how much I weigh (not in a "HOW MUCH DO YOU WEIGH?" kind of way) I usually say between 130 and 135 because on any given day I'm around there.

    That being said, using the time of the year as an excuse for gaining weight is dangerous.

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    Replies
    1. What people do you know? I think the only person who's ever asked me that is my doctor.

      Using the time of year as an excuse for weight gain is dangerous = you've obviously never had Christmas cookies. Worth every pound.

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  21. UGH..so true...every magazine comes out with a new diet or exercise to make us want to try or better yet BUY their MAGAZINE...I guess it works b/c look at all the money they are making.

    I tend to go up and down 5 pounds throughout different holidays and celebrations...(Like July 4th is just too much drinking!) ha!

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  22. Yes, I'm pretty sure there is a lot of research that shows yo- yo dieting is detrimental to your waist line in the long run!

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  23. hahahaha. December, hands down, is the worst. Every magazine: "how to avoid the holiday weight gain!! Eat a protein shake before you go to the holiday parties! Hold a drink in your hand so you are too busy to eat! Eat the bacon-wrapped scallops instead of the cookies!"

    Maybe it's because I have narrowed my magazine reading down to Esquire and Mental Floss, but thank god, I haven't seen much of this crap lately. I spend 362 days of the year not wanting to lose weight. (the other 3 are bad days. We all have them).

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  24. great post and I LOVE your pictures! ha!

    The yearly progression you've shown is spot-on and I too fluctuate--I'd like to blame it on the over-sized clothing I can hide in during the cold months.

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  25. You know, if you lost a few pounds, you wouldn't have such a bad attitude. :P
    Okay, totally kidding, but you really have to stop reading those stupid magazines. I used to subscribe to SHAPE years ago and finally had to quit reading it because of the exact reason you've described - it's like I was never good enough.
    My weight fluctuates monthly - ha, ha - but not so much throughout the year. I've got about a five pound window that I feel good in and can maintain without being too much of a freak.

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  26. I have weeks where I'm all "yay I love spinach!" and weeks where I'm like "F - it, I'm a fatty, bring on the frosting", so I'm pretty sure my weight fluctuates as a result. I understand you were going for repetition in October but I am really disappointed in you for not mentioning candy corn in this post.

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  27. bahaha i love the peeps pic. I have a hard time reading a lot of magazines for this reason. I get they want to promote healthy living and supporting people if they want to lose weight, but it's like they're jamming it down your throat and for all the wrong reasons.

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  28. I agree completely, I get so sick of "magic weight loss" articles being advertised on the cover of EVERY magazine. Seriously - STOP. I agree with you, I think most of us fluctuate a little, but gaining and losing larger amounts on a regular basis isn't good.

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  29. Wow everything in this post is so true! The year round weight loss journey! I just stop caring what other people think and just make sure to take care of myself and eat all the candy I want!

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  30. So true!! I fluctuate from 2-5 pounds depending on the occasion, season, etc. I have just learned to deal with it and somehow it all works out.

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  31. Hilarious but so true. I try to maintain my weight all year long, give or take a few pounds. I usually try to slim down a little a few weeks before a race. Losing just a pound can help, nothing crazy! Its just a balancing act - I just try to remember to let my self indulge every once in a while.

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  32. Great post! So very true :)

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  33. I don't take any of it seriously but I do watch my weight!

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  34. It is pretty natural for a mammal to gain a bit of weight in winter... but not heaps. The cycle is more damaging than keeping the weight off permanently.
    I actually go the other way around and lose weight in winter when I am not racing, and maintain or gain over summer when I am racing... weird.
    But my body is a bit like that....!!

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  35. For some reason, I always add 2 or 3 lbs (estimate) in the summer and am pretty skinny in the winter. But I can't complain. With the scary exception of thyroid cancer, I've been the same size/weight since I started college. No amazing weight loss story for me...just regular good eating choices and routine exercise means I was always a healthy weight!

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  36. I don't even read those anymore because it is heartbreaking. Now, I'm trying to lose it steadily until I reach my goal healthy weight. I have to do it like this because of my hypothyroidism. It has been a slowly process but I think I have finally found the right formula for losing this weight combined with my medicine. Ugh... such a pain.

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  37. I've stopped caring about my weight. I'm active because I enjoy it, not because I'm trying to look a certain way. My body puts on muscle easily, especially in my lower body, so if I ever set a goal to have thighs that don't rub, I'd end up being sickly.

    I feel like letting the "seasons" affect your weight loss goals is okay, as long as your goals are still based on you. If you are striving to look like someone else, that isn't good. Your goal should be to be healthy, and that isn't measured by the tag on your jeans.

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  38. I love how each month every magazine has a "new" ab workout that is "guaranteed" to make you look hot in a swimsuit.

    You are totally right; we obsess over our weight. I think that we all fluctuate a bit, some more than others, but this is natural. However, I also believe in good food and exercise and yes, a treat now and then! We are only human, after all!

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  39. not going to lie, the onslaught CONSTANTLY about weight and how to lose it tips grates on me...mostly because it's like the same old spiel rehashed in a new way. i mean it's not exactly rocket science...but i know that stuff sells and people are always creating a market for it.

    but u are dead on: i think in the end just obsessing over it only exacerbates the problem. as for yo-yo'ing, it's normal to fluctuate but when i see people literally going up half a person and then back down regularly, that can't be healthy! :P

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  40. I had decided to get a subscription to Shape & Fitness...then I realized they both say the same thing! Decided against getting them. I do believe weight changes throughout the year (a little), but if you continue to be in control of it - then there you go. You know what is acceptable for you and your body and what isn't. I hate it when people tell me "Don't lose to much weight" or "you don't need to lose that much". Luckily, for me I know where I should be and once I get there (15 pounds to go) I plan on maintaining. There will be no reason to continue to lose or spend mega bucks on some new weightloss invention and I will continue to have 'salty' treats. :) No matter what the media is saying. The media has a way of taking really good things, even great things and making them bad. Just take a look at how the media as seriously influenced 'self image' - we all want to look like "that" - it's wrong. We should all want to look like ourself and realize just how beautiful we truly are. Media sucks.

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  41. This made me giggle because this is a vicious cycle that doesn't seem to have an ending for most people. Seems like we always all want to be someone we aren't and think that being "skinnier" will somehow make like easier and us happier. I don't diet, but I've never really struggled with my weight. I indulge when I want and bulk up on produce when I want, I think finding the balance is where most slip up. But even when I don't struggle with my weight, I still feel that it fluctuates, which is totally normal and I try not to obsess over this.

    Scales and diets are bad inventions, so I just pretend they don't exist :)

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  42. Haha, seriously, I think you hit the nail on the head with those! Any big changes (yo-yo) to your body constantly in terms of weight is unhealthy. Why not try portion control and a healthy dose of exercise and make a lifestyle out of it?
    I know everyone fluctuates throughout the year, but eating too little will slow down your metabolism and do bad things and eating too much we know doesn't do well for anyone either.

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  43. I complain about this all the time. The most annoying thing is that the tips are always the same: Drink more water, incorporate cardio, tone up with strength training, get good sleep, eat breakfast, calories in calories out...blah blah blah. Or worse, the get rich quick types.. "Get fit in 12 minutes!" The couch to 5K is my latest beef. Do you know it has people exercising for 12 minutes a day 3 days a week? 2 minutes of that is running. WHY do people buy into this stuff? Stay healthy. Skinny is out healthy is in.. and with healthy comes CONSISTENCY. I've sent this post to everyone who has heard me rant about this.. loved it!

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    Replies
    1. I have to say...I know a lot of people who have had great success with Couch 2 5k. My running partner went from NO exercise to that program and just finished her first marathon - all within a year. It can be a great start, albeit only a temporary one!

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    2. Also, I think this is why you have the following you do. As well as other blogs similar to yours.. because you have real life fitness goals, food cravings, etc. Your narration through those things is motivating to stay consistent throughout the year... at least for me!

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    3. Definitely! Re-reading that I realize that the Couch to 5K hate did not come across correctly.. I know people who loved the program too. It's just the media hype that I get frustrated with.

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    4. I can understand that! Running for 2 minutes a day (or, well...doing anything for 2 minutes a day!) is not going to magically transform your body. The end.

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  44. I think it's pretty natural to fluctuate somewhat. I am always in much better shape in the warmer months because I have more motivation to get outside.

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  45. Great post! Yeah, I have been trying to ignore all of the 'slim up for summer!' articles in magazines lately.

    My goal this year is to be active enough (build enough muscle) so that I don't have to do any crazy eating regime in order to maintain a healthy weight.

    Eat normally? What a novel idea!

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  47. You crazy! I love it! Great post, n

    Peepes on a skewer might be the next hot item patterned it quickly!

    ReplyDelete
  48. So hilarious and so true!

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  49. Yes. Yes. Yes. I think this all the time. Don't get me wrong - I love reading my magazines (Shape, Self, Women's Health). I love the new research they present and the stories and the interviews and the inspiration. But I could seriously do without the diet and the "do this workout to be thinner" attitude. I like to workout to be FIT not THIN. I don't want to lose weight, and does anyone really follow their meal plans? It's just another tactic to get women to feel bad about their bodies. Great post!

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  50. Love your post. I always gain in the winter and lose in the summer. I was going to say just like a big ol' bear, but ha ha, it's the reverse!

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