Monday, July 28, 2014
Yes you heard me! It's called a sugar polish, and I just had one at the Arlington Spa in Hot Springs, Arkansas. They mix sugar and olive oil and scrub it all over your body, then wrap you up in plastic for 25 minutes before rinsing it off. It feels decadent! And it is totally calorie free!
I highly recommend it, followed, of course, by a massage. What a treat!
Friday, June 20, 2014
I love these kinds of ads. If only it were just about money, like a facelift. If only all it took were money!
I lost my weight on Weight Watchers many years ago, but it was by the week not the pound, which makes more sense. And they didn't promise Easy, just something that worked if I worked it, and they helped me with the work.
I guess people buy these ads and plans or they'd stop, but the promise of Easy Weight Loss has been around for hundreds of years.
I wonder who makes more money: the food manufacturers who provide easy, fattening food, or the guys who promise to Take the Weight Off Fast?
Sunday, June 15, 2014
I saw this article in the New York Times yesterday. Usually fatty liver disease is found in alcoholics. Now it seems it is a burgeoning problem caused by overeating.
Everyone is horrified by the practice of fattening goose livers for foie gras (which means, after all, "fatty liver" in French) by forcefeeding. It's a process called "gavage", ordinarily used to deliver food directly to the stomach of patients with throat obstructions. Gavage is only done with the consent of the patient, except for infants. And except for geese.
Now people are apparently forcefeeding themselves willingly and by their own hands. There is no cure, no pharmaceutical aid, nothing but a liver transplant will help. Right now a practicing alcoholic can't qualify for a liver transplant because he'll just do the new liver what he did to his old one, but what will they do about an obese patient needing a liver? Will the same rule prevail? There aren't enough livers available for transplant as it is. As the problem grows, what will happen?
Obesity causes more than strokes and heart attacks, it seems.
Saturday, May 31, 2014
There is a lot of talk about the addicting nature of food, but I wonder. What I am really addicted to is Easy Pleasure. And what's easier than a cheap bag of Cheetos?
We all reminisce about "simple pleasures", but they all sound so pedestrian these days. Today's Little Things didn't exist for most of us until a few decades ago, like professional mani-pedis. Now they are so cheap and omnipresent that we don't see them as the extravagances they once were. It's just something else to do.
I remember my parents and grandparents telling me about how so many of them lived together in small spaces that just being alone was a treasure. Privacy was a privilege of the rich. Now we take it for granted. All those tiny closets from the 50s and before? No one had enough clothing to fill more than that. Now we expect closets as big as the bedrooms we lived in when growing up, the bedrooms we had to share with siblings (Wally and the Beaver shared a room). Only the wealthy had food out of season, and enough food to avoid hunger. Now there is so much cheap food that we have to worry about over-consumption.
Eating is easy, it's cheap, and it doesn't require the cooperation of another person (I don't want to be more specific here). If you find easy pleasure in shopping, you can buy a dress, then have buyer's remorse by the time you get home, and you can take it back. You can't take back the empty bag of Cheetos, or transport the calories out of your body. It's easy to say No to something you know you just can't have, like the gorgeous new car or house. It's harder to say No to a pleasure that you CAN have, right NOW.
And like other Easy Pleasures (once again I don't want to be more specific), eating is really really hard to stop once you get started. I am really looking for something that will make me feel delicious RIGHT NOW, and that is something modern, something that wasn't an option to a less affluent society. I hate that it's an option, yet I would be outraged if that option were removed.
So what to do? How do I mentally tell myself that I can no longer avail myself of a special, intense pleasure? It certainly won't work to try to convince myself that it isn't all that great after all. I'm not stupid.
I have had to learn that Pleasure doesn't have to be Easy, and that pleasures that require some effort are, indeed, better than the Easy ones. That requires Patience, and trust me, that is not a virtue I was born with. I have had to translate lessons in patience learned while raising kids, sitting in traffic, waiting on hold, paying off a mortgage, to controlling my desire for instant gratification.
I have been at goal for a long time, and I still have to remind myself to look at the payoff of "later" as being better than the immediacy of Cheetos. I have long since convinced myself of the joy of the longer term goal, but I still need to remind myself, especially when I experience the geyser of desire for pleasure NOW.
My addiction is to the Pleasure rather than the Food.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
I am listening to lectures about critical decision making from a business professor. He speaks of hashing out plans, of trying to anticipate every possible failure or problem in advance. He cites business plans for new products, plans by generals going into battle, plans for ascending Everest. In all cases people get together to brainstorm, to try to figure out in advance anything that could possibly go wrong, possible problems they may encounter no matter how absurd it may sound, and prepare in advance for those possibilities. Most of their possible problems will not come to pass, and some unanticipated problems may arise, but they think it through up front so they can eliminate as many unwelcome surprises as possible.
Yet when people talk about weight loss plans, any mention of possible pitfalls is considered "negative thinking", that even considering those problems will cause them to come to pass. They think that all they need is a Positive Attitude and the rest will fall in line. That isn't true in any type of endeavor, why would it be with weight loss?
I never walk into a grocery store without a plan. I go to parties with a plan, and mental options to handle all the possible hurdles that may occur. Some people plan their routes to avoid the Dunkin Donuts (few Dunkin Donuts stores appear overnight). I plan my meals in advance so that I am never standing in the kitchen wondering what to eat or feed my husband. I don't do well in that situation.
For me, food surprises are not welcome. I may not handle them well. I doubt people who have always handled food surprises well will find themselves needing Spark.
Thinking about possible failure isn't being negative, it doesn't mean that you will fail. It means that you are always aware of the lurking dangers out there and planning ways to deal with those dangers if they appear.
There is an old saying that says "Failing to plan is planning to fail." Those plans need to include the possibilities that things don't always go as planned, but you will only know how to handle those situations if you give it advance thought. That is not being Negative, it's being Prepared.
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