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Colluding with the Diet Industry

April 15, 2012

The further I delve into Ms Linda Bacon’s excellent book, the more the spectres of David Kessler and even Paul McKenna seem to loom behind me nodding in agreement with her and slapping me on the back of the head because I committed the sin of giving money to the Diet Industry.  Of course, these are my own demons and they’re there because I’m still using a Weight Watchers online tool, albeit on a basis of ‘a few days on – a few days off’ as I learn to regulate my own eating in response to hunger.

The picture I have so far, for anyone who’d like a reminder or who hasn’t been following is thus:

  • Our bodies have a set weight range that they like to be – this is hereditary and will vary from person to person
  • Go lower than that set weight range and our bodies protest in a whole set of ways
  • Go higher than that set weight range and our bodies protest in a whole different set of ways
  • (What I should weigh is probably around 66-67 kilos, this being what I have weighed most often when not stressed out and neither making any attempt to restrict my eating nor overeating – I’ve put this in brackets because it’s personal to me)
  • The Food Industry, being a profit-making organisation, has by law to put profits before concerns regarding health – thus processed food is designed to contain a load of refined rubbish so that it’s gorgeously tasty but doesn’t satisfy and we keep on craving and eating.  A load of us are addicted to salt, sugar and fat and we’re manipulated by advertising to consume brands x, y and z.  A load of us are like this, but of course not YOU – this is for the one (or possibly more than one) person reading this who has a perfect diet, eats just when they’re hungry and can walk past Burger King sneering rather than salivating.  Well done you 🙂
  • The Diet Industry is also a profit-making organisation and while we’re on the subject of them, diets don’t work – restricted eating works short-term to keep weight down but this isn’t sustainable longer term.  Moreover, fluctuating weight can be dangerous and I have heard tell of someone’s yo-yo dieter relative who died of a heart attack – this does give me some paranoia around my own 20 kilo difference between the heaviest and lightest I’ve recently been but also determination to settle nearer the middle and stay there!
  • Being overweight is probably not as dangerous as it’s made out to be.  The Bacon lady tells us that BMIs of over 40 show some possible increased risks to health but that under that level they don’t – and yet one is said to be ‘overweight’ with a BMI of 25 and ‘obese’ with a BMI of 30
  • Being underweight is probably more dangerous and does not, can not, will not turn you into a sex bomb
  • Reconnecting with your hunger and letting your own body be your guide for what to put in it is a good way to get to the right set weight range for you
  • Exercising for FUN rather than as a self-punishment is more likely to mean you carry on doing it.  We may also wish to remember Ms Thomas’ words of wisdom on the subject
  • Eat less meat – your body neither needs it or likes it.  The meat our cavemen ancestors ate was very low fat game rather than the overfed, fatty stuff we are sold and boy did they work for it too.  I have a stern stare at this point for anyone who believes we haven’t evolved from a common ancestor with other primates – although if you personally wish to believe you haven’t evolved then I will happily pat you on the head and say ‘no dear, you haven’t evolved’ and then run away before you get that I’m insulting you
  • Try eating stuff that’s less processed, like brown rice instead of white and wholemeal bread and stuff (individual dietary needs and likes permitting) and fruit and veg in it’s natural state
  • Don’t worry about it!  Your doctor may want to wave a BMI chart at you but those things are flawed in more ways than I can currently be bothered to go into (because I need to go do the washing up in a bit)


So, what benefit is there in continuing with WW?  Well, for one thing, it has helped me learn to eat regularly and also more healthily.  It tells me which foods are filling and healthy and I look upon that list through the filter of knowing which of them aren’t healthy for me in particular.  Generally the filling and healthy food list is made up of… food that has not been very processed – it’s a list of vegetables, fruits and proteins.  WW also encourages me to monitor how much liquid I drink (not enough) and how many of my 5-8 a day fruit and veg I get (usually I eat about 10 of my 5-a-day).  If it monitored my sodium intake it would 1) be vastly improved as a healthy diet monitoring system and 2) it would slap me for eating wayyy too much salt.  As a result of eating better and doing some exercise (which it also monitors) I’ve lost a bit of weight and my lungs have more room, which is something I’m noticing massively – I can breathe.  Due to some exercising I can also move around more easily in the bath now and sex can return to being moderately acrobatic (-oh no! Trish mentioned sex! Get over it people, none of us would be here on this earth if someone hadn’t had a shag)

I think my monthly tenner to WW is, just at present, a price worth paying.  I want to see fireworks and hear trumpets on their site when I get to what I put in as my goal weight (still somewhat above the weight I said earlier in this post I believe I should be and definitely above a BMI of 25).  When WW is no longer useful to me I’ll stop using it and stop paying them.

Right, I’m off to do the washing up

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