Archive for January 2012

My Thoughts on Paula Deen

If you have been paying attention to the entertainment news lately, then I’m sure you know that Paula Deen has recently disclosed that she has Type II diabetes, and she has had it for the past three years. She has just come out of the diabetes closet because she is now a paid spokesperson for the diabetic medication Victoza.

A great deal of health and fitness bloggers are currently on the “Paula Deen Sucks” bandwagon, stating that she is nothing more than a hypocrite, selling both the cause (buttery, sweet dishes) and the cure (medication) for diabetes. Some of her fellow chefs and former fans are now condemning Paula.

Please note: the remainder of this article is nothing more than my opinions. You may agree or disagree, and I welcome a discussion in the comments section!

So, what are my thoughts about Paula Deen? Well, my wife is a huge fan. Me, not so much. I’m certainly not opposed to Paula Deen, but as someone who lives in the South, I’ve always found her over-the-top Southern accent a bit much. Don’t get me wrong; I know Southerners who talk that way, but Ms. Deen’s accent became much more pronounced as she got more popular. When she was just starting out, she talked the way most Southerners talk, with a bit of a twang and not so much y’alls.

Accent aside, I’ve never given her a great deal of thought one way or the other. I’ve certainly watched her show on a few occasions and wondered how on Earth she didn’t keel over from a heart attack before the cameras stopped rolling. Then again, I’ve thought the same thing about Emeril Lagasse. Ultimately, I came to what I believe is a sensible conclusion, based solely upon visual data.

They don’t eat every meal the way they cook on television. They couldn’t. Biggest Loser level workouts wouldn’t result in them weighing less than four or five hundred pounds.

Yet, now that she has announced herself as a diabetic, I find the hatred she is receiving unfair.

In my eyes, I see calling Paula Deen a hypocrite for having diabetes, continuing to cook with butter and sugar on her show, and then endorsing diabetic medication no different than blaming McDonald’s for obesity.

Now, if you think McDonald’s is at fault for obesity, then nothing else I am going to say is going to have any impact or weight.

Aside from the fact that there are still numerous studies showing that diet may not have an effect on diabetes, let’s go ahead and say, 100% conclusively, that it does. Eating the way Ms. Deen cooks will cause diabetes.

Whose fault is it? Hers or ours? If I choose to cook the way she does on her show and eat that way, it is my responsibility for my own health to be aware of the health risks.

More than that, I don’t blame her for now endorsing Victoza. I have Google Adsense on my blog. A LOT of bloggers do. I see diet programs advertised that I know I don’t support, but because I’m a healthy living blogger, those diet ads pop up. If you click on them, I get money. (Tiny, tiny amounts of money. Trust me – this blog is not going to let me retire. I haven’t even recouped my expenses yet, but that’s okay because I do this because I enjoy it.) Granted, Paula Deen makes more money farting than I probably see in a decade, but that is her right to do so.

More than that, the only way I could reconcile her as a hypocrite is if she had previously stated “Diabetes medication is harmful.” To the best of my knowledge, she has never done that.

I view her as a shrewd businesswoman who came up with a business model and is now using it and is continuing to use it in this new hand that life has dealt her.

As for the claim that she should have told us three years ago, bull crap! Being any type of public person, whether you have a show on Food network or write a blog that three people a week read does not require you to share all information about yourself.

It is certainly everyone else’s right to see her as a hypocrite. That’s the great thing about this country. I’m not even trying to change anyone’s opinion. If you think she is the devil, that’s fine by me. I’ll continue to read your blogs, comment, and think warm fuzzy thoughts about you. I just want to share my thoughts on the matter, because I feel she has been unjustly vilified.

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Workout Video Review: Sweatin’ to the Oldies

I’ve shared on this blog several times that I have committed to losing this weight gym-free. This does not mean that I am not working out, however. Tina and I both do weight lifting (I will admit – it does help that I have free weights at home), but cardio is a bit tougher.

Sometimes, I just do walk aerobics in the living room while I watch television.

However, a few days ago, I remembered that I had a huge collection of workout videos somewhere in storage. Given how sadly disorganized I am, that could mean my huge stash of workout videos (seriously, probably 50 or more) is in one of three places:
a) The closet in my office that I crammed full when I moved in three years ago and pretty much haven’t touched since
b) In a tote somewhere in my garage that my car will not even fit in
c) In one of fifteen places at my parent’s house, because I never took them when I moved out

Well, after a quick search in the garage, it turns out that the answer is probably all three. However, I did find a tote with several videos in it (and a VCR, thank goodness), and I’ve decided that for the next little bit, I’m going to select one video a week for my cardio.

I’ll share in a blog post about my weight loss journey(s), but I have to say, one man has shown up in my weight loss efforts more than anyone else. This man is mocked, but I honestly believe he has people’s best interests at heart.

That man is Richard Simmons.

And for that reason, I am choosing to do Sweatin’ to the Oldies for my first week doing VHS cardio workouts!

Sweatin’ to the Oldies came out in 1988, and it was pretty revolutionary for its time. It actually had real music, played by an actual on-screen band. The music video was even set at a high school prom (so chosen because Richard Simmons never went to his own prom because he was embarrassed by his then-obesity.)

Even more than that, the people working out in this video covered the spectrum. There were thin people who had never had a weight problem, but even more significantly than that, there were obese people participating.

If you’ve never done a Sweatin’ video, you should probably know that Richard Simmons is always Richard Simmons. Some people are highly irritated by him. If you are one of those people, you will not enjoy this workout.

His first Sweatin’ video (there are five total) is also his shortest. It clocks in at about thirty-nine minutes. It consists of a cardio warm up, upper body and lower body stretching, five aerobic songs, cardio cool down, and a cool down stretch.

My rating: 8/10

I will definitely enjoy doing this video for the next week.

Oh, and my favorite part of Richard’s videos? At the end, all of the dancers get to dance into the camera and show off how much weight they’ve lost.

In other news, don’t forget about the Eat Smart Scales giveaway! It ends on Thursday night!

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An Open Letter from my Muse to Myself #1

Dear Jeremy,

Let’s talk for a minute, okay?

2012 has the potential to be the best year of your life. We need to make sure that happens.

I’ve basically been the equivalent of your grown-up imaginary friend since you first learned about the muse from literature in 6th grade. For whatever reason, you’ve always visualized me as a small blue dragon named Mason rather than the gorgeous women that most muses throughout literature have been, but whatever. That’s neither here nor there.

So, do you kind of feel like you are going through the motions?

A little bit? Yeah, I thought so.

How long have you been in the 370s? Several months. Longer than you can really remember for sure, right?

You are less than thirty pounds from your highest. At one point, you were almost 150 pound from your highest.

I’m not saying this to beat you up.

I’m saying this to remind you that you’ve already done it once, and you can do it again.

Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it is going to take a while.

But so freaking what? What else are you going to do? If you don’t lose this weight in 2012, you’ll start 2013 the same way, still overweight.

2013 is coming whether you lose weight or not.

And if you want to stay obese, that is totally fine. It won’t make you a bad person at all.

Just decide:

Would you rather have a year of eating too much food, spending literally hundreds (maybe thousands) on fast food that will cause an endorphin release that only lasts until the guilt kicks in, and sitting around on the couch watching tv, finishing up 2012 in the 370s? Or 390s? Or the 430s?

Or would you rather have a year of working out daily, eating clean, tasty food, indulging OCCASIONALLY, and finishing up 2012 weighing significantly less?

It doesn’t even freaking matter what significantly less IS! It can be twelve pounds. It can be one hundred and twenty pounds. Whatever. Be healthy.

So, that’s your choice.

Be obese.

Be healthy.

Either is fine. Just own it.

Are you really going to choose to be healthy, or are you just saying that because you find it shameful to select the obese option?

Here’s the thing, dude. I know you. Extremely well. (Remember the whole imaginary friend part? Yeah, I KNOW YOU.)

And because I know you, I know that you will say what is the socially, therapeutically correct answer to avoid the confrontation right now.

Actions speak louder than words.

I believe you can do it. Heck, I know you can do it.

I’m just not 100% sure you will do it. Being honest. It’s called tough love.

Right now, I’m going to take you at your word. You believe you can do this. You believe you want to do this.

Don’t worry about setbacks. They happen to everyone. If they happen, just keep going. And keep going immediately. Going to sleep is not a magical reset button. If you mess up at six p.m., then from 6:01 ‘til you go to sleep is still the potential to be awesome.

I’m going to keep checking in on you.

We’ll tackle this beast. 2012 is our year.

I’m not wishing you luck. You don’t need luck.

You got this.


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Geeked Out Weight Loss Series: Power Rangers: Missing Green

For the first GOWL of 2012, I am going back to the Power Rangers! Today, I’m watching the episode “Missing Green” from the second season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. (And every episode of Power Rangers is available on Netflix’s Watch Instantly!)

If you are a new reader or don’t remember me doing these sporadically last year, basically, I watch something geeky that appeals to me (frequently Power Rangers or something on Nickelodeon), recap it along with some pictures, and then provide an example of a weight loss analogy that is present somewhere within. Sometimes the analogies are easy and just fall in my lap. At other times, they have to be pried out, but either way, I try to make it work.

The Plot:

Red Ranger Jason is having difficulty concentrating as he practices for an upcoming martial arts tournament. However, his mind isn’t focused. Jason is having a lot of guilt because he feels it his fault that Tommy (the former Green Ranger) lost his powers.

His fellow Rangers decide to try and find Tommy so that Jason can know, for sure, that it wasn’t his fault.

Lord Zedd, of course, sends Goldar to capture the Ranger teens. Goldar is successful, and Lord Zedd now has what he needs to lure the Red Ranger into a trap.

Jason, alone, morphs, goes into battle, and ultimately succeeds in saving his fellow Rangers.

Better yet, Alpha uses the Command Center’s amazing technology to locate Tommy, where in a voiceover we learn that Tommy holds no ill will toward Jason and is totally okay. He’s also suspiciously wearing white instead of green. Could Tommy be planning to return as the White Ranger? Nah, that’s just hopeful thinking.

But Jason, self-esteem restored, goes to the tournament and wins.

The Analogy:

Yeah, this one is pretty easy. Jason’s performance in the beginning was impacted because his heart wasn’t in it. It took some soul searching and fighting with Goldar (and some technological stalking of Tommy) for Jason to regain his self-esteem. As soon as he did, he performed amazingly and placed first at the tournament.

How often have we let US get in the way of our self-esteem? Nothing change in Jason’s world from the beginning of this episode and the end. Tommy still isn’t a Ranger. All that Jason learned was that Tommy doesn’t hold the loss of his Ranger powers against him.

It really is true; you have to think well of yourself.

If your confidence is shot, then you will not do well.

If you have no self-esteem, then you will not perform.

If you think poorly of yourself, then you will fail.

I’ve come a long way in my journey, and I really do feel like this time, my head is where it needs to be for me to lose this weight. I got fat for a reason, and I stayed fat for a reason. And now, I’m losing weight for a reason.

Because I’m worth it.

But you can hear me say I’m worth it all day long. Are you worth it? And only you can answer that.

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Eat Smart Scale Giveaway

I have been using my Eat Smart scale for several months out. I received it as a result of this blog, but it has been a great scale. I’ve loved using it, it’s easy to use (no tap on, no weird weight fluctuations), and it’s extremely accurate.

I was recently given the opportunity to host another giveaway, and that is what I am doing right now.

To win your own scale (check it out on Amazon here, you just need to do any (or all) of the following:

1. Leave a comment, telling me you’d like the scale.
2. Tweet the following: “@EatSmartScale & @stellarpath are giving away a scale” and then come back here and leave a comment stating you did so.
3. Follow me on twitter (@stellarpath) and let me know with a comment here.
4. Follow me (or let me know you already do) on Google Reader or the other RSS reader of your choice. (Obviously, this one is honor system – just leave a comment letting me know.)
5. Like EatSmartScales on facebook.
6. Follow EatSmartScales on twitter.

For all entries, you must leave a separate comment here. I’ll select the winner by Random Number Generator at next Friday. Entries are closed after 10 p.m. Central Time Thursday, January 19th.

Unfortunately, this is only open to my US readers at this time.

Good luck!

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12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)