I somehow ended up with a collection of articles on weight loss and self-perception this week, both in how it affects our self-perception and in how the ways we think about ourselves and our weight/food/exercise choices affect weight loss.
– First up, I enjoyed this article about losing 100 pounds and the things this guy noticed along the way. His honesty about how he felt about himself before, during and after this process is really interesting and I was particularly entertained by the section about how much easier it is (generally) for a guy to be overweight than a woman.
– I’ve been in Italy this week and exposed to a lot of different choices, both in terms of local foods and conference foods because I’m a captive audience here for work. I’ve worked all week on thinking in terms of “best choices” not perfect choices – travel like this highlights the importance of being flexible! This article is really interesting in validating that approach (Success in Weight Management May Depend on Embracing Imperfection). It discusses a research study (here’s the study) that used a web based survey to evaluate people’s rigidity in their attitudes about food (ie good/bad black/white thinking) and found that people who were really rigid in terms of viewing foods are inherently good and bad were less likely to be successful in maintaining weight loss long term. That makes sense in that real life isn’t set up to let us maintain that kind of rigid thinking long term. There are lots of times in life when you just make the best choice possible and if you let that get to you in terms of feeling like you’ve cheated or failed, it is going to be harder to feel successful in the long run. This is definitely something I’m actively working on this year, so it’s good to see some science to say it is a worthwhile endeavor.
– The geek in me loves April’s Declaration of Independence purely for the language (check it out here) but I have to say I definitely could have written every one of her “facts submitted to a candid world,” particularly the reliance on food when under stress and getting discouraged by minor setbacks (both of which go hand in hand for me). Thanks for the smile and the honesty as always April!
– This is an older Another Mother Runner post that was re-posted this week about the Power of Movement and it is SO true. I’ve learned to love and appreciate my body in whole new ways from running and it truly brings me closer to confidence and self-acceptance than losing 100 pounds ever has.
– Lastly, I think it is great that both Women’s Running and Runners World featured larger runners on and in their pages this month. Runners come in all shapes and sizes and yet this is not often reflected in pages of running magazines. It was nice a see a little diversity in their depiction of runners. Here’s an article about the Women’s Running cover. The Runner’s World story isn’t on the cover, but is a several page spread within the magazine about Mirna Valerio, of the FatGirlRunning blog. It’s a really interesting discussion not just of Mirna and her story, but also of the idea that you can be fit and fat.
I’ll be on the lookout for this issue of Women’s Running during my travels home today!
Quick side story about a guardian angel dog named Pablo we met in Italy:
I initially heard about Pablo from colleagues who also got lost along the same trail I took Wednesday. They told me about a blind dog who led them back to the right path and up into town. They learned his name because everyone in Barga apparently knew him. 🙂 They were amazed at this weird cosmic experience of the dog who herded them along the right path despite the fact that they kept trying to go astray and the fact that his cataracts are so bad he can’t possibly see anything. Yesterday, when I went out for a little run, I took a little wrong turn along the way back and as I was wandering a bit trying to get re-oriented, I saw Pablo. I was incredibly reassured by the fact that he didn’t seem to feel the need to intervene with me like he did my colleagues and sure enough, I realized I could see the correct path. I’m glad I got to meet this canine guardian angel (and glad I got back on the right path!).
I’m traveling back home today, so send me good travel vibes! Here’s hoping I (and my luggage) make it home to my family tonight. Fingers crossed!