Fat shaming

No, I said "fat" shaming, not "hat" sha... never mind.

No, I said “fat” shaming, not “hat” sha… never mind.

Don’t worry. I’m not getting on my soapbox twice in one night.

Of course, no one is entitled to fat-shame others, and I doubt it produces the allegedly desired effect of  weight loss in the recipient of the shaming.

Unless that recipient is me! That’s right. I’m fat shaming myself. I’m allowed to.

For the past several years my Sketchers have been holding up 200 pounds, or 91 kilograms, of dude. Though I am only of average height, I carry my weight well because I am solidly built. That said, 200 pounds is not great for my health. I didn’t get this way eating carrots.

I decided it was time to lose weight (for real this time). Unfortunately, my willpower is far from amazing, which is why I often diet down to about 195 pounds and then put it right back on.

Two weeks ago, when I started dieting again, I said, “I’m going to do a post about my weight loss goal. Fear of public embarrassment helped me hit the first and second draft deadlines for my novel, so maybe it will work for my diet.”

My Significant Other said, “Yeah. I wouldn’t do that if I were you. You’re far more disciplined as a writer than as an eater.”

The actual comment was probably closer to, “Don’t embarrass yourself, Chubsy Ubsy,” but I’m trying to make her look more supportive than she really is.

Anyway, the scale read 195 pounds this morning. My goal is 175.

I’m not setting a deadline because I have no idea how long it will take, and because I don’t need one. I will either continue to lose weight, or I will cave in to the lure of junk food well before I get anywhere close to 175 pounds.

Wish me luck!

If you’re curious, my diet method is the only one that ever works without the assistance of a surgeon: Burning more calories than I take in.

47 responses to “Fat shaming

  • skywalkerstoryteller

    I’m in the same situation, except I’d like to lose 30 pounds. I’ve begun this really good aerobic exercise program, 15 minutes a day three times a week, you pace yourself, even with the videotapes. The videos are really good. It’s called aftershock. At any rate, you got one person working with you.

    • ericjbaker

      Great! I should probably aim for 30 lbs myself, but the only time I’ve gotten under 175 pounds in my adult life was when I was sick for 4 months about 10 years ago and could barely eat. I’m setting an attainable goal for me.

      I’m trying to figure out an exercise component, but the reduced caloric intake seems to be working so far.

      Good luck! Let’s be motivated together.

  • 1WriteWay

    Good luck, Eric! Losing weight or staying at a desired weight seems to get harder as we get older. But it can be done if you’re reasonable about it. Both my husband and I have learned (the hard way) that big gains (or losses) can occur with small changes in our diet and activity. Like you, we try to burn more calories than we take in. We’ve made adjustments to our diet, like eating out less (because we can’t control how our food is prepared), eating in more (because we can prepare how our food is prepared and, hey, we get a bonus of saving $$), having wine with our meals maybe 2-3 times a week instead of every night (we love wine), etc. My major impediment to losing weight is activity. I go to yoga three times a week and each class has at least 45 minutes of vigorous movement, but my other preferred exercise–walking–is harder to come by. Let’s just say my day job doesn’t help with that and it’s a constant struggle to find the time to just walk around our complex. But it’s a goal, and you’ve inspired me to give it another try 🙂

    • ericjbaker

      Yes, the office chair is the enemy of good metabolism, isn’t it? What I’m doing these days is, instead of quitting all the bad stuff cold-turkey, is allowing myself one piece of chocolate or a pop tart or whatever, as long as it’s before 2 p.m. My biggest fight will be against soda, because I crave the caffeine but don’t like coffee.

      • 1WriteWay

        There you go. Don’t deny yourself what you like, just moderate it. I find that when I tell myself I can’t have something any more, then I want it that much more. Best example is smoking cigarettes. I used to smoke, not much, but enough to make it difficult to quit. So instead of quitting, I just don’t have a cigarette today. I’ve been not having a cigarette today for several years now 🙂

        • ericjbaker

          Haha! Good technique. I haven’t been able to moderate in the past, but I think somehow I’ve matured (says the guy into horror movies and Japanese monsters)

  • Jill Weatherholt

    Good luck, Eric. One thing in your favor is your sex, it’s easier for men to lose weight than women, something about the hormones as we age.
    The best advice I can give is to not think of it as a diet, it’s a lifestyle change toward healthier eating and living. Exercise is key. I run an hour on my treadmill every day and do other weight bearing exercises as well. Even when I come home from work exhausted, after that hour, I feel great. Am I always motivated to do it? Heck no, but once it becomes a habit, it’s much easier. Keep us posted!

  • nrhatch

    Good luck! When I get “serious” about shedding pounds, I jot down what I eat. I don’t tally up calories, or fat grams, or get tedious, I just record what I eat in a notebook. It helps me stay “honest” and track my progress.

    • ericjbaker

      Good idea. That’s similar to the Weight Watchers method, isn’t it? I don’t actually count calories, but I know what kinds of foods are calorie monsters and make sure to limit them and consume them only in the earlier part of the day.


  • Janna G. Noelle

    Wow, EJ – a double-header blog day! I would never shame you if you didn’t meet your goal, but do hope you make it. I used to be about 25 pounds heavier back in 2000. I was only 21 at the time and would get winded climbing two flights of stairs. So I decided it was time for a lifestyle change, and haven’t looked back since.

    That’s really the key to successful and permanent weight loss: changing your lifestyle. It helps to identify what your emotional food triggers are (i.e. whether you eat when you’re sad, bored, worried, etc) and also controlling portion sizes, which can be tough. Even today I often catch myself slipping with that one. You might want to try eating off of smaller plate. And not eating out too often; it’s kind of a joke Canadians have about Americans that when you go to a restaurant, you only need to order one plate between two people.

    • ericjbaker

      All wise comments. I’m pretty sure my night eating occurs in those pauses between activities (you know how I “execute” leisure time!). Like, I finished playing guitar and am about to commence a blog post. Let me mark the time boundary with 6 oreos.

      Portion control is pretty important as well. not just for the calories but because you train your stomach to be hungry whenever you don’t eat a giant meal. I’m slowly experiencing less hunger at night. :ast week i was going to bed starving despite having eaten a normal ( but portion controlled) dinner.

      • Janna G. Noelle

        Last week i was going to bed starving…
        Yes, that happens for a while until the stomach shrinks down and the body gets used functioning on fewer calories.

        It’s an unpleasant sensation, but necessary. I think that’s where a lot of people’s dieting efforts fail. It’s a natural instinct to respond to hunger by eating. But during this phase, one can’t really trust that feeling and instead has to rationally consider whether additional calories are truly needed.

        Slugging a huge glass of water can help alleviate feeling hungry (although it might get one up peeing in the middle of the night)!

  • livelytwist

    Common Eric, dance the weight away. Let’s go! Just Beat It, Just Beat It! 🙂

  • Yolanda M.

    Good luck Eric! as someone who LOVES food I know what it’s like to have to substitute some favourites for healthier options like milk chocolate for dark chocolate and a slice of cake for a handful of almonds. What has always worked for me is exercise. If I don’t exercise every day my thighs explode. Also if I can offer you anything it’s this: lose the word ‘diet’ -it’s a bad word. Your goal should never be ‘to lose weight’ but to ‘get fitter or healthier’ (it works like a charm).. power of the mind and all that…

  • Thea

    I run 30-60 minuets each day and follow a relatively healthy diet plan of my own (I still enjoy some sweets and fast food) and this has been enough for me to lose a lot of weight and sustain my current body. I feel that if you aren’t terribly obese, then the weight loss is pretty simple.

    Cheers and good luck Eric! 🙂

    • ericjbaker

      I have to take care with exercise because of a herniated disk. Strenuous hiking is ideal for me, though I’m going to run out of appropriate weather soon.If only I had room in this dinky apartment for a stair climber.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  • L. Marie

    You can do this!!! Good luck, Eric!

  • kriskkaria

    You can do it! I lost about 7lbs by counting calories and eating several smaller meals during the day. I really needed to lose 10lb but those last couple pounds just won’t come off yet.

  • Hollis Hildebrand-Mills

    Eric, you have my support! All those previous comments are amazingly good and supportive too! The 195 (Yay you lost 5 pounds!) pounds of dude will soon be 175 pounds of dude!

    I am still a smoker just not having a cigarette. I quit smoking not because it was ruining my health, but because it’s a pleasure and I was giving it up!

    They say reducing calories helps a person lose weight ( 70 per cent of weight loss ) not exercise.

    You can do it! You are determined. I know!!!

    • ericjbaker

      I think I’m actually follow your suggestion from a few weeks ago: Eat what thin people eat!

      My experience (this is not the first diet I’ve ever been on) aligns with what you wrote about diet changes being more important than exercise if the specific goal is weight loss. Exercise to me is “getting fit.” I’m slowly rolling more exercise into the routine. To much too soon and I’m starving all the time. Then I’ll eat more, etc.

      Thanks for the support.

      • Hollis Hildebrand-Mills

        🙂 I feel for you. I really do. Don’t go with the “lifestyle change” thing. Just be who you are. Glad I helped with the “eat what thin people eat” thing! It’s hard though, always looking over your shoulder to see what they are eating! JK. 🙂

  • Roy McCarthy

    My two cents Eric – fruit, veg, cut out bread and all other processed foods, limit alcohol. Essentials are a juicer, blender and wok. After far too many years I’m learning.

    • ericjbaker

      I feel like the fat feeds on processed food, don’t you? That is, the leaner one gets, the less appealing the processed food becomes because the rest of the body doesn’t want it. Cutting out bread altogether would be a bit too much torture and make life not worth living, but I don’t eat that much, and I rarely drink alcohol.

      Thanks for the suggestions, Roy! I have to bust out the blender more often.

  • Gry Ranfelt

    I agree with Roy. Blender, juicer, wok.
    Remember to keep the blood sugar steady.
    Try looking into crossfit. Get an elevating desk.
    Go for walks with friends instead of sitting down to drink coffee 🙂

  • Silver in the Barn

    My husband has just dropped fifteen very stubborn pounds. He ate one serving of whatever I prepared. Just one. He stopped eating desserts…period. And he stopped having a beer or two after work, limiting it to one or two on the weekends. He kicked up his exercise a bit but nothing extraordinary. And, voila, a pretty significant weight loss. Keep it simple, I think.

  • reneejohnsonwrites

    Losing weight is such a pain in the neck, and other places. But if you make the decision, it will happen. I think it is more about a change of mind, than a change of diet. Good luck!

  • Godless Cranium

    I wish you the best of luck, mate. Losing weight is hard. Putting it on is so much easier…and more enjoyable.

  • Sue Archer

    All the best to you, Eric! I must say that the best thing I have ever done is get a Fitbit (the Fitbit One). Knowing how many steps I take in a day has motivated me to do more, and walking is not intimidating exercise so it makes it easier to consistently achieve your goal. You don’t have to go crazy with it, just be steady. I’ve gradually lost nine pounds from doing my walking. And it’s something I feel like I will be able to stick to!

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