Monday, July 18, 2011

The More I Read...

The more I read about weight, be it the writings of bariatric experts, the fat acceptance blogosphere, weight loss "champions", weight loss maintainers, weight loss/gain strugglers, nutritionists, doctors, low carbers, intuitive eaters...the more I realize that there is absolutely no single answer to the conundrum of weight.

Personally, I have not found the holy grail of weight loss. I have, on the other hand, stabilized my weight at a level which is higher than 20 years ago and somewhat lower than five years ago. My weight varies within a five-pound range. Through trial and error (tempered by the inability to try out certain approaches due to physical limitations), I think that I have a fairly good idea of how my body functions and what I can and cannot ask of myself on both a physical and a psychological level.

The most important word in the above paragraph is "my", as in: my body. I no longer presume to tell anyone what's good or bad for them or what really works as opposed to what doesn't. I know only one thing: there are no cut and dry answers.

It is within this spirit that I recommend you read the following article: Don't Blame Obesity on Carbohydrates, by nutritionist Andy Bellatti on his blog, Small Bites. If you have the time and energy, read the comments too. Not everyone agrees with what he says.

The title of the blog post puts Bellatti squarely at odds with the low carb camp of Gary Taubes and company. Personally, I found the article interesting and I admit that it fits with my particular philosophy, namely that we cannot blame someone's weight on one single reason. As an intuitive eater, I also appreciate that Bellatti stresses healthy foods from all categories rather than demonizing a whole slew of foods including oatmeal, potatoes and strawberries (but NOT including mass-produced sweets made with refined flour or sugar-laden soft drinks, for instance).

I am not presenting this article as a "told ya so". Rather, I think it is an interesting starting point for discussion. I know of successful low carbers as well as people who have found this approach totally untenable in the long term. Once again, the bottom line is that there is no single right answer for everyone.


  1. There was a time when I was a very stubborn closed minded individual---thinking that my way WAS the way. But I've been schooled--enlightened--given an enhanced understanding of the various elements that contribute to individual people---and my conclusion is very different than even a year ago. We each have different habits, behaviors, struggles, history, psychology---so, it's only natural to realize---what works for me, may not be something another could navigate. We're each unique---bound by our individual truths---and we each must confront our own truths in whatever way will set us free.

  2. Your link to Andy Bellati's article didn't work for me, but I found it. Very interesting. And I certainly agree there is no single right answer for everyone.

    In reading blogs I have come across many who insist there is only "ONE WAY" that will work for everyone. I enjoy reading them anyway, because I am fascinated by people who have very strong opinions.

  3. Nice to hear from you, Sean and Val. Your opinions are always valued and appreciated!

    BTW, thanks for the heads-up about the link. It`s fixed now.

  4. Well, of course not. We're not all the same genetically, we don't all like the same food, live the same lifestyle. Unlike Kimberley, I don't read these extremist blogs. I'm not comfortable with any kind of fundie, whether religious, nutritious, or anything else, even if we share the same views. You might enjoy a recent blog post on Body Recomposition, I'd post the link but it would likely get blocked, but it was wrt embracing the middle, and how many people are so loathe to do it.

  5. Yeah, we each find what seems to fit best with our own needs and our lives. What started out for me as a low carb style of eating has become more flexible in terms of personal preferences for fruits (rather than grains) and amounts. I like to remain open, to experiment and to follow my intuition. More than a change in eating, I have drifted toward a change in thinking and feeling and attending to what's happening to me in terms of my shifting states or forms of consciousness--a weird thing to explain to folks who ask me "so, how did you lose all that weight?" I kind of hate that i shrug and say, "Diet and exercise" because that's so shallow and completely misleading. If I were to answer, "I've had to change the way I think and experience almost everything about reality," well, that would be the set-up for a conversation that 99 times out of 100 would go no where. Fast. Plus I don't think my experience can predict anyone else's experience. I support FA and HEAS, but I also support people's choices to experiment with moving towards increased emancipation--for some people that will result in learning to love and accept their current weight or a higher weight, for instance. For me it has thus far apparently resulted in weight loss and discovery of a MUCH larger inner self--like removing censorship of my mind...Not often a pretty sight, and not for everyone to witness or attempt.

  6. I believe in healthy eating and not in totally eliminating or blaming certain foods. I wanted to tell you that I thought your comment on my latest blog post was very smart and thoughtful.

  7. Thanks for your comments Julie, Hopeful and Diane.

    And thank you Diane for your opinion of my latest comment! I actually added something else to the "gazelle" debate just now!

  8. Don't have time to read the link at the moment, but I'll be baaaaack ;-) !

    Speaking only for myself, it seems that simple sugars ARE causing me some GI issues, so "lower-carb" may be MY path...