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On weight loss. 
16th-Oct-2008 10:47 am
lotr, pretty
This morning an article in the Metro someone was reading caught my eye - For the life of me I can't remember what it was, but I'm sure you'll forgive me when I explain what happened next.

Inspired to read the article, I reached for the nearest available newspaper in order to find it. The paper in question was open to an article on the horrible state of binge drinking teenage girls today and what it was doing to our country. It was then I realised I'd accidentally picked up the Daily Mail. Horrified, I had to carry on reading, because when you've got a Daily Male in your hand, it's hard not to, sometimes.

One article caught my eye as pointedly typical Mail reporting, and so much so that even the journalist who wrote it was ashamed to put his name on, and the byline just read Daily Mail Reporter. Did you know that a woman's weight is intricately tied to her relationship happiness? Of course you did, because the only two things any woman cares about are a) her weight and b) her man.

It was amazing. Cause apparently women lose weight to impress their new man,then put it on as they relax, then lose it dramatically when they get married, then put in on with kids (no shit) then lose it again when their self respect returns. The 'study' was made by a slimming site, so I'd dismiss it as bollocks, except it was fascinating. And sadly I don't have enough faith in the majority of patriarchy-trained women to completely dismiss it as bullshit. It showed women crash dieting to impress men, relaxing as they became happy, crashing again for the most stressful event of their life, relaxing with other priorities, then when they have time to think of themselves again, it's in order to diet again. Honestly? Though I feel I have a pretty healthy relationship with my body image, I know most women don't, and relationships with other people - of which your life partner is often the most important - is often key to how you see yourself. How many people reading this doesn't know a married woman who developed an eating disorder in the run up to her wedding?

I could have titled the article Heterosexuality is the root cause of eating disorders. I wouldn't, because I happen to think that phrasing it like that would be helpful. But it was an interesting, if completely stupid, study. Shame the Mail missed the point.

See also this video, linked by luciusmalfoy

On a related subject - healthy weight loss - Mitch Benn looks remarkably thinner than when I last saw him on the Now Show*, and the act was amazing (he also said that we were the best audience - we rock!) It is, I've discovered, impossible to be in a bad mood after seeing Mitch pretending to sulk inside a Dalek.

So to round of the post on a happy note, have some Shakespeare:

*I have special radio-seeing eyes. Beware. Or maybe I should have phrased that at the Now Show? I get confused.
(Deleted comment)
16th-Oct-2008 10:00 am (UTC)
Mitch Benn is the greastest thing ever.

(More videos)
16th-Oct-2008 09:54 am (UTC)
Cause apparently women lose weight to impress their new man,then put it on as they relax, then lose it dramatically when they get married, then put in on with kids (no shit) then lose it again when their self respect returns

LOL. Someone needs to tell them I lost the most weight at one of the most painful times of my life.

I was happier as a fatty.
16th-Oct-2008 09:59 am (UTC)
Of course you did! Because stress affects eating and metabolism and causes weight change. I put on weight when I'm depressed, even though I also don't eat at those times.

I'd like to see if someone can figure out how to decide if happiness causes a healthy BMI, instead of the other way around, as it's often shown.

(Mind, mood and - well, anything it affects is probably a reciprocal relationship)
16th-Oct-2008 10:03 am (UTC)
Well yes, though I was kind of giving the article the V sign as they seem to think a thin women=a happy woman. I got so scared when I lost that weight. I thought it wasn't going to stop. And I ate loads!
16th-Oct-2008 10:25 am (UTC)
*hugs you*

To be fair, they didn't expressly say that - because the two times of weight gain were what I'd call the happy times - the comfort of a developing relationship and the growth of a family, but what do I know?
16th-Oct-2008 10:27 am (UTC)

No worries, I was just focusing on this part: then lose it again when their self respect returns

To me self respect would imply happiness.

16th-Oct-2008 10:32 am (UTC)
Yeah, I was paraphrasing fromthe assumptions I make of their assumptions. But yeah, that idea was there, and definitely something I ascribe to the mindset.

(of course, many women do start taking up a more active lifestyle when the kids grow up: there was no assumption about which was the healthy situation, but I think dramatic weight change itself is unhealthy, not the weight itself.)
16th-Oct-2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
You know if they did it properly, something like that could be a fascinating thing to do over 20-odd years. You could follow people through puberty and adulthood, get them to take a basic questionnaire about their general mental state every 3-6 months, send in weight reports every so often, and produce lots of graphs.

You might find all sorts of interesting results. It wouldn't surprise me that for a lot of people their weight didn't change that much at all, but their perception did. Some sort of blind-weighing would be interesting- where the subject does the questionnaires, but doesn't know how much they actually weigh.

I'm not sure how you could show whether BMI is the result of happiness, but you might be able to do it if you took enough measurements regularly enough. But even then the whole thing is massively interconnected that teasing out any cause-and-effect relationships are going to be difficult. Mood affects diet, which affects BMI which affects stress and Mind, which affects stress and BMI, which affect mood, which... I get a headache just thinking about it.
16th-Oct-2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
*nodnods* yeah cause and effect would be weird, but - where there are outside causes to affect happiness that wouldn't necessarily directly cause weight change, you could see if weight did change. But I'd like to see actual studies, but something done by a 'slimming website', y'know?

Mind, what I really want is for everyone to have no body image issues, and be motivated by health only.
16th-Oct-2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
Its sad that nearly everything that gets published like this has the potential to be absolutely fascinating, tell us some very interesting things about psychology, society and physiology. And yet the only "research" that is done is this sort of tosh. If they'd done it properly the Durham Fish Oil "Trial" could have actually told us an awful lot about whether these supplements are any good. But no. That would actually involve thinking about things, and doing them properly.
16th-Oct-2008 10:46 am (UTC)
Politically incorrect patriarchal comment to follow (shield your eyes!):

Me & my mate Pat always say we win either way; when our wives sometimes get larger, certain portions of their physique that we admire also get larger; and when our wives sometimes get slimmer, we can con them into donning more revealing clothing. >:-)
16th-Oct-2008 12:43 pm (UTC)
This just in. New study shows crappy writing linked to the Daily Mail.
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