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My expert opinion

It’s weird to think that I’ve somehow become a weight loss expert in the past two years. Or I’ve at least fooled people into thinking I’m one since I was interviewed by a Weight Loss Tips site this week. I’m also going to a focus group tomorrow for a local college student’s group project on determining how to reduce obesity in Central Indiana, even though I have no idea how to reduce obesity in Central Indiana. Perhaps we can kidnap fat people off of the street, throw them in the back of an unmarked van and dump them in Ohio? We’ll take away their wallets and driver’s licenses so they can’t make their way back home. That would solve Indiana’s problem! It’s like how the trapper caught a raccoon in our crawlspace and relocated it to another county.

Anyone got any real ideas on that one? All I can think of is the studies that say if you make stairwells prettier more people will use them and that people move around more at work if they wear casual clothes. The problem is that there isn’t just one thing you can do to prevent obesity. It’s caused by a lot of things, a conspiracy of our environment that’s full of roads that aren’t safe to walk on, a lack of cooking skills and a prevalence of fast food restaurants, and lives that just don’t require us to move around.

You can’t force someone to start watching what they eat and move their butt more. We can maybe trick them into taking the stairs from time to time. Perhaps we should sabotage all the city’s elevators? Wasn’t that a plot thread in that Hugh Jackman and Meg Ryan movie, Kate and Leopold? That’s it! We’ll invent a time machine and kill the inventor of the elevator. No more fat people! There is no problem a time machine can’t solve.

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13 Comments

Bree • December 8, 2006 at 11:15 am

Hi, my comment doesn’t have to do with this post, but I was just curious as to when you might post a new pic. You’ve done so well! Congrats.

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R • December 8, 2006 at 11:40 am

Workplace gyms rock! Not only does it mean that I don’t have to commute to the gym, but it means that I can socialize over the treadmill instead of over lunch. It displaces eating.

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Annie • December 8, 2006 at 11:46 am

I would say the best way is through education on the problem. So many people really do not realize how bad the way they eat is for them. They were brought up believing the foods they eat are health, and for people that were extremely active as our ancestors were…well that amount of fat and food might have been okay. But this is not the case for us. I figure this holds true all over the world.

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dg • December 8, 2006 at 3:01 pm

you’re so right… so many contributing reasons, and no easy solutions.

i loved your bit on WL Tips, and the photo is amazing… you look amazing, and sooo tiny :)

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K • December 8, 2006 at 4:15 pm

I’m not selling this as a complete solution, but I was recently involved with a running group at work, which seemed to have encouraged quite a lot of people with no previous experience to give running a try (and to make real improvements in quite a short time). It certainly made it easier for me to make time for running – I wouldn’t have made time to go at lunchtime if I’d been doing it alone.

There could be a system which rewards employers who provide healthy food in the canteen, and who set up workplace gyms / running clubs / social activities involving exercise.

You’re right, you can’t force people. But you can make the opportunities available – and in a time-poor society, it might make a noticeable difference.

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N • December 8, 2006 at 6:04 pm

Hi Pasta Queen :)

How are you? You are soooo funny. And yes, you have succeeded in making me laugh and keeping me interested. Anyone out there on diaryland or anyone in general, I just started a journal. I’m not good with graphics/programming but I am going to try to learn. Please read please please! I need people!

http://sizenothing.diaryland.com/index.html

Btw.. this week I dressed casual (because I work at a university and it’s finals week) and I walked around A LOT more!

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Rosemary Grace • December 8, 2006 at 6:11 pm

Educaton, environment, short-term-gratification culture that’s all about things and surfaces and nothing about what’s required to obtain these shiny things (I think high credit debt is a related symptom of the same group of problems in our society: some people eat without thinking of consequenses, some people shop without thinking if they can afford it).

I like the idea of making stairwells more attractive. One building I frequent has a boring stairwell on one end, and one with groovy port-hole style windows on the other end, I try to take that stairwell. The casual clothes hting is so true. If I’m dressed spiffy for a date after work, especially if I’m wearing less comfy shoes, I take the elvator, if I’m in my normal jeans and sneakers, I’m more likely to take the stairs.

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Anabell • December 8, 2006 at 6:39 pm

I think recognizing that there are a lot of reasons to be fat is really important. Specially for professionals treating fat people.

I mean, everybody knows on a concious level that fatness it’s not just about eating too much but in the end almost averyone, including professionals, jumps to the conclusion that a person is fat because is lazy, ignorant or just has no willpower.

And I’m not talking just about the genetical aspects of fatness because that always starts a controversy but the psychological aspects too.

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Samiam • December 8, 2006 at 7:22 pm

What a fun opportunity! I agree that eduacation is the key. The people that end up losing weight are the ones that really, really want it(as we all know!). People need to be better educated about portion size, nutrition, and how to watch for emotional based eating. I’ve just recently started to really figure that out. When you go to restraunts one entree is enough food for 2-3 people! Most people have no idea of how many calories they are consuming, and would be shocked if they found out. And after all when it boils down to it weight loss is expending more calories than you consume!

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livingrainbowcolor • December 9, 2006 at 3:16 am

More interesting stairwells are a great idea! Maybe we should require all Starbucks to be located at the top floor of a building, in the stairwell farthest from any elevator.

The building where I work has the smokers’ section in one specific stairwell, where it can be better ventilated.

LOL. Actually, the straightest path to the cafeteria is through the smokers’ stairwell. So if you want a healthy way to the cafeteria, you have to walk further.

But, back to real suggestions. The issue with stairs is they cost about 3.6 calories per pound to climb. That’s a pretty big step(pun intended).

For people to move from the couch potato state to serious stair climbing, they have to believe it’s both possible to do and they will get something out of it. Start more slowly. Get people walking the beautiful Indiana countryside. When they’ve built up enough strength, then they will take more stairs on their own. Eventually they’ll recognize that they are willing to go up 3 flights for that double chocolate almond frappucininnyko, or whatever the damn things are called.

And require food advertising to have warning messages like cigarette ads had before they were banned. Maybe have to list calories per extra value meal.

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livingrainbowcolor • December 9, 2006 at 3:19 am

Oops. A slight addition. That’s 3.6 calories per pound PER HOUR to climb stairs.

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Mark • December 9, 2006 at 9:58 am

I’m pretty sure that that “reduced obese” theory is considered a myth by mainstream scientists. I assume you mean the thing about a permanently more efficient metabolism? That one researcher they all quote over at 3FatChicks is kind of an outlier.

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ell • December 9, 2006 at 10:56 am

Great photo of you, btw. You look sassy and happy. Way to go!

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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