Weekly(?) Weigh In: My Weight Gain May Not Be My Fault… And Mostly I Blame Media

As usual, it’s been weeks…. make that a month… since my last “weekly” weigh in. Clearly, I need to change the title of my updates! Maybe I need to not have a regular update at all. Maybe I need to be more unscheduled (I always say I’m a “free spirit” after all!), and just say what I have to say, when I have to say it. It was supposed to be my little check-in but maybe it’s not doing it’s job.

So let’s be honest, I’m completely unreliable as far as when my next blog post is, when my next tweet is, when my next instagram photo is, when next facebook status update is, when my next fourSquare check in is, etc. etc, etc. I’m so sorry!!! Not really. I’m just human. I’m not perfect. I say it all the time on this blog. And I hope that is what people appreciate about me and keeps you coming back.

In the meantime, I will say that I am still struggling. I’m not going to give you an update of my weight loss or gain. What I will tell you is that I believe my recent struggles have not entirely been my fault. I do accept ownership of where I have failed, but there are a few things that have come to light recently:

1) Medication. If you’ve been a reader here, you know I had some medical issues this year that I chose not to talk about. I decided to keep it private. I may be speaking about it in the near future in the hopes it helps others. But it turns out the medication I was put on may have contributed to my weight gain. I have now gone off of it, but it can take months before my body is regulated.

2) Low Thyroid. It can eff you up! This is one crazy hormone! I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism (low thyroid) about 3 years ago. I’ve been on medication ever since, and I have to say that I am sure it helped me in my weight loss. As of my last physical late November, it turns out my thyroid has plummeted to the lowest it’s ever been. Low thyroid causes weight gain and fatigue, among other things, and I plan to dedicate an entire post in the future about what has happened to me and how it can seriously affect your weight and health. But at this point in time, we are still working on re-adjusting my medication, which again, can take months to correct.

3) Media. Yep, media. Sadly, I am a part of media. I was in Weight Watchers ads. But they were not allowed to touch up our photos and actually had to get a Notary Public to sign that we actually weighed what we said (Yes, we had to weigh in!) as a part of the Federal Trade Commission’s Truth in Advertising. In fact, I have to put disclaimers on my blog saying there are advertisements that I don’t necessarily endorse and let you know when I was given something for free to review, etc. due to the same polices. (But know that I keep my opinions real when I write, the ads just pay the bills!) I am glad I was convinced by Weight Watchers media to give it a try, but there seems to be much more pervasive media that hurts us. What I am talking about is how we are bombarded with unrealistic images of the ideal woman and the countless number of celebrities who get amazingly skinny just weeks after having a baby. We feel like failures because we can’t do it that fast and we can’t achieve that ideal. At least I do, and I get spun in the other direction. I. Give. Up. To get a better idea of what I am talking about as far as media, check this out… maybe you’ve seen this floating around facebook via upworthy…

5 Minutes Of What The Media Actually Does To Women ~ True fact: Almost 100% of the images you see of models and celebrities are altered.
Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women Trailer with Jean Kilbourne

I’d like to take it a step further and ask you to watch this one:

A Glimpse At How The Media Treated Women This Year Is A Look At Way Too Many Cringe-Worthy Moments ~ OK, all together now: Let’s tune in when women are being respected and tune out when they’re not. Our actions will demonstrate that anything other than equality is unacceptable.
How the Media Failed Women in 2013

People usually think this causes women to be bulimic, or anorexic, or any other myriad of eating disorders, which are horrible diseases and not healthy at all. But as much as there are women dying to be that skinny, there are women like me, who just give up because that’s NOT POSSIBLE. I got pretty skinny, close to the bottom of the normal weight range for my height, and I wanted to be skinnier like those images. And now I chastise myself for not being able to keep up with that ideal, so I give up. I give up even when all my blood work comes back normal (except my thyroid!) meaning I am actually still healthy, and I am just teetering at the top of the healthy weight range. It should be okay, but for some reason it’s not in my mind, and I give up. We live in a world of extremes, where we can get anything we want, which makes it so hard to maintain a healthy weight, in my humble opinion.

Not to mention these videos also shed light on the fact that women are still not held as equals. I think it’s even harder for a women. It’s actually okay for men to be overweight. How many sitcoms are there with beautiful skinny women and overweight men? I’m not gonna lie, a man with six pack abs is nice to look at, but when it comes down to it, I don’t really care about that. It’s about health. It’s about love. It’s about acceptance.

There’s still a great divide in the genders. And sadly, we have it pretty good here in the US. Women in third world countries still have it so much worse. And that is why I am involved with an amazing grassroots organization called Dining For Women. I love it so much. I’ve met my best friends through this group, and I’ve learned so much about the world and the plight of women. It’s just one more way you can help raise a worldwide culture that treats women respectfully, yet in a fun and meaningful way. When the annual conference was planned for Atlanta in 2010,  I was on the marketing and media committee (funny, huh!), I did a post on the Dining for Women blog on the keynote speaker, the inspiring Sondra Hardy-Shaw, who then reposted my thoughts on one of her blogs, and I did a song and video for the closing…

Seriously, if this organization interests you at all, there is so much more to tell. But I am not posting it here to get you to contribute or join or what ever. I just realized how much it relates to the subject that so plagues me, even in a “first world” country. I am not here to “preach.” I’m just trying to shed light on some things that I think we can all relate to in our journeys.

So how do you feel about images of women in the media? How does it affect you? Does it affect your weight loss or healthy living efforts?

  1. fiona maclean, 26 December, 2013

    I’m a fellow thyroid sufferer. I feel your pain, people just think I’m exaggarating if I claim my weight problem is connected with the thyroid. Re: Female imagery, I think it’s a double edged sword. It’s a shame we can’t be balanced and show healthy women! But showing ‘curvy’ women who are clearly overweight is actually a negative message for me.
    fiona maclean recently posted..Rogan Josh from Revival Bootcamp – 5:2 Diet Curry RecipeMy Profile

  2. DivaonaDiet, 26 December, 2013

    I am still struggling with straightening out the thyroid. :( Glad you understand. It can be a beast! Not to mention the cold weather keeping me from running and the holiday foods! I agree too that applauding women in the media who are unhealthily overweight is not the way to go either… we just need a happy medium, but unfortunately we are just not in that society it seems!

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