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  1. #1
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    Changing lifestyle= more cooking interest? for losing weight

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    This is just a casual observation:

    I tend to believe that to lose weight, keep a healthy weight and to have healthy lifestyle long term, does mean taking a greater interest in cooking and food in general. Not just mindless cooking or grocery buying without thinking.

    A woman at work is obese --she does need to lose over 70 lbs. or so. (A sister of mine lost 50 lbs. So I know what 50 extra lbs. looks like.) She has difficulty walking and does pant if one walks too quickly in the office with her. Once she fell down during the workplace fire drill, merely because of this walking difficulty. It upset her that she cried. (She is 50 yrs. old.)

    She has hinted that her weight problem is hereditary. Maybe. During our annual Christmas luncheon, she ordered what was probably perceived as healthy/yummy for her: a dinner size plate amount of...macaroni and cheese. This was at a beef, Canjun food type restaurant.

    For a potluck luncheon, she brought in a leafy salad with shredded cheese, etc. Hardly anyone touched it. During a conversation she declared to me loudly, that she didn't like cooking. Ok. (Sometimes people declare this to disassociate themselves from a domestic activity.) I only responded that I did stir fries while dearie was great at making up salads.

    Honest, she probably doesn't know/want to cook differently but maybe wants to or is trying to. I hope she is, for the latter.

    Most people I know who have maintained a healthy weight or have lost weight, do take an interest in their food-buying and cooking. I'm refering to people I've known for the past 3 decades or more.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  2. #2
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    We cannot assume what it would take for a particular person to lose weight and keep it off. The biological, psychological and cultural influences are complicated and intertwined. At her point in her life she may be doing the best she can. When I was 50 I was obese like her. I did the best I could at that point in my life.

    I still have no real interest in cooking.
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  3. #3
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    So was it exercise that helped your situation, goldfinch?

    I don't consider my mother much of a great cook. Just passable. I'm sure often she saw it as her duty.

    But I know she couldn't have passed the healthy foundation of weight (before some of us gained some unnecessary weight after leaving home), to her 6 children, it weren't for her taking an active interest in how she cooked and the quality/type of food she was using. She and my father sometimes discussed it. They also critiqued some of the food that they saw in restaurants. (My father was a restaurant cook.) I (or we) learned and still use some of those healthier cooking techniques.

    My mother could lose 30 lbs. or so. And she knows this but knows it's due to her motivation. None of us tell her so. There's no point when already she tries for other areas of her health --drastic reduction in salt-intake (to deal with her 20 yr. problem of hypertension/high blood pressure), she continues to skim fat off food (last 40 yrs.). And now, that my father has cancer, it's probably reinforced all these good cooking techniques. I doubt she's thinking of her weight, more worried about losing a husband.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 01-25-2013 at 04:38 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  4. #4
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    I'll preface this with that this is an issue I'm sensitive about (particularly after a very frustrating visit to an endocrinologist), so I might be reading too much into your post...

    It seems to me like this post is VERY full of judgment for which you have absolutely no basis. It's possible that the "macaroni and cheese" was a special occasion food for her (it WAS a holiday luncheon), and not what she normally eats. Not sure what was wrong with her salad (other than, but for the cheese, greens usually aren't unhealthy). You have no idea what she does or doesn't want to do (heck, she might make herself cook healthy food, but not like to), or what might be the source of her weight problem. You also have no idea what causes her joint issues.

    I'll grant you that most people don't know what healthy food looks like, and are absolutely not willing to put in the time to make sure they eat healthily or exercise. But - that's not 100% true. I cook extremely healthy food most of the time. I occasionally splurge. I have a weight problem. I have seen nutritionists with food logs, and MD's with exercise logs. I do have a thyroid problem that is still an issue and is likely part of the problem. I am so tired of people rolling their eyes at me the one time in a week or 2 that I might have a small frozen yogurt, or some other splurge. They judge, and it's not appreciated. They don't have all of the information, and yet they feel free to pass judgment and sometimes make comments. Please, please think about the judgments you are making. While it's certainly unlikely your coworker reads TE, I bet that some of your judgments come across in your interactions with her.

    Start a discussion of the time required to cook and eat healthily (and exercise) if you want - heck, I'd love some lunch suggestions that pack easily. But, please, please don't judge another person to make your point. It's not necessary, and it might be hurtful.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  5. #5
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    Blueberry, I gave the example of my mother..someone who tries in her own way at least partially for herself, but also for 7 other people. It is also a situation where we're all awfully glad none of us have to tell our parents how to cook healthy. Because they (well, more my mother. Father just helps out in kitchen/household) have been ...for the past few decades. Thank goodness. I see women, like my mother, who have had many children --6-- very differently. Pregnant 6 times can make weight management a challenge.

    Perhaps I may sound judgemental. But most likely she,the employee is harsh ....to herself. She has cried (for other reasons) at work. There's a ton of things that happen with a person that we cannot know. You're right. (And she is a supervisor so I wish she would tone down her swearing on the job.)
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  6. #6
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    Shootingstar - I was responding to your initial post. I hadn't yet seen the post about your mother. It sounds like your parents had a very different lifestyle from what many people face (both working full time, with long commutes). Nevertheless, I'm glad she cooks healthy food and that you learned that from her. I was not that fortunate, but budget and health have motivated by DH and I to learn to cook healthy food.

    I think the employee's treatment of herself is completely separate from issues of how others perceive her, and somewhat irrelevant. But, any negative judgments she detects in others likely feed into her harsh treatment of herself. Most people don't want to be fat - and they don't want to be reminded that others think they're fat and judge them on that basis. There are all sorts of studies out there about how (particularly women) earn less on average and are promoted less on average if they're overweight because people perceive them as lacking self control. Here is one article, and here is another. It is probably called to her attention more than you think.

    The swearing on the job is an entirely different issue, and one that I expect could be addressed with a well timed and respectful conversation.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    So was it exercise that helped your situation, goldfinch?
    One day it was the right day to eat less. And so was the next day, and the next. The exercise came on gradually. At first it was hard to exercise, walking hurt my back and biking on a bike that didn't fit me was hard But, success led to more success. I will say that it is extraordinarily difficult to keep off the weight. I am driven to eat more. I am hungry. Here is where the exercise helps. I could lose weight without exercise but I can't keep it off without exercise.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
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    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
    But, any negative judgments she detects in others likely feed into her harsh treatment of herself. Most people don't want to be fat - and they don't want to be reminded that others think they're fat and judge them on that basis. There are all sorts of studies out there about how (particularly women) earn less on average and are promoted less on average if they're overweight because people perceive them as lacking self control. Here is one article, and here is another. It is probably called to her attention more than you think.
    So true. I know I had employees that thought less of me because of my weight. I am sure I made less money because of how I looked. A male lawyer even once told me that I would have to work harder to make up for the fact I was unattractive.

    People think it is a lack of will, a character flaw to be fat. They are making a moral judgment.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
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    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  9. #9
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    I think there probably is a correlation between healthy eating and interest in food, but I would be very careful about making too much of it. The opposite may just as well be true, many cooks and other people who are passionate about good food have trouble keeping their weight down. I don't like cooking either, nor does my dh, but no-one will judge us because I'm fairly athletic. and he's skinny. We do cook, because a healthy diet is important to us, but spending free time cooking for the fun of it or to try out new recipes is to me a massive waste of time.

    I have a co-worker who is obese, and I know she has been working hard to control her weight, among other things she's been to a "fat camp" for several weeks. I notice that she very rarely eats with the rest of us, and I find that sad. On Fridays we have an extra long lunch break together, someone brings cake, and we have a wine lottery. She's never there. I guess she just gets tired and sensitive about not being able to eat cake like the rest of us without someone thinking "she really could do without". She's bright, a hard worker and a nice woman, and I wish she didn't have to feel this way. At work she should be judged solely on how she works.
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  10. #10
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    She's probably staying away from the lunches because she doesn't want to be tempted by the food, more than anything else. I do the same thing. I get comments when I bring my own food to lunch at work meetings that have very unhealthy foods.

  11. #11
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    No, you see we all bring our own food all the time, we just eat together on Fridays. But there is cake there too.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    She's probably staying away from the lunches because she doesn't want to be tempted by the food, more than anything else. I do the same thing. I get comments when I bring my own food to lunch at work meetings that have very unhealthy foods.
    I used to stay away when I first started my fitness journey 3.5 years or so ago. I now attend but I bring my own food - especially for staff birthday parties. Occasionally I make them cookies since they love them so much - feels odd to make something I won't eat but if it is a pitch-in/potluck I typically take something that I will eat.

  13. #13
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    I'm so glad this discussion was started by someone other than me. I've maintained my weight my entire life and "hate" to cook. My SO does all the grocery shopping and cooking. What is on my mind, though, is a recent observation that I had with 3 overweight friends and their relationship with food.

    Two of the women are on weight watchers and go to the meetings for weigh ins. One has been going for several years has lost weight. The other started in January. The third mentioned the on-line website as more suitable for her. I've known these women for years and have watched them "pack on the pounds". Every year they come for a visit and every year (except) for 1 they seem to weigh more.

    When we get together for dinner they cook very healthy dinners except there is also the snacks before dinner, alcohol and dessert. I don't pay attention to what they eat and I can't give advice but at the gathering this week all the talk was about weight watchers and "points" so I started paying attention. This is what I observed. They all munched on the junk before dinner. We had salmon for dinner and serving sizes were way out of proportion. I halved the smallest piece. There was a very good salad and vegetables. Dessert was "to die for" according to the woman who made it but the serving size was double what it should have been. That was ok because it was made with "fake" sugar, but it certainly wasn't calorie free. The "fake" sugar spoiled the taste for me but everyone else raved about it. Later, she was telling the other women how many "points" the dessert was.

    As for the alcohol, none of these women considered the calories in the alcohol they were drinking. The group is here to ski and they are on vacation. I know one goes to the bar after skiing so she starts drinking around 3 pm., drinks before and after dinner. The other 2 often do the same but I don't know their habits in the evening. This evening they all had wine starting when they arrived at 6 and until we broke up at 10.

    I know that this doesn't answer any questions about being over weight but it shed some light on the relationship these women have with food and alcohol.
    Last edited by Kathi; 01-26-2013 at 08:43 AM.

  14. #14
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    Thank you, Blueberry.
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  15. #15
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    Another employee within the same work group, has lost 30 lbs. She does occasionally mention about her weight loss efforts to some of us. Also her off and on affair with jogging to help her. She recently told me of her concern over her uncle who was obese and already had 3 heart attacks. We talked about the stress of his spoiled adult children who expect money from him.... That's really hard.

    For another employer, for 7 years I worked with another woman worked side by side with me. (I hired this person.) Yes, she was overweight but she was totally different....she had a personality and charisma that was a magnet for other employees who would drop by to chat up. She was the life of various social circles with other employees and acted naturally like a social leader. Yes, she was aware of her weight and knew the consequences: she was a nurse before switching careers. She was outspoken but in a cheery way. Yes, she had a healthy interest in food but not without going overboard...not noticeable to others. And if she did, no one, who was her friend, even cared. She was such an interesting person (multi-lingual, German, French), worked in Switzerland for a few years, etc.

    I guess what I'm trying to say: no matter what other impressions people might impose on you, it's your own self-worth and how you express in attitude to others.
    This is not a pat answer: because other people live with mistaken judgements from other strangers, not about weight, but about race.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

 

 

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