Thursday, January 18, 2007

Are you Idol-ing?

I was one of the 37 million who couldn't look away from the trainwreck that was the two-night, four-hour American Idol premiere. Actually it was more background noise than anything else, as I worked on the latest knitting project. Said project needs to remain a secret; those who are to eventually receive it occasionally check up on me here.

But seriously, some of the people who audition on AI surely were set up to do so, don't you think? I can see it now: a dimly lit bar, too many beers, karaoke night and voila! Your friends have convinced you you're the next Chris Daughtry [who didn't win last year, but should have] and you must show up for the cattle call.

Do your friends and family offer you false encouragement regarding your weight loss effort? On the rare occasion when someone comments on my looks, I hear how well I'm doing and how great I look. I will admit to "doing well," if that means following a food plan and exercising consistently. But my mirror doesn't say I look great, and neither does the scale. They are as honest as the day is long. It's their job to be honest and they both tell me I still have 30 pounds to go, now go work out already!

These tools don't care how I feel. They're not concerned at all if I'm tired or discouraged or bored or fed up or, um, did I mention discouraged? They just provide data. It's up to me to do the work that will, eventually, pleaseGodplease, affect the data in a meaningful way.

It's up to me to accept their assessment realistically. The number on the scale, the number of steps at the end of the day, the calories burned and the miles run and the minutes logged – all those figures will, eventually, add up to improved performance, pounds lost and different data.

I'm not a robot, and my emotions sometimes get in the way of reality. But I'm mostly positive about the somewhat negative data I've been seeing lately. I've read countless times that you should have something other than an ideal weight for a goal. You know: pick a dress or pants size you'd like to get into or lose enough weight so you can wear your wedding ring again.

Or sign up for a half-marathon. Heh. No one encouraged me to do that; it was something I'd wondered about and wished I could do, but I didn't discuss it with anyone before I registered. None of my rowdy friends set me up, and my pep squad grows with each new person who learns of my goal.

One hundred days until race day.


Lori said...

Actually if you go to the Washington Post online, there's a writer, Lisa de Moraes who writes a TV column AND she was blogging AI. Very snarky and funny. The talent we're seeing is the best and the worst. The medium talent is not being seen.

Your post yesterday sort goes hand in hand with AI. It's nice to get compliments and encouragement but those numbers, pant sizes, calories, etc. are objective facts, give or take. (But encouragement is always needed to get through the rough spots.)

You have to wonder about the false encouragement some of those singers got from friends and families and then have decide to go and face the "objective" opinion of Simon and Crew.

There should be a happy medium between realistic encouragement and encouraging delusional thinking (esp. with singing!).

(I have to say, at least at WW weigh-ins, we don't have massive meltdowns like those on AI. OTOH, if our leaders were like Simon, we might!)

Vickie said...

Janice Taylor
Our Lady of Weight Loss
Is on Discovery Health
TONIGHT at 9:30pm
(Check local listing to confirm time zones)

denise said...

Yes, I have to admit, I do love a good train wreck. And, like you, Ms. SK, I was half watching while I knitted...right up until...gasp!...I came up on a knot in my yarn. I had no idea that a full skein could be made of more than one length of yarn. It brought my knitting to a halt - but not my watching of AI.

I have to say I thought some of last night’s show was unnecessarily rude. I mean it's o.k. to make snide comments about what someone is wearing or their hair style or even their singing - all of which are things they can change - or in the case of singing something they chose to put out there for critique. But to make comments about people's "buggy eyes" or other features that they really can't help, is just plain mean! That's when AI can actually make me sad...and yet, I watch it anyway.

But back to the knitting, I've received email instructions on how to handle the two yarn end issue, and may give it a try tonight. Just can't quite imagine how it's not going to show, but I know lots of projects call for yarn changes, so there has to be a way for it to work.

The whole thing about people being encouraging when you're losing weight is a big struggle for me. I was born a cynic...or maybe I literally grew into it. I always look for motivation behind what someone says and often decide for myself that they are not sincere (when they say something good) or have some ulterior motive. Let's just say taking a compliment is tough. Of course these days I don't need to worry about that. Despite the inspiration I find in these blogs, I'm steadily regaining. Today I feel like an overstuffed sausage - YUCK!

Last but not least in today’s rambling, I don’t often disagree with what you write, but I do have to take a strong stance against your characterization of the mirror as a tool that is as honest as the day is long. There is no greater magician that the mirror. It can work for you or against you, but I think it rarely tells the truth! Put your faith in the numbers on the scale or the size of the pants if you must, but don’t rely on the mirror as a measuring tool!

And that's my 2+ cents worth!

Anne M. said...

I watched the train wreck and was made at myself for doing it because it was entertaining and painful and humiliating. I could see myself in those people who went in with high hopes and false ideas of talent only to be smashed down by a few words from Simon.

But there is a difference between a friend telling me I sing well and that same person telling me I sing well enough to be on "Idol" (which I don't). And a difference between saying "You look great" (compared with what you looked like before, you're looking awesome) and "You look okay but you need to lose another 30 lbs."

We hear what we want to hear. We need to be realistic with our friends and with ourselves but we also need to honor how far we've come, even if there's still a way to go on the journey.

Anonymous said...

I have never watched AI. I guess my SO and I are the only folks in America who don't. (I don't have to watch it because everyone else talks about it.)I guess I won't wver because the comments made are just mean for mean's sake. Why is it all right for a woman to be told she's too fat while a guy isn't told that same thing? I'm kinda proud of Jennifer Hudson - yes she's big, yes she was voted off AI - but look at her now. I liked the rest of the post - only you can do the work that will get you where you want to be.