Sunday, February 25, 2007

A virgin experience

Mr. Shrinking Knitter and I were watching the news last night when a new-to-us commercial aired.

Now, we're pretty much experts on early-evening commercials. We know which actor lowered his cholesterol and by how many points, and who lost X number of pounds following the XX diet plan. Meaning we probably watch too much television. NutriSystem funds the cable news programs, while Big Pharma seems to have a lock on network news.

Maybe we watch too much news. Heh. [My daughter would definitely agree with me on this one!]

At any rate, I've never seen a commercial for surgery before, when up pops this woman who claimed that lap band surgery changed her life. Maybe even saved it!

Her 'before' photo was displayed for all the world to see and she didn't look any fatter than half the people I saw loading their plates at Ryan's Friday night. Everyone has his or her own reasons for choosing a particular weight-loss path, but when I think about how prescription pharmaceutical advertising has contributed to the number of sick people in this country [a pill for every ill], I can only shudder at how many overweight people will suddenly decide that this eat-right-and-exercise crap just isn't worth it. There must be an easier way!

They should read some of the blogs written by those who've had surgery. They should talk to my neighbor, who looks wonderful and has lost a lot of weight, but still measures and weighs her food, among a long list of other disciplines. It is worth it, if you've gone into it for all the right reasons and with your eyes wide open.

But having a commercial spokesperson suggest that you ask your doctor about lap band surgery to take care of that pesky weight problem? I think maybe they've crossed a line.

Okay, on to my own method, which right now isn't working so well. If you're a regular reader, you know I'm in training for a long-distance race, and you also know that the weight is not falling off, despite the number of miles I'm logging. I have to keep telling myself this is to be expected. My marathon bible, Marathoning for Mortals, suggests that it's not a good idea to expect weight loss while in training. So I'm trying to concentrate on eating reasonably and healthfully while following my training schedule.

As Nuke LaLoosh said in Bull Durham: "I'm going to give it my best shot and the good Lord willing, everything will work out."

Ya gotta love those cliches.

Yesterday was the end of the easy weeks. From now on the schedule includes more miles, faster miles, and oh, did I mention more miles? I ran four miles again yesterday, but on a different road. The first three were hard, hard, hard, but something happened as I began the fourth mile. My body seemed to relax. I hit a groove and sailed through the last mile. I would have kept going, except Mr. Shrinking Knitter was sitting there in the car, waiting for me. It was a great feeling, and I hope I can remember it the next time I think I can't take one more step.

Four miles in 48 minutes – that's 5mph, my fastest time yet.

Freezing rain, snow and cold temperatures are headed our way again. Today is a rest day, but since I only ran four miles yesterday [Only! Can you believe I said that?!?], I think I'll do some rowing and weight training today. Looks like Monday and Tuesday will be treadmill workouts again.

Tonight is the Oscars! You can print out your own ballot and play along here or here or here. Me? I'll be knitting.

Sixty-two days until race day.


Mary Christine said...

You have convinced me that I need to buy that book! Perhaps I will go to Denver's best book store and buy it today. Thanks. Your 4 mile run sounds great. I love it when you hit that groove and feel like you can run forever.

Vickie said...

The freezing cold and rain was HERE last night - pretty terrible - it must be headed your way.

Lori said...

But it's the American Way...quick fixes. Rather than do some hard work (so they think--first mistake--I think WLS is hard work), people will opt for the quick fix.

This also preys on people who think they're massively overweight.

Now on to the neat stuff...I love how you're saying only four miles....I'm so proud of you.

JERRY said...

i'm sure that you're a lovely person, but you might want to do some research before discouraging people from looking into Lapband surgery -- or any kind of surgery or medicine for that matter. It's not touted as the solution -- it's just one step. without proper diet and exercise, it's pretty much worthless.but it has helped a great many people -- not just the real-life spokesperson in the ad. just because it's advertised doesn't automatically mean it's bad. btw, if u see that many people who are more than 100lbs overweight when you're out dining, maybe you should suggest they consider some weight loss program before they die. it couldn't hurt.

Lori said...


A lot of these places that do WLS just are money makers. It's not that WLS doesn't work, I think it does provided (as you say yourself) there's psychological and nutritional counseling for AFTER the surgery as well as thorough follow-ups to see if the patient is following through with diet and exercise. (Therapy, nutrition classes are rarely covered by insurance unless you're diabetic and if you drop the weight fast, you won't be so it wouldn't be covered. A lot of health insurance is bare bones.)

I have worked in a hospital; insurance will cover surgeries but not a lot of companies will pay for aftercare. Hospitals are there also to make money. Also the hospitals themselves tweak the required BMI, weight stuff to get approval for surgery.

If I suddenly drop half of my weight and I don't know or care about nutrition and exercise, I'm going to be back where I was only with my guts rearranged. I know of one person who has regained a lot of her weight after having WLS (not the band).

It is one step but I'm afraid what SK is saying is these commercials are promoting WLS as the end of your problems and with no work on your end. You yourself say that the surgery is one tool. As we all know, keeping the weight off is the hard part.

As for going up to strangers, do you do that?