Friday, July 15, 2011
Miss South Carolina - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down??
View from the balcony of our condo - Durango, Coloraod
Well, in all honesty, I have to start by saying that I've been totally unmotivated this week and that has included my interest in taking time to write a blog post. I know where this has come from and it will pass, but for right now, I'm just in a real funk. My den is my sanctuary. It is cozy, pleasant and has large picture windows on three sides which allow me to look out into my backyard which is somewhat secluded. I spend hours sitting there reading, writing, meditating, planning and whatever else that can be accomplished from that position. Without that go-to spot in my house, I become a bit lost. Don't get me wrong - we have a lovely living room and I have an office, but it's just not the same as my den. If you read my last post (here it is), you know what a mess we are in and it will be a least two more weeks before the work is complete. So between losing my "sanctuary," gosh-awful dust, construction workers everywhere and a less than enthusiastic response from our insurance company, my attitude has gone from bad to worse.
But I am happy to say that my eating has stayed very much on a even keel. I remain very motivated in this area and am making progress of which I am proud. I've kept up my goal of 12,000+ steps each day and am staying very close to 1,200 calories. I feel strong and in control. I haven't felt this positive about my weight loss journey in several months. It feels good!!
So on a random sort of tangent, I was wondering.............how do you feel about the Miss South Carolina story? In case you've been living under a rock, the newly crowned Miss South Carolina, Bree Boyce, weighed 234 pounds at age 17. In just two years (I've not been able to learn which two years or how long ago this was), she lost 112 pounds supposedly through healthy eating and exercise. In addition to winning the overall title, she won the swimsuit competition in the pageant and has an amazing body. She claims this was achieved through working with a trainer and 6+ hours of exercise daily when preparing for a pageant. She claims she ONLY exercises 30 minutes to an hour each day when not getting ready to compete.
She has appeared on every morning show this week and is all over TV and the web. If you haven't heard her story, please click on the above link or "google" her and give a listen. It is truly an astounding makeover.
To borrow from my friend, Karen at Waisting Time, I'm giving Miss South Carolina a HUGE "thumbs up" for her dedication and perseverance. I am thrilled that someone who is a real life success story will use diet and healthy eating for her platform. She will have a huge audience and hundreds of thousands of women of all ages hanging on to her every word. What a difference she can make and I wish her all the best in the Miss America pageant.
But I also have some concerns. This is a new story and the media is all over it. But it seems that I am hearing the same few claims over and over with not a lot of specifics. She has already been placed way up there on a mighty tall pedestal, but I'd love to hear more about EXACTLY what her definition of "healthy diet and exercise" really is. That pedestal can tumble as quickly as it rose should we learn that this dramatic change was achieved in a not-so-great way. For example, if an eating disorder is learned, how many young women will decide that's o.k. if the end result is to look like Bree and become Miss South Carolina.
And then there's the maintenance. One only has to look as far as Mike Huckabee , a political figure who lost a dramatic amount of weight in 2005, wrote a best-selling book about it and toured the country promoting healthy eating and his book. He has since gained back the majority, if not all, of the weight he lost.
Granted, once Miss South Carolina completes her reign (should she win) or returns to South Carolina (if she doesn't win), she will fade into obscurity and most of us will never know whether she maintains her loss or not.
But I still can't help but wonder whether this story and this platform is a "thumbs up" for those of us who plug along day after day trying to lose our excess weight in a healthy way that will allow us to maintain that loss permanently. We do this without the benefit of six+ hours of exercise each day with a professional trainer or without the benefit of dieticians and/or professional nutritionists. Or is this story a major "thumbs down" which will only serve to perpetuate false hopes in many minds of all ages as to exactly what are reasonable goals to achieve, in what period of time and using what methods? Unfortunately, there are very few of us who can EVER expect to look like Bree Boyce no matter how much weight we lose.
Personally, I'm just thankful for good old Jared and his famous Subway diet. He seems to me to be an example of someone who lost his weight in a semi-healthy way, got Subway on board to help promote it, became a celebrity and a household name, and has actually MAINTAINED that weight for several years now. I also give Jared and Subway a lot of credit for beginning a trend toward fast food places offering at least one option that could pass for healthy!!
And for me, my heroes are Debby, Diane, Lori, Lynn, Cammy, Ellen, and a host of other blog friends who are MY encouragement and MY inspiration. They've each lost more than/or close to 100 pounds and kept it off. They aren't looking for celebrity status and will be the first to tell you that losing the weight is only the first half of the battle. In my book, they'd ALL win the swimsuit competition in their respective states. And I promise you, NONE of them work out with a professional trainer 6+ hours a day!!
What about you? Do you think Miss South Carolina will be a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down" for the future of healthy eating, diet/weight loss and exercise by using it as her platform?