Friday, July 15, 2011

Miss South Carolina - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down??

View from the balcony of our condo - Durango, Coloraod
May, 2011

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 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?


  1. OMG you stole my blog post! I have one ready to go next week. But yours is wayyyy more thought provoking. Mine just tells her story. I read a few online profiles and saw a few interviews and she does say she tried both Atkins and Weight Watchers before settling more on a version of what I'd call "all things in moderation." Have you heard her fuel for the car analogy? I also heard her say 3 hours training and 30 minutes when not prepping for pageants.

    One thing that struck me... she is young. IMO our metabolisms slow as we age and it gets harder and harder to lose or even maintain. Look at you! All that moving and still sticking to only 1200 cals. I've been at about 1500 lately and maintaining and I do TWO hours of exercise a day. That's crazy, seems to me.

    Also, she has probably not wreaked havoc on her body and metabolism by doing the yo-yo thing that I have done for so many years. And my body will never look like hers... darn stomach and thighs.

    I'm thinking maybe she can do something good, based on what she says she is saying to kids and the reactions on her facebook page (which I link in my post).

    By the way, my next thumbs post is done too:) I do like to have a few in the can at all times.

  2. I have been thinking about this newly crowned celebrity too. Saw her Good Morning America interview and there were not specifics, but when do you actually have time in a 2 minute interview to tell what you eat, when you eat and how you eat. I would think that my vote is for a thumbs up, because she did drop the weight and did it in two years, not like the fast track people that drop it fast and then eventually gain it back. I for one would like to see how she does in years to come. Even though I am not a huge Subway fan (but a fan from time to time) I do applaud Jared of his accomplishment and that he is till in the "limelight" from time to time.

    Loving your View - thanks for sharing.

    Staying MOtivated MO

  3. Sorry about the den, but congratulations on not letting it upset your eating! That is a huge step in the right direction.

    I've only seen very little about Miss South Carolina. I must say that I was a little curious about how she lost the weight as well.

  4. What a super good post! (I'm a follower now by the way.) Well, I do think that her losing weight was good. That much weight? Maybe it seems a bit low now. Can she keep it off? Who knows.

    Overall, I really think that a smaller weight loss that is permanent is more important than a huge weight loss that is gained back--now matter how un-gorgeous the former is vs. the latter.

    :-) Marion

  5. Hopefully she can keep it off and be a good role model. Each person that shows that it can be done through diet and exercise and maintained through diet and exercise is always a positive!

  6. Oh, you're so kind! Thank you!

    I saw the headline for this story, but never got around to reading it. Very interesting and motivational story, one that I hope helps young people focus on healthy weight management. I admit, though, that I hope she'll continue to emphasize that her longer workouts are for pageants and not for the long haul.

  7. I live on another planet (just kidding!) and have not heard about Miss SC. But, it sounds like an amazing story. Health and fitness are just great platforms. I am guessing there is more to the story, which I am sure will come out sometime soon. Just maybe, it is all legit.

    I hope those repairs resolve quickly. I know that is a hassle and you are definitely displaced.

    To answer your teaching question on my blog today: I enjoyed it, teaching at the U. But, I am REALLY glad my sabbatical is only half over. SO much more I would like to do. So much more writing. I am on hiatus now, so to speak, as we prepare for our son's wedding. And yes, I KNOW we will meet someday! Have a great weekend! michele

  8. I'm not sure about Miss SC either, but a definite thumbs up to YOU. I've just been catching up on your posts. You continue to inspire me. Are you still up for a bike date rendezvous later in the month? I'd love to meet you half way. Maybe the guys too, or maybe not. email me.

  9. Well Sharon, you've just educated me because I do believe I AM living under a rock! This story has somehow slipped under my radar. I just returned from your link and watched the interview on the Today Show. Karen makes several good points, and the one that I noticed right away about her body has to do with her youth as well. The longer you carry the weight, the more difficult it is for the skin to return to a healthy appearance. She was very lucky to have connected with the healthy side of her at such a young God, that body!!
    I really loved her comment on 'being a size healthy' and that it isn't about the numbers. Loving yourself along the way is really the key to happiness.
    Thank you for giving me a shout out in your blog. You are a ray of sunshine from out there in Tennessee ;)

  10. I think every story and every person has the potential to be positive or negative. As you point out, we don't really know much about this story. If she goes on to be a "role model" for people, then her methods (whether she's being fully honest now or if it turns out she uses less healthy methods) should come under more scrutiny -- or at least be called out for what they are -- good or bad.

    For now, it's just really inspiring that she had the confidence to get into the pageant game after having spent so much time overweight.

  11. I guess I've been living under a rock, LOL. Hadn't heard the story...but if she did do it via diet and exercise, especially if it all was "healthy" then I think it's great! We need positive stories like that!

  12. I haven't been living under a rock but with vacation time we took a much needed media break! Thanks for filling me in on this, very interesting story. Good for her for losing the weight and doing what she is doing! I wish her well and I hope she motivates others to change their life and get healthy. If she did it without surgery, pills and potions she is a great role model!

  13. I think anyone who's that dedicated to fitness as a lifestyle has a huge chance of maintaining it for life. It took a lot of patience and hard work to get her body to look like that. Also quite a bit of knowledge. That's what will carry her through. Assuming life doesn't deal her too many hard cards.
    I'm sure rooting for her.