Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Not That Easy

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A couple of things about Oprah, because something about the way the low-carb blogging community is using her situation to promote their diets isn't sitting right with me.

I realize that by "coming out" with this story about her weight-gain, it can be said that she's opened herself up to a discussion about her body. But I see this magazine story as her attempt to respond to negative reactions and criticism she has likely received for her weight gain and not as an invitation for everyone to try and diagnose her "problems". I don't really need to drop links here, because it seems like pretty much everyone has weighed in on it, and they all have the same thing to say.

Like other low-carb bloggers, I feel for Oprah, but not because "She's just been on the wrong diets, and she would have it sooooo easy if she just cut out the carbs!", but because it's ridiculous to me that anyone is making this big of a deal out of 200 pounds. And, frankly, I'm not convinced by this implication that it's easy for everyone to be thin if they only cut down on carbs.

Why do we presume we have all the answers? Based on the weights/sizes/photos they choose to share, not a single low-carb diet blogger I have ever read has a body that is thin or perfect enough for the Hollywood standard set for people like Oprah.

And another thing. Low-carb bloggers who also happen to be doctors aren't her doctor, and it bothers me that, through speculation alone, these folks can presume to announce to their readers that Oprah surely suffers from insulin resistance, or she obviously has some sort of fetal whatchamacallit syndrome.

Just. Stop.

4 comments:

plumpdumpling said...

Funny how FAT OPRAH looks so much better than thin Oprah to me. Maybe because old, skinny women just seem wrong to me after a lifetime of being surrounded by old, fat people.

And also, someone should've told Oprah to put her damned clothes back on for that first photo.

Tracey said...

I think it's that sexxay track suit that makes her look so good.

ETL said...

Not gonna lie... aside from the hair, I think the think Oprah looks better than the purple-Oprah. I'm also willing to admit, however, that I've been indoctrinated into thinking that thin is the way to be. (I've not taken it so far as to actually BE thin ya know, but still).

I'd also like to say that, your blog and personal belief(s) aside, I don't really understand why there's this giant carb-phobia. People hundreds of years before us; hell, people on different continents have carbs as a STAPLE of their diets, yet they have nowhere NEAR the level of obesity that the U.S. does. Perhaps I'm misguided (and, as you said, a lot is to be said for personal metabolism, etc), but look at the level of sedentary individuals we have and the saturation--no pun intended--of fast-food, fast-food advertising, and levels of preservatives in our foods. I'm willing to wager that this plays a large role in our burgeoning waistlines.

Also, if you're in the mood for a well-informed and stated op-ed piece on the Agriculture industry, please read Nick Kristof's letter to President Elect Obama:
http://tr.im/25xv

Tracey said...

I agree that all the things you mention contribute to weight as well, and I don't think low-carb is necessarily ideal or needed for everyone, but in my personal experience, it's really helped me out. Aside from the forty pounds I lost, there's a lot of evidence that the insulin spikes caused by sugar and starch contributes to tons of health problems, and keeping my blood sugar level through avoiding carbs and sugar makes me feel better, have more energy, keeps me from craving bad-for-me foods and then stuffing myself on them. It's also helped my dad eliminate his need for insulin shots and blood pressure medicine, and his doctors tell him he's healthier now than ever.

I know that carbs have been a huge component for lots of diets in the world, and I don't have all the answers to explain that -- whether or not it comes down to our culture's activity levels or amount of consumption or whatever -- but for me, eating low carb has been the simplest way for me to incorporate lots more fresh and healthy foods into my diet while avoiding refined stuff.

I guess I don't think there is much of a "carb-phobia" out there. Not anymore, at least. If there was, I think it would be easier to find legitimately low carb stuff to eat at restaurants, instead of a bunch of "diet" options that are just low fat or low calorie.