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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Can we maintain a healthy weight, when "the whole world is watching?"

While we are in the first week's throes, still starry-eyed from the royal nuptials of Kate and William, I wonder if those of you who enjoyed the beautiful and awe-inspiring ceremony noticed how slender the Duchess of Cambridge looked. I don't normally follow celebrity weight gain or loss, however, for the brief moments I did watch the ceremony last Friday, I couldn't help but mark the reed-like, tapering waist of Kate in that fabulous, white gown. The style was slimming, by all means, but the slenderness was all Kate's as white actually portrays a heavier appearance.

Upon further investigation online, my suspicions were confirmed. I found numerous articles about her weight loss, her mother's weight loss and the frenzied weight loss of others who had been invited to the wedding. My heart went out to all who attended, even the Queen mother. For you see, all of the women knew the "whole world would be watching," (reportedly 1-2 billion people, probably more) and they were going to do their utmost to look the most beautiful, the most brilliant and the thinnest they could, because the pictures were going to be historic and extend in perpetuity. God forbid they should appear heavy, out of fashion or something other than they wished, i.e. downright unattractive.

Now, come on. You know you can identify. How many times have you lost weight for a special occasion because you absolutely refused to look other than your best in the photos that were sure to follow. And especially those candid shots when the photographer (regardless of his/her professionalism) just aims the camera at the bride or the one celebrated, and you happened to get in the shot and your flabby arms look worse than normal and you can't press the edit or delete button???? I can't tell you how many times that's happened to moi!

 How much more celebrities and royalty must feel this! For them one step out the gates of Buckingham or Beverly Hills is one step into photography hell with the papparizzi demons voracious, salivating for any imperfection in appearance or behavior which will make profitable copy. Yes, I realize I am a poor little person, and who am I to feel pity for my betters? I may be just a cat, but even a cat can look at royalty and power and still feel sympathy. This wedding especially was one of those few times I could empathize and be thankful that I didn't have to be concerned with looking slender and fabulous before the cameras.

More and more, royalty, celebrity and yours truly are oppressed by what is now becoming the global "Culture of Thin." (Fat Acceptance groups excepted, perhaps and that might be a good reason for me to join one!!!)  Come on, I mean even in Mexico where at one time the culture was more forgiving of overweight women, there has been a shift against the gorditas. (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/30/spreading-fat-stigma-around-the-globe/ ) God forbid if Kate showed up weighing in at 140 pounds at her 5'10" height! (BMI Normal range of 20.1) That weight "sounds" positively heavy in our thin obsessed culture, though doctors would say it is in the Normal range for her height, Normal being 18.5-25.9 on the BMI calculator.  On that same BMI calculator which doctors use to determine whether one is Underweight, Normal, Overweight or Obese in addition to other factors, Kate's BMI number for 120 pounds, 5'10" is in fact Underweight 17.2.  (www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/ ) And I am not so sure I believe that she weighs 120 pounds at 5'10". One article I read said that was before the wedding and that she was continuing to lose weight right up until William kissed her in that stunning, never-to-be-forgotten romantic, "ahhh"...moment on the balcony of Buckingham.  To photograph beautifully, as she did, appearing stately and lithe, she may weigh under 120 pounds. Only she knows for sure.

She looked fabulous, though, did she not? And she did what she had to to look that way. The problem is, she must still continue to look fabulous because then and for the rest of her life, "the whole world is watching," and she is a personnage who matters, someone who will influence the time from fashion trends to personal styles. Global populations of women all ages will observe her aging, her gaining weight, especially during her pregnancies, her behaviors...because her fame is profitable copy, and all the industries related to keeping her celebrity before us, including ancillary industries-the weight loss industry, the fashion industry, the advertising industry, etc., will use her celebrity to earn their keep.

What would you do if you were Kate at this point? Would you feel pressured by the media and global opinion to maintain the weight you lost recently? Or would you let yourself go and have that small bag of Doritos (Do royals eat junk food?) or have some lucious red velvet cake, let your cheeks plump up four pounds after the cameras have dimmed their lights for a session? Problem is, the next time she is photographed, if she looks a smidge heavier, one of the noxious British rags like The Globe and Mail or an American rag like Star will surely take a snap or two and the crest of rounded skin on her diminished angular cheekbone will be plastered world-wide and she will ruefully have to begin her Dukan Diet (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/dukan-diet-kate-middleton-linked-high-protein-weight/story?id=13404369 ) all over again. Such is the misery of a globally celebrated Duchess and potential future Queen. What an exacting price to be paid! Is it worth it in the long run? What's that you say? Of course, you dim wit!!!

 Well, what about you? Are you happy at your current weight? Or would you like to lose a few pounds to look uber svelt like Kate? Or maybe more than a few pounds for that upcoming family or friend wedding or engagement party or special event or interview? Well, if you are interested in losing some extra fatty baggage reasonably and painlessly (I haven't tried it, so I am not vouching for this but Kate and her mom and others did and it worked and they didn't feel hungry, apparently) then this website will help you. www.dukandiet.com/     There you will find a way (I did this and was happy to discover that I didn't need to lose any weight according to Dr. Pierre, though I would still like to lose a few pounds. Doesn't everybody?) to figure out what the French author of the diet, Dr. Pierre Dukan characterizes as your "True Weight." (www.dukandiet.com/calculate-your-true-weight).

Let's face it...the French have a fairly good handle on their weight issues. Every time I went to France (when I was 100 pounds heavier) I felt like a chubbasaur (and I was) because the women in Paris and even in the countryside were slim. I think I saw one obese person the entire time I was there (two weeks) AND THAT WOMAN, GOD BLESS HER, WAS AN AMERICAN!!! I have a French Canadian buddy, Jacques, OK, granted he is French Canadian (but he's still French) and his eating habits are excellent. He never eats between meals and he makes sure to prepare himself home cooking with, bien sur, a glass of red wine for dinner. Relative to other men his age and stature, he looks good and has kept his weight in check.

Perusing the The Dukan Diet, what I really like about it is that it is low carb and low fat. I think that is important. If we are addicted to fats and carbs in combination, there is a greater likelihood that we will put weight back on after weight loss. Another thing I like about the diet is that it has stages (www.dukandiet.com/the-dukan-diet).  At each stage, you are eating differently. This really beats the repitiousness of other diets which always bored me to death. Finally, I like the fact that there is an attempt to deal with maintenance. This is crucial. Maintenance is next to, if not impossible. I know. I have yo-yoed 12 major times in my life trying all sorts of diets (including Weight Watchers  www.weightwatchers.com/ ) with little yo-yos in between. (Currently, I'm doing well with a 100 pound weight loss over 3 years.)  How to not gain weight back? Another topic for another day. But at least the diet deals with maintenance, unlike a lot of other diets which, once you've lost your weight (if you ever got to your target...I almost got there once)  throw you back to your starving fat cells without a battle plan or defense routine to thwart their cries of "feed me, feed,  NOW!"

So, for Kate and for me and maybe for some of you, the problem is (depending upon profession and where we live...if it's in a relatively more obese state or not) the culture REQUIRES a THIN APPEARANCE, as the accepted way to be. And dear readers, I will be long dead before sanity will return to overthrow what may be our cultural obession with "Fat Think/ThinThink."  and "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who's the Thinnest One of all!"  For now, it looks like it's Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. And potential future Queen.

That's The Fat and The Skinny for today, May 4, 2011  copywrighted Carole Di Tosti

4 comments:

Margo Dill said...

I like the way you tied this into the royal wedding. I too thought she looked really thin, but beautiful, so what's that saying about my perception of beauty? :) That's a whole can of worms I guess I don't want to open. Thanks for sharing the Dukan Diet link, too. Weight is such a hard issue because it should all have to do with our health, but it doesn't, does it?

benjity said...

I love how you connected such an eternal issue to a current event! I too feel for Kate and I wonder if I could live under such pressure? I find culture's demands vicious enough as it is, if I were truly analyzed under a microscope every waking minute- I wonder if I would collapse.

goldensylph said...

Weight should have to do with fitness and health absolutely. But I think the camera wrecked all of that; we photograph 10 pounds heavier and God Forbid we're on TV? We look 15 pounds heavier. Only on 16 mm film are we forgiven. Of course, 16mm went out with the dark ages.

goldensylph said...

I agree Abby. The pressure is soooo intense. You lose your anonymity which is one of the greatest gifts. I think every celebrity must have either great family or friends or go to counseling or they do collapse. Lindsay Lowhan? Britney Spears? I hate to sound shallow, but.... talk about pressure.