I just read something annoying on CNN.com and got peeved and felt like venting.
This article tells the story of one Barbara Aldrich, who was 5'11" and 255 lbs. (OMG FAT!!!) and borderline diabetic. When she turned 50, she decided enough was enough, so she "traded in high-calorie, carbohydrate-laden meals and junk food for a diet of lean meats, vegetables, fruits and healthier snacks" and started walking every day. After 4 months, she lost 75 pounds and feels like a new woman, and now she does things like go on trips and get manicures. Of course the whole concept behind the story, along with what they say about Aldrich pre-weight loss and the notion that her improved health from eating healthy and exercising could only be measured by her 75 pound weight loss, is irksome and obnoxious. Same with the idea that it was her fat that prevented her from going on trips and getting manicures before, rather than society making her feel like shit about herself (and that what needed to change was her weight, rather than her attitude or anyone else's). But that's pretty much par for the course in this whole "Fit Nation" series, which is basically a bunch of "this person was fat and unhealthy like you, but s/he lost a ton of weight and now his/her life is totally perfect, and yours can be too if you just get off your ass" features.
One thing really stood out about this article in particular, though. First, they say that Aldrich lost 4 or 5 pounds per week and talk about how great that is. Then in one line that's not contextualized or integrated into the story at all, they point out that the Mayo Clinic website says that a weight loss of only 1-2 pounds per week is recommended. So on the one hand, they devote an entire article to making you feel like you should get out there and lose weight like Barbara Aldrich did, because it was so easy for her and now she's so much healthier blah blah blah. But then they point out that actually if you really did lose 4-5 pounds per week it wouldn't necessarily be a healthy thing. It's kind of like the "*Results not typical" that you get at the bottom of a Jenny Craig ad, but even worse because this one is more like "*Don't try this at home." I guess I ought to be glad they mentioned it at all, but somehow I'm not.
I also feel the need to point out Aldrich's quote at the end of the article: "I love myself, I love how I look now. I feel better, younger ... just a complete 360." OK, obviously she meant to say "180" (or maybe she even did say that and the reporter misquoted her). But I'm thinking this is a kind of interesting slip, because basically in terms of the way she thinks about herself, she really did do a 360. Before she lost weight, her attitude towards herself was tied up with her body size and she felt ashamed go out and do things she wanted to do. After she lost weight, her attitude towards herself is still tied up with her body size, so much so that only now after losing 75 pounds does she love herself. I think that is pretty sad.