U.S. News had a panel of health experts — including doctors and professors from Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and the University of Chicago — look at popular diets and rank their quality in terms of short-term and long-term weight loss, easiness to follow, nutrition, safety, and benefits for diabetes and heart health. The overall winner? The DASH diet, which is designed to lower blood pressure by putting an emphasis on vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. In other words, it’s a diet that relies on common sense about nutrition, not that anyone really eats according to common sense. Keep reading »
I recently signed up for six sessions with a personal trainer, LaMarcus, and told him my goals: get more toned and lose a few pounds.
Then he weighed me. I clocked in at 125, and he asked me if that’s what I expected. “Yeah, but I’d prefer to be closer to 122,” I told him. WHAT? As the words came out of my mouth I realized how ridiculous that probably sounded. Why do I even need a trainer for that? I’m not overweight. I know this (if not by looking at myself, then by furiously Googling “healthy body weights”). But that doesn’t stop me from telling myself that I am. Sometimes. I’m a pretty confident person. But, on some days, I can’t help but hate my body.
My self-diagnoses? I’m a Body Image Waffler. Keep reading »
This ad for Weight Watchers “Smart Ones” frozen meals popped up before a YouTube video I was watching, and I actually had to watch it twice all the way through to realize it wasn’t some kind of satire or parody. Unfortunately, it’s real. And it’s terrible.
“We brought women like you together in Times Square,” reads the opening title, over a whimsical soundtrack. “It was time to ‘fess up.” This is followed by women (only women, no men) sheepishly admitting to the camera that they like buttered popcorn, or that they once ate cake frosting for breakfast, or that they have a weakness for mini cupcakes. Their confessions are shown on a huge screen in Times Square for all to see (while the women cover their faces in shame), before being digitally erased and replaced with a message: “Congratulations, you now have a clean slate!” Women are then shown cheering and triumphantly holding up empty plates, which they are presumably only to fill with microwavable, highly processed meals from now until eternity. Or maybe, in an ideal world, they just wouldn’t eat at all?
Weight Watchers, I have three words for you: Fuck. This. Noise. Here’s why: Keep reading »
I used to feel like I was lucky for having zero body image issues. Those insecurities completely surpassed me well into adulthood, because up until about around age 25, I had a very conventionally attractive body: a slender frame with an hourglass figure. I could wear anything I wanted. No one — not my mother, not men, not random strangers — criticized my body. Body issues (too big! too small! too squishy!) were simply not something that crossed my mind.
But I was aware body insecurities concerned — even consumed — a lot of people, in particular women. A close friend struggled with anorexia. Family members were bullied for their size. I read fat acceptance blogs online and books like Lessons From The Fat-O-Sphere by Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby. As a feminist writer, I was keyed into the way our society privileges the skinny. Still, for a long time, it was not something I directly understood.
But body issues didn’t skip me entirely: they just came later in life. Keep reading »
Meet Megan and Matt. They’re the stars of the newest Weight Watchers commercial featuring Jennifer Hudson. And they are a terrible couple. Megan plays the role of the nagging wife to a T — to the point where every time I watch this commercial (which is a lot lately because we are working from home this week), I just think, Oh man, those two are heading for divorce. The clip involves Megan basically emasculating Matt and telling the world how she does everything. He passively aggressively says, “She usually gets her way, and I just go along with it,” while she snipes, “I think [Weight Watchers] worked for Matt because I did it for him.” And then she ends the commercial with “Happy wife, happy life, right?” Oh, that old trope. Take note, Weight Watchers: women don’t like to be sold things by terrible, naggy ladies. It’s an old, stupid stereotype, so stop it, guys.
Leave it to Jessica Simpson to get pregnant at what seems to be the most calculated moment possible. Her announcement that she is expecting baby number two came just in the nick of time for her to snake her way out of that Weight Watchers endorsement deal. But, if she wasn’t getting preggo to avoid public dieting, she must have been doing it to take the heat off of papa Joe Simpson and his divorce/ he-may-be gay scandal. Or maybe both? Either way, good timing, Jess and Eric! And, of course, congrats on your forthcoming bundle of joy.
Click through for more of our conspiracy theories about the ulterior motives for celebrity pregnancies.