HL week day 4: magazine dreams

March 11, 2010

promises, promises
i would have guessed that january was the #1 time of year for the weight loss/self-improvement industry. and perhaps it is. but the covers of these mags seem to suggest otherwise:

so for day 4 of HL week, i thought i would begin a discussion.

to begin with: who am i to complain? after all, i’m just fanning the flames by subscribing to all of these volumes! in my defense, i don’t read/subscribe to these titles for the weight-loss programs.

■ i enjoy clean eating for the recipe ideas, gorgeous food photography, and to learn about new products and trends

■ i admit i like self for its upbeat spirit, articles/memoirs related self-improvement or life balance, snippets of beauty/fashion advice, and various health-related tidbits. i also TELL myself i will get some strength training inspiration, but i rarely do the prescribed workouts (even if they do promise things like ‘sizzling bikini body in 30 days!’)

runner’s world is just fun because i like to read about running. it makes me feel like i am part of some larger running community (odd how a just reading magazine can do that!).

■ i love women’s running for the mix of lifestyle and running content, useful cross-training workout info, and because . . . i was in it!

but i don’t skip over the aforementioned ‘GET YOUR DREAM BODY!’ portions, either. there’s just something inherently fascinating to me about the bold claims made over and over again and the supposedly magical plans that accompany them. yet when i delve into the articles, i almost always have the same reactions! here are just a few of my thoughts on these sections in the above issues:

☑ number one thought: “i would be so (*#&$# hungry on that plan!” both self and clean eating this month have rather detailed diet plans which contain about 1600 calories/day. i have no idea how many calories i usually eat, and i’m happy about that — ignorance is bliss in this case, as far as i’m concerned! but i doubt that 1600 is enough for most active women, and including those with a goal of (slow, sustainable) weight loss. maybe i’m wrong?

☑ to me, the meals and snacks suggested do sound good — really, there isn’t a single suggestion that doesn’t sound at least palatable to me — but the overall orchestration looks complicated. but what would one do with the leftovers!? and it’s not what’s in but what’s left out that really gets me. for example, in the CE plan: no dessert or wine? for two whole weeks? REALLY?

☑ i will say that the runner’s world weight-loss special is a bit more realistic this department. their article is mostly devoted to dispelling myths: those about drastically cutting macronutrient groups (carbs OR fat), running on an empty stomach, and eating at certain times/intervals. they also offer practical suggestions on planning ahead, cooking at home, and avoiding an all-or-nothing mentality. all useful, but probably things that most RW readers already know.

☑ for cardio, self suggests 300 minutes of cardio per week, divided into various intensity zones. that’s 5 hours, which is similar to the US federal guidelines recommended for “additional and more extensive health benefits.” fine, good idea. but magic/novel/guaranteed to turn me into doutzen kroes? sadly, i think not.

☑ on the other hand, self does propose a simple 8-exercise strength training workout that could perhaps deliver on at least some of its guarantees to “tighten” “tone” and “chisel”, particularly in those (ahem) who tend to slack on their weight training. i might even give it a try . . .

RW also proposes weight training (along with running, of course). their workout, a series of compound exercises with weights, also looks good — though challenging (pushup to jackknife, anyone?).

anyway, so those are my thoughts! i realize these plans are for weight loss, a goal that i do not have. but i still find them both interesting AND frustrating — often at the same time! perhaps they are aimed more toward those who are starting from scratch — after all, an overweight and sedentary person is likely to get MUCH more out of adapting the changes proposed in self than i would. yet i’m guessing that most of the readers of these mags are in the more health-conscious, fitness-savvy set already. who knows?

one thing is for certain: dramatic weight loss claims must be GREAT for selling magazines.

question for you: if you indulge in similar magazines (and please, tell me i am not the only one who does!), what are your thoughts on these frequently-run articles? have you ever tried any specific magazine ‘plan’?

food blogging: i think i’m getting boring
breakfast: repetitive much? another ezekiel english muffin — this time with peanut butter + apple butter, plus an organic gala. i tried to at least jazz it up with the presentation!

kid fuel: also fit for 29-year-olds, apparently.

laptop lunch: so fast and easy to throw together! plain low fat (organic 365 brand) yogurt, drizzle o’ honey, cranberry pecan granola, carrots & pickled okra, dr. kracker apple crisps (LOVE these)

pre-dinner snack because i was about to eat my own arm by 6 pm. random chunk of challah bread from the freezer toasted and topped with celebrity dairy apricot-infused goat cheese spread

dinner: blue-cheese-stuffed chicken with buffalo sauce, although i didn’t bother to panko-bread-crumb the chicken breasts as suggested. also, while it was still tasty, most of the goat cheese failed to stay in the pocket of the chicken breast and ended up disappearing into a sea of drippings during the roasting process. served with cuc/tomato/avocado salad dressed with homemade honey-mustard vinaigrette.

the obligatory see’s. sadly, this chewy bite was smaller than it appears in this shot!

tired of HL week?
i know josh is. he keeps making fun of me for snapping food pix, in particular. if you are in his camp — don’t despair — i’ll be back to more of a mix next week. in fact, i think i will do a week of medicine/residency-focused entries. work hours and learning styles will definitely be discussed, but other topic suggestions are welcome!

and now . . back to my presentation. for those curious, it is a talk providing an overview of the usage of growth hormone in treating short children. i provide background, overview of its use/effectiveness in various forms of growth delay, and some discussion surrounding the ethics of its use in children with idiopathic short stature. also, IT’S NOT DONE AND I’M TOTALLY STRESSED ABOUT IT. someday maybe i’ll learn how to tackle larger projects without wanting to tear out my hair in the process.

ADDENDUM (added 3.12): did you click through on facebook? just curious to know who posted the link (someone popular it appears!). would love to be enlightened . . . via a comment or email! thank you!



workout: 5 miles on the TM, 9:13/mi, 0.5% incline, while doing magazine ‘research’ for this post!

senior talk progress report: i got stuck working on one slide for over an hour and called it quits at 9 pm. argghh, i have my work cut out for me today . . .