23 February 2014

In modest praise of Rachel Frederickson

I've written previously on Rachel Frederickson, who lost 155 pounds over about 18 weeks, for the Biggest Loser TV show. In my previous post, I calculated that she must have been exercising at least 5 hours per day.  It turns out that estimate was pretty close.

As I seem to be in a permanent diet mode myself (which is itself perhaps a good thing), I have to pay out some respect to her for her discipline.

If she did eat properly, I have to pay out even more respect.

I took my darling wife to dinner at Casablanca, Venice, CA, for Valentines Day.  I over-ate. It was fun.  Plus I over-ate the rest of the weekend. (I mean, I over-ate food during the weekend. I didn't actually eat the weekend!) Then this week, I swung the other way, eating very little, basically skipping dinner and sometimes lunch, too. This morning, I woke up and didn't feel good.  Really weak, light-headed.  I dreamed that I was in some school cafeteria and people were pinching food off my tray - "Not the shrimp! Don't take my shrimp!" LOL!  But my dream had some justice, 'cause I stole that guy's blueberries.

Goofy dreams aside, dieting can be dangerous.  If Ms. Frederickson managed her diet as well as she indicates - a steady 1,600 calories/day under medical supervision - then I have to pay out my respect to her. I think she went too far, as her BMI is below the normal range, but I hereby pay out my respect to her for her very hard work and discipline.

My difficulty of this morning, I think, has three components. First, I swung the pendulum too far, over-eating and then under-eating. Second, my diet wasn't perfectly nutritious - I haven't been using Wagmu. Third, I haven't been exercising much, so my weight loss has been badly controlled. The solution is better control: managing enough food, with the associated calories, to get our nutrition, and then enough exercise to move us in the right direction toward our health goals.

Wagmu probably does it about as well as is possible, with power operations research methods under the hood.  The problem is, like any discipline, getting oneself to actually use it.

Possible correction: this page says she lost the weight in 7 months, considerably longer than 18 weeks. But I'm still paying out the respect.

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