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I might never eat a double chocolate jumbo muffin again

24 May

A couple of weeks ago, my company sent a few of its employees (including me) to attend a Women’s Health Conference. It was sort of fun and informative, though it was kind of a long day for me to be in a building with that many women talking about womany things. I mean, I know I am a woman and stuff, but I don’t especially like a lot of the things traditionally discussed by women in large groups. For example: fashion, makeup, historical pseudo-romantic fiction… The whole time I was there I didn’t meet a single person who seemed a likely candidate for discussing Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Legos, or the latest in companion mammal veterinary medicine.

Of course the best thing to come out of any conference (other than free food) is the swag, right? I collected numerous pencils and pens, assorted mini-chocolates, and a few other little items, but there was one freebie that stood out.

The latest weight-loss fad I have heard about on the radio is the “cold laser”. This is actually a misnomer; the laser doesn’t freeze you – it just isn’t hot like most lasers. I had learned a bit about it at the vet conference I attended in January because it has recently gained some momentum in the veterinary field. Not for weight loss, mind you, but for more therapeutic purposes – easing the pain of arthritis, speeding the healing process, etc. I know it’s considered very safe. Anyway, being a skeptical person, I remember thinking this sounded a bit like a placebo treatment but I was curious. As it happens, one of the companies in town that does this was at the conference, so I stopped to talk with the guy at the booth. As part of a conference special, they were offering a free treatment to anyone who stopped at their booth. I would never pay to try something like this, but since it was free I thought “What the hell?” I’m sure the idea behind it is once they get you to try it, you will be so impressed you will gladly fork surrender your life savings and/or your first-born child in order to have more treatments (and by the way, the pricing for these treatments is not displayed on the website or any of the printed materials they had at the conference, so I knew this would not be cheap.*

For my treatment, I opted to have the lasers applied to my upper arms in the hopes that if nothing else, I would be slightly less likely to knock over small children with my batwings when I wave. The laser application lasted about 20 minutes, and it was completely painless. The technician measured marked three places on my arms, and measured the diameter before and after the lasers. While hooking up the lasers she told me they generally expect a reduction of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch on each arm, but that it varies a bit from person to person (as with anything). So after the treatment when she measured me again, we were both surprised to see the maximum reduction was 1-1/4 inches in one spot! Well, color me convinced.

That was pretty damned impressive, but that was not what shocked me. What the treatment does is release the fat from the cells in the targeted area. this we’ll all that energy available to your body to burn off. However if you don’t burn it off, the body just stores it again and you’re right back where you started. So in order to make the treatment you need to exercise within 3 hours to burn off 350 calories. So I’m like “oh just 350 calories? No problem!”

I WAS SUCH A FOOL.

Do you know how far I have to walk/run to burn off 350 calories? Only about 3.1 miles. THREE POINT ONE MILES. That’s 5k, baby.

Which got me thinking about how we list the calories on food and beverages, but most people don’t know what those numbers really mean. I mean most of us know what calories are, but how many people really know how hard you have to work to burn them off? And that is how I came up with my next great idea.

What if every food and beverage product were labeled with an Exercise equivalent? For example, (and these are just guesses, mind you).

One Snickers bar = 3.1 miles running.
One can of Mountain Dew = 1.5 miles running.
One double chocolate jumbo muffin with chocolate frosting = One full marathon run at a pace of nine minutes per mile.

Wouldn’t you think twice about supersizing your french fries if you knew it would mean an extra 75 minutes on the treadmill? I know I sure as hell would. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for me to choke down my incredibly healthy lunch, which contains absolutely zero servings of chocolate muffin.

_____________________
* At $200 per treatment (which is not covered by insurance), it isn’t cheap. But the staff will be happy to tell you how much cheaper and safer it is compared to liposuction or gastric bypass surgery. And of course they will be delighted to help you set up a payment plan. Nevermind that in order to set up a payment plan, you need to be able to afford the payments in the first place.

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19 responses to “I might never eat a double chocolate jumbo muffin again

  1. mareserinitatis

    May 28, 2013 at 10:33 am

    1- This sounds like a miserable conference. No one who likes Legos!?
    2- My health teacher in junior high (who was also a PE teacher and whose name I forgot, though I remember she was really cool) was adamant that this was how food should be labelled. I think she mentioned 1 peanut M&M would require you running the length of a football field.
    3- I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with my floppy skin as I’m losing weight…maybe this is an option? I don’t know.

     
    • karifur

      May 28, 2013 at 10:40 am

      I’m not sure if it would help with loose skin – but it is worth looking into. There was also someone there who had, among other things, a type of wrap which you can apply at home to help tighten up your skin. Apparently they will come to your house and do parties, like Mary Kay or Tupperware. I have no idea if it actually works or not, but I can get you her contact info if you want. Might be worth having her over for one of those party-type things to see if actually works.

       
    • Jessica Cobb (@DomesticPirate)

      May 28, 2013 at 11:08 am

      Strength training is a great option for tightening loose skin. It does take a while though. You just have to remember that your skin didn’t stretch out in a day, so it won’t tighten in a day, either. 🙂

       
  2. karifur

    May 28, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Oh, and I forgot to add – an unexpected but positive side effect of the treatment is that my triceps, which had been aching from my first weight-lifting session in months, were no longer sore after the lasers. So clearly its therapeutic benefits for animals apply to humans as well.

     
  3. Lisa W.

    May 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I have heard of those laser treatments and wondered if they actually work – or if the benefits would be worth the cost. I try to be calorie conscious, but I love this new labeling idea!! I the treadmill so reading “3 hours on the treadmill” would be a much bigger deterrent than “450 calories.”

     
    • karifur

      May 28, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Lisa it definitely worked for me, but I’m not sure about whether it’s worth the cost. It certainly isn’t for me right now, since I don’t have that kind of disposable income, BUT I do think it would be a much healthier solution for people who are considering liposuction and is probably much more affordable than that procedure.
      One thing I really liked was that the technician made sure to emphasize that it is not a solution for people who are not commited to living a healthier lifestyle, so I imagine they get a lot of people who think they can just do the treatments and continue eating whatever they want and laying on the couch watching TV. They offer a lot of assistance to their clients as far as encouraging exercise, and suggestions for healthier eating patters. I’m glad that they are not just offering a quick weight-loss solution and throwing people back into the pit.

       
  4. fourtuitous

    May 30, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    So you don’t knock over small children with your bat wings? Ha! You are a good samaritan to think of others on your weight loss journey 🙂 And I am totally with you on the labels! Starbucks Frap: keep running.

    Great post!

     
    • karifur

      May 30, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Yes, that’s right. I am trying to lose weight, not for vanity, but for HUMANITY. Mother Teresa, eat your heart out.

       
  5. Punky Coletta

    June 2, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Yikes! When you think about it like that….. I’ll take my sitting on the couch time over a Snickers bar!

     
    • karifur

      June 2, 2013 at 11:45 am

      Me too! Which is why yesterday I actually turned down the great temptation of eating a double chocolate muffin

       
  6. MeglyMc

    June 4, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Ughhhh….muffins RUINED! I don’t even want to drive 26.2 miles.

     
    • karifur

      June 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      As an alternative, you could cut that jumbo muffin into quarters and only run 8.3 miles. 😀

       
      • MeglyMc

        June 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm

        LMAO…problem SOLVED! (she said…sobbing)

         
  7. brendadion

    June 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    First, I would always be willing to talk Doctor Who with you though I wonder if I look like someone who would? Ponder ponder. Great post. Didn’t even know this technology existed! C has become my new mortal enemy (Calories, Carbs, Cookies, Cake, Candy…the list never ends).

     
    • karifur

      June 11, 2013 at 11:30 am

      I definitely love me some Doctor Who; I couldnt say if you look like a whovian based on your avatar, but personally I don’t think there is a “type”. The great thing about Doctor Who is that it appeals to so many different kinds of people! 🙂

       
    • karifur

      June 11, 2013 at 11:32 am

      Oh and regarding “C” things; I believe in moderation. A little bit of carbs, cookies, cake, candy, or calories are fine as long as I don’t go crazy and eat up the entire cupboard. 🙂

       

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