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Jack and Elsa and Rambo and Kenny: Weighty Wisdom in Weird Places

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

I am not really known for always agreeing with Joe Q. Public on many things, and my taste in pop culture is one of the areas where I often tend to disagree. Like every other woman on the planet, I have seen TITANIC more times than I have digits, but it is NOT because of Rose and Jack's pathetically sappy and stupid love affair. I realize Leo's character may have had a few redeeming qualities, but I'm not really into mouthy, arrogant blonds who gamble their way onto a boat, board it with a false identity, then start committing lewd acts in the back seats of other people's cars with engaged women. Then there is FROZEN, which sends an icy chill through me every time I see the relentless, in-your-face merchandising. Do we really need some wonky snowman turning up on everything from toilet paper to socks, just because Disney tapped into everyone's emo side and animated two sisters singing for no reason at all? No, we don't. I loved TITANIC only because I find the ship-sinking scene to be amazing special effects and filmmaking, and the only thing I like about FROZEN is when "The End" finally flashed across the screen so I could step away and question my life choices in wasting an hour and forty-nine minutes of my life on yet more Disneyism. (Sorry, but I've been bitter against them since I was a kid and realized all those old animateds are really just stolen stories from people like Hans Andersen and, most recently, when they committed the cardinal sin of buying STAR WARS on the auction block, as if Yoda has any business at all walking around with Mickey Mouse.) This despise for Jack Dawson and all things Elsa are why I find it so surprising that today, my thoughts are on two similar but relatable truths that we Sparkies should pay attention to: Elsa's "let it go" and Jack's "never let go." Both are right, and admitting that kinda turns my stomach a little.

In these live-its of ours (I am doing my best to avoid usage of "diet," because it's actually an attempt to keep us from dying earlier), there are many things we need to learn to let go of. Of course these things include fatty-fatteners like butter, sugar, fast food, soda, etc. and so on, but there's more to it than that. If you are going to have true success in your weight-loss or weight-maintenance efforts, there are some mental fatteners that you're going to have to let go of too.

Sure, Elsa is famous for singing this, and the world in general is now known to spout it to you every time you are on a rant about something (I oughtta know, because I rant more often than most, and since my dear loved ones know I despise FROZEN, they are forever singing "Let It Go," which, ironically, just sends me into another rant.). I would prefer, though, to say this now with more fervor than an animated princess. Years before FROZEN disgraced our screens, there was someone I actually loved, someone who graced my bedroom walls and my locker and even a few of my t-shirts. That someone was Rambo, and he was actually the first I can recall to give us that soundbyte. Rambo said it, "Let it go," with a whole lot more firmness, with a knife against someone's throat, covered in dirt and growling it instead of singing it. This is how I'm saying it to you now. (In fact, I might tie a strip of cloth around my head and put on some camo while I type the rest of this... nah, never mind. That would require me to get up, and it isn't time for my afternoon tryst with the boyfriend just yet.)

And what am I growling for you to let go? Many things that WILL get in your way. These things are intangible, but they are just as dangerous to your efforts as cheesecake and French fries. What are they, these blubber-builders that will halt your hottieness? Simple: Thoughts and words.

I have been noticing on Spark as of late that there are MANY people out there (myself included) who fall prey to self-defeating words and thoughts, as well as discouraging words and thoughts that come from other people and from the media. There is no guarantee that you are going to lose weight, but there is also no guarantee that you are going to have an entourage of screaming fans as you make the attempt. The people closest to you might say and think things that will make you feel as if you are wasting your time or doing the wrong thing. One of those close people might actually be you, yourself. Here are some examples of things you NEED to let go of, and I'm sure John J. Rambo would tell you the same...or Elsa would sing it to you. (Then again, if she did sing it to me, I'd want to borrow Rambo's knife or maybe throw her over a cliff onto a nice, sharp, animated ice shard.)

-- "I ate 2,806 calories today, because I couldn't control myself at the office party, and I was all stressed out and ate two Big Macs for dinner. I may as well quit forever because I messed up today."
My answer to that: LET IT GO! Tomorrow is another day, and every new day is one day closer to a better weigh. If you have to start over, do it. The only guaranteed way to fail is to quit. If you give up on your diet, you're really giving up on your life.

-- "You really don't need to lose another pound. You look too skinny already."
My answer to that: LET IT GO! As long as you are well aware of your healthy weight range and are not slipping into harmful behaviors or disorders like anorexia and bulimia, you need to be at the place where you feel and look your healthiest. Don't let anyone dissuade you from doing what's best for you.

-- "I thought you were on a diet. You don't look like you've lost much to me...and why are you eating that half-cookie then? Shouldn't you be eating celery or something, fatty?"
My answer to that? LET IT GO! The people who say these sorts of thing may very well be the people who are closest to you, maybe your spouse or your Aunt Betty or even that person looking back at you in the mirror. They may say it for a number of reasons, ranging from general cruelty to jealousy, but for whatever reason the words are spoken, they should be quickly dismissed. You can't control what you hear, but you can control what you take to heart, and these sorts of things are better taken to the dumpster. In one ear and out the other will keep these words from sticking to your waistline.

-- "I just can't do this. What normal human can survive on 1,200 calories anyway? I'm so hungry I could eat my Jack Russell! This is impossible!"
My answer to this: LET IT GO! You CAN live on 1,200 calories, because I'm not dead yet, nor do I feel like I am. You are likely more snacky or cravy than hungry, or maybe you're just stressed out or bored. Chew some gum, walk your dog, or write a Spark blog to take your mind off these defeating thoughts. If you insist on saying you can't, you'll never get rid of the extra flab on your can.

-- "Your obesity isn't your fault or within your control. Your metabolism is working against you. Your body just wants you to be fat, and you can't possibly do anything about it. Besides, it's perfectly okay to be 230 lbs. when you're 5'4". In fact, I think I'll get you a bikini ad spot, because we wouldn't want to 'body shame' anybody or accuse them of being unhealthy these days, even if it's kinda-sorta true."
My answer to that: LET IT GO. You CAN overcome whatever obstacles you face in weight, no matter your slowing metabolism or other factors. You do not have to settle for an unhealthy weight or make the excuse that the world should just accept it because you simply can't do anything about it or because you just don't want to. Your body does not want you to be unfit, and your heart and knees will eventually let you know that if they haven't already. It should not be taken as offense or insult to be made aware that you are unhealthy, and acceptance and tolerance are not always good things when what you are accepting and tolerating is harmful to you.

Spoiler alert: I find it interesting that Rose did eventually let go, and when she did, what happened? He sank! I really have no idea why Leo would sink like that, unless it's because he isn't really human, which wouldn't surprise me one bit. (Another interesting thing about this scene to me is that Rose looks exactly like Edward Scissorhands, except that I actually liked him...and I bet Eddie Scissors would have scooted over or at least carved ol' Jack another life raft out of a nearby floating chair or something.) There is a lesson to be learned in the sinkable Jack Dawson: There are certain things that we should not let go of, or it just might result in doom. So what are some of those things for us Sparkies? Let's take a look.

-- -Ments and Mints and Tic for Tac and Sampling Snacks and Getting Sauced
That's right, folks, condiments and mints, nibbles, and dunks and dollops DO count in your calorie counts. The average purse candy (LifeSavers, a Jolly Rancher, Werther's, etc.) can contain anywhere from 15 to 23 calories each. If you have to sit through an extra-long sermon containing too much review of the begats, you might be compelled to munch more of them, but remember that those Sunday-morning LifeSavers can be anything but. Also, don't forget to count those samples you pick up on your Sunday afternoon grocery run and the dollop of this or that sauce and condiment, because you might very well dunk your calories in just a few bites! EVERY calorie you eat counts, so when it comes to logging your food, log EVERY morsel, even those tiny two-cal Tic Tacs. When in doubt, overestimate what you ate, because that will only be to your benefit for a better fit.

-- Don't stop chasing waterfalls.
I loved TLC and even saw them once in concert, but I have to remember in my conscious weight efforts that I must never stop chasing waterfalls. I d
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