Monday, July 04, 2005

scylla and charybdis, if scylla was a repulsively fat sea monster and charybdis a completely bald whirlpool

Today is the start of Week 7 of my diet. So far, so good, or at least so I thought. After today's weigh-in, I was chastised by the virtual police at Online Weight Watchers:

And then, just to show OWW knows how to hit an insecure guy where it hurts, I clicked on the link about the effects of rapid weight loss:

There has been speculation among less kind Jeremy Freese observers regarding whether my much-departed hair makes my resolute dieting this summer more imperative or more pointless. (You know who you are.) Now I learn that I may be hastening my baldness through my dieting.* Ugh.

Granted, he leading indicators of my hairline were already well into recession by the time I graduated from high school. My mother's brothers, those best genetic harbingers of a man's hair horizon, have been cueballs my whole life. So, to be honest, in large respect I have been pleasantly surprised to have had as much hair as I have had for as long as I have had.

But this doesn't mean that I don't want to keep as much of my hair for as long as I can. The image that I have is of the remaining hairs bravely fighting to keep their position amidst a relentlessly attacking genetic enemy. I still remember the very raw sense of betrayal I felt when I was a senior in college and was spun around by my hair stylist to see the back of my head and learned for the first time that my baldness had established a rear base and that my remaining hair would henceforth be fighting a two-front war.

Anyway, am I losing weight too fast? It's not like I'm starving myself. I'm following their freaking system! And, although I did manage to jog five miles last night due to the Beatrice-like guidance and encouragement of Katy--best exercise partner ever--it's not like I've turned into anything even remotely like a workout fiend. I've been attributing the fact that I've been losing weight at a rapid clip due to (a) my having a nontrivial amount of weight to lose and (b) to my being male and men losing weight faster than women--isn't this supposed to be one of the Four Major Advantages to Being Male?** In any case, OWW can try to scare me with threats of accelerated baldness all they want, I am going to stay the course and not be discouraged.

* As an aside, I have become convinced that summer brings out especial contempt for the bald. I am convinced of this being a correct empirical statement even though I have no idea why it would be so. I don't know what it would be about summer that would cause people to take new notice of the follicularly challenged, or to have greater antipathy toward baldness, or to feel a greater compunction to make their antipathies known. Perhaps it is provoked by the extra-bright reflection of sun off scalp in the summer. Perhaps there is a rising premium of youth that makes people annoyed at those who display a cardinal symbol of unsuccessful aging.

** The others being (1) ruling the world, (2) not being pressured to wear high heels/mascara/certain feminine hygiene products, (3) being able to a joke and have it get more laughs--from men and women like--than if a woman told exactly the same joke.*** (The intra- and inter-society variability of the Four Major Advantages, as well as assessments of their reversibility, is left as an exercise for the reader.)

*** Dorotha insists this is true, and I'm inclined to agree. Actually, I've been trying for over two years now to get her to collaborate with me on a study to actually attempt to document and elaborate this.


Anonymous said...

Jeremy - Thank you for inspiring me to finally do something about my weight. I joined WW online about four weeks ago after I saw one of your posts about it. I've lost about 12 lbs so far. Don't let the automated message on the Weight Watchers weigh-in page get you down - maybe you were again just on the heavier end of your "diurnal weight fluctuation" last week.

Anonymous said...

Plans like this only work if you are eating enough food to sustain yourself over the long haul, but not enough to equal the number of calories you expend each day. I suspect you're not eating enough food each day (based on previous posts). You'll never be able to keep the weight off if don't lose it in a healthy manner.

jeremy said...

Anon 3:22: Thanks.

Anon 3:37: While I appreciate your certitude, which makes me nostalgic for those who diagnosed Terri Schiavo from videotape clips, I did eat over my daily points (and so into my flex points and/or activity points allowance) six out of seven days last week, so the amount I'm eating is no less than their recommendation.

astrid jane said...

Mmmm, on the "Freese Big Four Advantages of Being Male" list...I'd add at least one more: The near certainty that sex will lead to your having an orgasm if you are male. If you are a woman and you sleep with men, you're lucky if you average 50/50. Extremely lucky. (Unless you count reaching on down there afterward and taking care of it yourself.)

Anonymous said...

Jeremy, I must hardily disagree that summer brings out greater degrees of anti-balding sentiments. As someone who found the follicularly-challenged-guy-she cares-for's-sparsity NOTHING but endearing, it just broke my heart to see him burn brighter than a preschooler's fire engine red crayola in the sun. Any chance your perceived contemptuousness could actually be concern for greater sunscreen usage? =) At any rate, you clearly need to hang around with other folks who can appreciate the less-populated scalp's many virtues. --Elizabeth