Aerobic Laughing: A New Weight Loss Plan

Congratulations to Caitlyn Jenner. 
Looking at the upcoming Vanity Fair cover, I admired her courage to come out of shame and emerge as the person she was meant to be. We have all read about Bruce Jenner’s decades of living in a body that didn’t match who he knew himself to be. 
On some level, I can relate to that. With the risk of sounding shallow, I have had my own body image struggles and can identify with Caitlyn. I know this is far different from being transgender, but how often I have looked in the mirror and seen a stranger with belly fat and stretch marks. And, like my dogs, I, too, have nipples on my stomach. Inside was a skinny, glamorous woman, but nobody else was getting to see her.
Courtesy of  Cathryn Michon
Source: Courtesy of Cathryn Michon
One of the problems was my weight. It was always hard to shed those pounds. It only got worse after I turned 50, as my metabolism seemed to have taken an early retirement. I now have to jog five miles just to work off a tic-tac I ate in the 90’s. The only things that fit from my earlier years are my earrings. Like Vegas, what goes on in my body—stays in my body. 
I’d tried every diet, every pill, even Overeaters Anonymous—which doesn’t make sense—what’s so anonymous about it? You’re fat and everyone knows it. A lot of things didn’t work, but what finally did was laughing. The same techniques I used on stage as a standup comic proved to be fat fighters. Humor turned out to be the new secret weight loss method. You can literally laugh off your pounds.  
It’s no joke (excuse the pun)—laughing has been shown to boost your immune system and reduce both stress and physical pain. It also lowers your blood sugar levels. Dr. Helen Pilcher, a neuroscientist AND a comic (no, she doesn’t go by the name Shecky Pilcher), has found that laughing for one hour can burn up to 100 calories. And you don’t have to squeeze into spandex to laugh.
As soon as I stopped beating myself up about my body and started approaching food with a sense of humor, I lightened up—literally.
Here are a few steps to help you feel more confident, happier, and healthier:
1. Poke fun at your fat. When someone asked, “How are you?” instead of feeling ashamed of being overweight, I’d joke about it. “I’m only fifteen pounds away from what it says on my driver’s license.” Self-mocking is better than anything else for taking the heaviness out of the issue. 
2. Gain power over temptation. When you laugh at something, you have power over it. So rather than reach for that cookie, I take a picture of it. I put it on my phone. Let anyone show me a picture of a grandchild and I'll say, “I’ll show you something sweet.”
3. Have snappy comebacks for your inner heckler. As a standup comic, I know how to deal with drunk, abusive hecklers. But when it came to that nasty, defiant voice inside my head, I was never so quick. I let it cut into my confidence and would give up on dieting. Now, I pull a Donald Trump and tell the under-miner, “Hey, you’re fired!” I replaced that critical voice with a more upbeat, “Hey gorgeous, you’re going to be bikini-ready. You’re on the John Oliver, Jon Stewart, Amy Schumer Diet.”  You won’t, but if you should want to cheat on the diet, you can slip in a few moments of morose brooding. 

1 comment:

  1. Jenner has a deep psychological problem. He is not a woman, and there's no way for him to know that he "feels" like one, since he's a genetic male, and has lived the life of a male (and fathered several children, an experience unique to males). All he sees are the exterior characteristic and behavior of the other sex and has decided he likes them -- and a lot of what he's bought into are gender stereotypes. He has no clue what it's really like to be a woman, no more than a woman knows what it's really like to be a man. He's a man with a surgically and chemically mutilated and altered body, wearing traditional women's garb and makeup. None of those things makes you a woman, which is encoded in the DNA (unless you're a hermaphrodite or another person with a verifiable medical condition). Womanhood has been reduced to surgery and hormone shots, a mere costume you put on. He was born a man, he will die one, he's just turned himself into a simulation of a woman.


Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.