Where's Cindy Singing Next?

  • Madame Armfeldt, A Little Night Music, Alamo City Opera
    February 3 & 4, 2018 https://www.alamocityopera.org/

Cindy on Stage

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    I play dress-up for a living.
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January 05, 2013



Cindy...having known you for years - far too many years to post here - I am still inspired by you. We have many of the same issues: I struggle with my weight and all the psychological implications that brings; workout like a fiend 3-4X a week; have successes then life happens and I feel unprepared and I take my U-turn. Those damn uturns are gonna happen adn I try to be better equipped to meet them each time. Like you, I feel it happens gradually and then I feel defeated. I am trying to learn better preparation. All of this to you - KEEP UP THE FIGHT - we will do our 5K or 10K as soon as your knee is healed. One day at a time. I will always be here to support you! XOXO B

Melanie Greenberg

Dear Cindy -- Please count me as one of the people inspired by your journey and your honesty! And please don't feel any humiliation about "letting down" your readers. I read your blog because of your intelligence, your grit, your artistic life -- and only secondarily as a wonderful source of recipes and inspiration about weight loss and exercise. The things I love stay true whether you are at a low or a high BMI, and I have great confidence that you will come through this current trough with your spirit unbent! Please do not despair!! You are an amazing woman with a truly original voice (in all senses) -- you are greater than the sum of any BMI chart in a doctor's office.


Thank you to everyone who has commented. :)

NewMe --- it's funny you should mention TPP's article in the Times, as she interviewed me for it but my content didn't make it into the article. Thanks for the tips about the blog and Dr. Blair (I knew I had seen that research somewhere, but could not remember the name of the researcher; and there's certainly more than one).

MSF --- love the way you put it, "weight loss is not a linear process".

Fran --- I agree with you, and there's a lot of research now to bear out what you say about fat cells and BMI. Some time ago one of my readers, who was then a med student and now a doctor, wrote in about how waist-to-height ratio is actually a much better indicator of health risk than BMI. In the post following this one, another medically trained reader has offered a very interesting explanation of why medical personnel use BMI as an indicator.


I have read, and really believe, that once we have the fat cells in our bodies--they're there forever. When we lose weight, they get thinner, but when we gain, they're happy. They are like the siren call for food. All of my adult life, I keep coming back to the weight I'm at now--I call it my body's happy weight. It's not where I want to be, but it's like the optimum amount for those cells. I think that it's a good explanation about why we gain back some of what we lost--over and over again. Why else?
Hang in there. As you say, it's a constant journey. By the way, BMI's are really a lousy measure of health and body weight. By using only the BMI, some 300 pound athlete with not an ounce of body fat might be considered obese.



I've been a pretty close reader of your blog for a couple of years now, and I've noticed how reluctant you've been to write explicitly about the weight gain. Just as you've had to find strategies for dealing with all of the messages in our society that encourage a sedentary lifestyle and over-eating, you've had to contend with messages that weight loss is a linear process. Maintaining lifestyle changes for a lifetime takes so much focus. I think that few of us have the mental energy to be "on" every single day, regardless of how passionate we are about an issue/topic/goal/etc.

Kudos to you for writing this post and sharing your real, human experiences with this process. We need all kinds of examples and yours is as authentic, if not more so, than that of the person who finds it easy to stay in a "normal" weight range.

It's understandable to be angry and humiliated by this situation. At the same time as you're seeing yourself as someone who didn't qualify for the lower cost health care because of a single indicator of you (BMI), keep in mind that there are lots of other indicators that you are a healthy, vibrant, inspiring ATHLETE who needs this knee surgery to maintain and improve your #ss-kicking fitness level. YOU deserve it!


95% of people--no matter how well meaning, no matter how hard they work, no matter how "well" they eat--gain all the weight back and often end up fatter than they were originally.

The tiny minority that maintains a significant weight loss typically exercises much more than those who have never been fat and eats significantly less than those who have never been fat--this from the National Weight Control Registry. Tara Parker Pope's lengthy article in the New York Times a few months ago shows the lengths to which weight loss maintainers must go to keep their weight down. It is not a question of willpower, as you yourself have said.

Just as an aside, I highly suggest a blog called Debra's Just Maintaining (justmaintaining.com), written by someone who freely admits that maintaining weight loss is truly one of the most difficult things one can do. Her posts on the science of weight (loss/gain/maintain) are a must-read.

Dr. Steven Blair, an internationally known exercise physiologist has done numerous studies showing that those who are fat and active (as you are) are actually just as healthy as those who are at a so-called "normal" BMI and actually healthier than those who are thin and inactive.

Stories such as yours make me furious. First, because the mainstream (and certainly the medical mainstream) continues to confuse thinness with being healthy (just like how most scientists--SCIENTISTS!--believed the world was flat until only a few hundred years ago) and this misconception has led to the misuse of the BMI, to the detriment of so many people such as yourself.

Of course, your situation also underscores the idiocy of a country as advanced and modern as yours not having a universal health care system. But that's another debate for perhaps another blog.

I wish you all the best and hope your knee is taken care of as soon as possible.

Laurel Porter

We've all been there ... Well, not EXACTLY there (with the complications regarding the meniscus surgery), but with the backsliding. My husband and I are there right now, in fact. However: We've done it before, we did it right, and we can do it again. For longer.

Power to the people, whatever their BMI!

Love you—Laurel


Thanks for sharing.


You said this was a hard post to write, but for me at least this was an incredibly inspiring post to read. Thank you very, very much for writing this.

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