Some time in the past week, I saw a Facebook post from Dr. Oz saying “sitting is the new smoking.” This struck me as wrong on several fronts. But even at face value, the good doctor claimed that by sitting too much we were getting diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes. We were going to die of obesity related issues because we sit at work all day.


An example of how much fun this would be


Some companies have even created desks/work stations where the operators stands to use the computer. Of course, they have had these for server racks (computer stuff) for decades. But apparently instead of the tacky metal shelving, they use pressed fiberboard and cover it with a veneer of something nicer looking.

As an aside, if I were forced to stand at work, I would never again dress “up” and wear anything fancy requiring fancy shoes. I would be in there in the same ugly shoes I wear to walk in. So I would have some crappy slacks to go with the ugly shoes and part of my joy in working (the dressing up part is actually fun for me) would be lost.

As an OR nurse, I stood at work often. If I was acting as scrub nurse or second assistant, I could stand in place for hours at a time. My coworkers also stood at work, especially the surgical technicians who never got to sit with the paperwork job. Some of them were fat.

It is true that after I left nursing, my jobs were less physical and therefore more sedentary. However, I did not start gaining weight until after menopause. It wasn’t whether or not I stood at work, it was my body rebelling against the vagaries of old age. I was padding up in case illness struck or something.

I have been walking since August as all of you who read my writing must surely know. I weighed enough too much to finally do “something” about it. What I planned to do was walk. I started out slow and increased my walks. In a couple months time I lost about a pound. My shape changed much more than my weight. The flabby stuff was starting to tighten up some. That was good. My weight was still much higher than I wanted. That was bad.

So, a couple weeks ago I began in earnest to take up that horrid four letter word. I adopted a d-i-e-t. Shudder. I was going to not only have to walk, I was going to have to do more than “watch what I eat” and actually restrict what I eat.

I began tracking every single morsel of caloric intake. I no longer picked up just one almond M&M as I passed the bowl. However, if I counted out a serving of almond M&Ms so I actually knew what I was eating, I permitted myself my treat. It is just that I consciously chose to diet instead of just willy-nilly limit here or there.

In the last couple weeks I’ve eaten two really good candy bars (3 servings of chocolate according to the packages) and a small bowl of potato chips. I’ve had ice cream with velvet fudge sauce (but that was my only snack for the day).

In times past, while I was watching what I was eating, I would have perhaps a small bowl of chips and if I had the munchies later, I would also have the ice cream. And of course, a few almond M&Ms throughout the day.

In the last two weeks, I have shed nearly five pounds. I’m not walking any more than I have been. I’m not increasing my movement. I’m decreasing my eating. Today, even though it isn’t Saturday, I weighed myself. I have less than ten pounds to lose, which means that middle number is the “magic” one I was looking for. I wouldn’t mind losing about 15 pounds still, but I insist to myself to lose the ten.

So, it isn’t that I’ve been sitting too much, although that is probably true. My weight issue is due to the fact that I was eating too much. I was able to maintain my weight with just watching what I ate, but I wasn’t able to lose any. So, Dr. Oz, I respectfully disagree with your premise. What we eat really, really matters.