A kilo, or kilogram (kg), is the SI unit of weight, equivalent to 2.205 pounds (lb). Actually it’s the unit of mass, weight varying depending on what the local gravitation pull is (acceleration due to gravity).  It’s also the word for K in the NATO Alphabet.

My dictionary says the international standard kilogram is kept at Sèvres, near Paris.   The original definition of gram was the weight of one cubic centimetre of water at 4 degrees Celsius, which makes 1 kg the weight of 1 litre of water.  But the committee that monitors these things is concerned that the ‘international standard’ varies with earth conditions, and aims to find another definition based on fundamental units or constants.  It is due to be reviewed this year.

I like to measure my weight in kilos because I don’t have a mental benchmark of how heavy it is.  If I measure my weight in stone (or pounds), I am shocked by my current state of body mass.  I don’t weigh myself often – I judge things by my ability to get into my clothes!

A few benchmarks for you:

  • 1 kg = 2.2 lbs
  • 10 lbs = 4.5 kg
  • 1 stone= 6.3 kg

So 12 stone is 75.6 kilos.   That’s what I really should weigh.  Oh dear.  I think I’d better lose weight.  Again.  So as I picked up the book “Easy Weight Loss Yoga: 12 Best Poses to Get Lean, Strong, and Calm” when it was free for kindle, I decided to see what it could do for me.

Book Review: Easy Weight Loss Yoga

12 Best Poses to Get Lean, Strong, and Calm

by Patricia Bacall

I have been a serial dieter.  I have been a yoyo dieter – although it was over a period of time that the weight went down, up, down up…  I started when I was 14, because I was 88 kilos.  I got down to 63 kilos, went up to 75 kilos by the time I was in college, went up and down through my 20s & 30s, always getting heavier before I lost weight again.  I’ve done WeightWatchers, Slimming World, the lot.  They all work – for a while.  I estimate I’ve lost 180 pounds over my lifetime.  That’s 80 kilos.  I’d be happy weighing 80 kilos (I’d be happy weighing 90!).

The trouble with most of these diets is they don’t address the person’s mental state.   They do not consider fundamental reasons why you keep putting on weight, and why you go through phases of heavy-light.  And they don’t ever consider that, by now, I have the most superbly trained body you can get – it is trained to store every ounce of fat it can to ward against the next period of starvation.

This book does.

YogaPatricia Bacall discusses, in a straightforward way, the reasons why we diet to fail.  The physical, mental and emotional reasons.  She explains about endocrine systems and hormones and glands, and how we need to keep all these systems working.  She talks about the physiological reason why losing weight is more difficult with age. She suggests that some of the reasons we eat unhealthily is because we are missing key nutritional needs in our diets, and our bodies search around to fill the gap.  This chimes with other theories – like not understanding the thirsty signal from our bodies, and eating instead (I know I suffer from that one, too).

Ms Bacall presents yoga as an opportunity to address our mental and physical states, focusing on 12 key poses in a yoga programme that would stimulate our endocrine system and vital organs.  She recommends finding a suitable yoga class or teacher to help you get going.  This is not a ‘how to do yoga’ book.  It’s a companion volume to a yoga programme, or an exercise programme, for a person who wants to understand what the specific poses can do to help their metabolism.  I like her style.

I don’t know yet whether it does what it says in the title.  But I have access to a weekly yoga class, and I know in the past I have been able to do many of these poses.  I just need to get my mental state into gear to do it.

As they say about any exercise programme, the hardest part is stepping out of the door. Or into the room if you do it at home.

Come back next April and I’ll tell you whether I’ve managed to do anything about it.




K is for Kilo – and a book review
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16 thoughts on “K is for Kilo – and a book review

  • 12 April, 2014 at 6:41 am

    We use the metric system in Japan, and I am not used to pounds, and stones… I prefer measuring my weight in kilos, too
    The book sounds interesting. I have been teaching myself yoga. I haven’t lost a lot of weight, but yoga helps me maintain good health.

    • 12 April, 2014 at 7:23 am

      We work in metric in the UK, too, Romi, but people like me brought up on Imperial have a strange duality in our heads. I ‘know’ what 20 miles is if I’m travelling that far, but I also ‘know’ what 10km is if it is a running course. The two are completely different measures in my head!
      But most of my American friends don’t have an understanding of the metric system at all, so I thought the comparison would be fun.
      Good luck with the yoga 🙂

  • 12 April, 2014 at 6:51 am

    According to Wikipedia, having found that the International Prototype Kilogram was subject to variation, the General Conference on Weights and Measures agreed in principle, in 2011, that the kilogram should be redefined in terms of the Planck constant, but deferred a final decision until its next meeting. That’s this year. Exciting, or what?

    • 12 April, 2014 at 7:27 am

      Wikipedia is my friend when it comes to some of these terms!
      To me, the detail required to establish these standards and constants is boring – but I was at a conference last year with three presentations on the difficulties of getting international standards agreed, and it was fascinating. But then, I enjoy any speakers who are passionate about their work!

  • 12 April, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Thanks for reviewing this book. I, too, was (and still am) a yo-yo dieter. Maybe I will look into yoga…

    • 12 April, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      Good luck, Ros… let’s see how we’re doing this time next year 🙂

  • 12 April, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    I’ve never dieted but I have stopped exercising, put on tons of weight and need to lose weight. I love yoga and will start, again. I’ve also recently read the British heart foundation’s healthy meal plan which I’m gradually moving onto. Good luck. I think we’ll both need it.

  • 12 April, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Good luck to you with the weight thing. I haven’t had that problem, being a bit OCD about exercise, and only weigh about ten pounds more than when I started college (not bad for 30+ years and two kids!). But I have had to keep adjusting my diet, dropping a bunch of calories every decade :p

    • 12 April, 2014 at 11:06 pm

      Yeah – dropping the calories is what seems to be the problem – although I did lose a size in clothes when I first moved to Norfolk – put it back last year after I sprained my arm.

      • 14 April, 2014 at 3:54 pm

        Yeah, I’ve had to make conscious decisions like reducing dessert to once or twice a week, dropping the bread from dinner, etc. Snacking is my biggest downfall!

        And for the record, the 30 years mentioned above are from starting college. And that’s an under-estimate :). Where did the last half century go, anyway?

  • 12 April, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    I always go by pounds and have a hard time to figure out kilos no matter how someone tries to teach me:) Give Yoga a try. I can’t (joint probs) but it sounds like a good thing to try. I don’t yo-yo at all…I just steadily climb:) blame menopause

  • 12 April, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    I have never tried yoga the way I should, but perhaps I should really try to make a concerted effort. Looks like a helpful book.

      • 13 April, 2014 at 2:08 pm

        I am going to avoid saying anything about losing weight because it is a constant concern, but I will say that I prefer to see my weight in kilos! Lower numbers are always a boost to the ego!

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