Eating Disorders And The Dark Side Of Food

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I was reminded of something again the other day that I hadn’t thought about in awhile. It’s something I’ve largely walked away from but it can, at times, still have it’s lingering claws sunk into me.

Disordered thinking about food and eating.

I guess on some levels, we all grow up with some kind of disordered thinking when it comes to eating and feeding our bodies.

If we’re fortunate we live in a family where balance and health is taught. We may or may not be so fortunate.

Food was always important in our family. Holidays, celebrations, birthdays, big Sunday meals, food was a part of everything.

That’s not inherently, bad. Food is a part of life and a part we should be able to enjoy and have fun with. Food nourishes us and gives us life. Food brings us together.

Unfortunately, food can also become as much of an addictive, powerful, and deadly force in our lives as drugs or alcohol.

My grandmother and mom were amazing cooks. It’s where I learned that nothing compares to homemade baked goods. They taught me how to read recipes and be inventive. I totally acknowledge I learned all I know about food and cooking from them.

Both of them, were also morbidly obese.

More was always better growing up. Clean your plate. Leave nothing behind. Seconds, well, of course you should have them. Eat until you felt your stomach would come through your skin.

That is such a gross feeling. It’s one I haven’t experienced now in so long I can’t tell you… I haven’t eat like that in more years than I can count… and I don’t miss it at all.

I’m not beating up on my family.  It’s just the truth of my reality.

It wasn’t till I was a full grown adult that I could really see much more clearly the impact food had on my family… in a negative way. Besides my grandmother and mom having all kinds of health problems from being to fat, there was the emotional aspect of food and eating that I could identify much more clearly.

Food was comfort. Food met unmet emotional needs. Food was love.

I was in a family of overeaters and binging on food was quite common.

Eating disorders at it’s finest.

Thankfully, as I began my health journey and started getting a handle on my weight and where I was heading, I also had eyes that started clearly seeing what I had grown up with thinking it was normal and ok.

It wasn’t. Overeating and binging on food is never ok.

And I’m not talking about, you know, Christmas dinner where you have an extra roll and potatoes. Those are special occasions where you might be tempted to eat a bit more than usual. I’m talking about it as an unhealthy lifestyle.

The other ugly end of the spectrum  of course, is not eating or withholding food. Anorexia and bulimia,   two major eating disorders wreak as much havoc on people as eating to much food.

All of them, incidentally, are listed as mental illnesses. Did you know that ?

All of them in their own ways, destroy the body. Food is one of the few things we have power over in our lives…what we eat…how we eat.. how much we eat…we have exclusive control. In a world that we might seem to have no power… we have power over our food intake…or lack thereof.

Consider a few of these stats:

One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia.  2-3 American women suffer from bulimia.  An additional 10% of women report symptoms consistent with eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge disorder eating leaving the numbers at a staggering 75% of American women who endorse some unhealthy thoughts, feelings, or behaviors related to food or their bodies.

Of course these numbers don’t reflect men who suffer from these diseases as well.  The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders states approximately 8 million Americans suffer with eating disorders. There are indications from other forums that those numbers are actually, higher.

Those are staggering numbers.

Eating disorders — such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder – include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences for females and males

 

Now back to my opening line of thoughts that still sink their claws into me…

No, I don’t believe I ever had a full blown eating disorder. Well, I know I didn’t.

Disordered thinking regarding food, absolutely.

There were times, certainly, when I was pretty thin. After all, isn’t that what’s pushed at us?

Be thin. Thinner is better. Except during those times I never viewed myself that way… I didn’t see myself as I really was…mentally I thought I was heavier… but the world saw a very tall thin woman.

 

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I ran the gambit of things growing up and well into adulthood.

Skipping breakfast, not eating till dinner, eating ridiculous small portions that weren’t enough food, pushing a lot of water, chewing gum to try and ignore my hunger, frequent check in’s with the scale, crazy fad diets.. yeah…disordered at its best. Thinking about food all the time or when I could have it (weird how when you are in those places, food can dominate your thinking, especially when you keep yourself hungry all the time) then when I finally allowed myself to eat… of course.. it was inhaled because I was so hungry.

Those thoughts can sometimes still creep in…

Like thinking about the calories of something when I know I need to eat…like after or before a workout.  Thankfully, I view food more as fuel for my body and a way to nourish it now days but sometimes I find myself thinking… maybe I don’t need that…

Maybe I should skip a meal.

Maybe I don’t need a pre-snack before a long hard workout.

Ignoring my hunger when I know I need to eat.

Sometimes not eating enough food.

 

However, those thoughts are rare now, and I think I have an overall healthy attitude with food and keeping it in a proper place in my life. I know eating well not only fuels my daily activities but what I enjoy doing physically.  I’ve learned eating three (healthy, nourishing meals) keeps me from being hungry and not thinking about food all day.

Not only that, good nutrition and athletic activities have given me a strong, powerful body that I prefer now over the vague quest to just be “thin”.

Some of you reading this might struggle with that very thing: keeping food in a proper place and relationship for what it is. Maybe you struggle with your perception of yourself.

Perhaps you’ve been there but have it managed now.

Food is, and will be a huge part of our lives. Understanding how we relate to it and the role we allow it to play in our lives is huge.

Again, as I mentioned earlier, it can also be a “power” issue.

The power to choose. The power to withhold. The power to overdo. The power to eat and hide it. The power to secretly eat to much and throw it up.

This can give us a sense of “control” when our worlds might be, or seem, out of control. Unfortunately, for some, these diseases can become what controls their lives.

These are such deep, broad issues that I’ve barely touched on. The reasons why someone struggles with it is wide and varied.

Eating disorders have no economic or social boundaries. Both sexes can struggle with them. Having an awareness of the issue is the first step to wellness and a healthier relationship with food.

For more information or help visit http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Right Diet For You

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Say what? Did I just use the word “diet” in my title? Maybe you’re thinking… “you don’t do diets… what’s up? And what do you mean the right diet??”

And you’re correct, I don’t subscribe to any particular diet or current trendy food movement that’s going around.

8 years ago I decided when I was going to finally do it ( lose weight) and be done with it this time (for good)  that I needed to figure out what worked for me.

I had to first acknowledge what DIDN’T work for me.

I knew that I didn’t like having to follow some set daily food plan telling me what I could eat and how much. I didn’t want to be locked into something ridged that kept me from living my life and enjoying it.

I didn’t wanna be miserable. I didn’t wanna be deprived. Basically, I wasn’t interested in suffering.

Isn’t that what diets are about? You jump into something for 6-8 weeks, hope for the best, and count down the days till you can return to “normal” life and eating. You just get through it.

And well, I’m honestly a bit of a rebel at heart and just  don’t like having to follow the rules of a set diet. Like… don’t tell me what to eat and when….. everything in me rebelled against that.

That’s when I decided… I’ll just do my own thing…. and you know what? it’s worked for me.

I wanted to lose weight, not be hungry, and eat what I enjoyed while I did it.

Let me give you 3 tips or suggestions on building your own daily “diet” ( and I use that term to describe what you consume in your day)

 

Safe.  Whatever you decide to do, it needs to be safe in a health way. Don’t overly restrict your calories or live off nothing but bananas or some crazy stunt. Understand what your basic daily caloric needs are and operate within that zone.  If you actively exercise don’t forget to adjust your needs for higher active days. If you need help understanding your calorie needs, consult with your doctor for a good base line starting place. It also needs to have all food groups included.

 

Simple. For me that meant being able to eat foods I enjoyed and could easily prepare. It also meant having a working plan that I could stick to and follow. It also had to be flexible. If the family went out for a burger, I certainly didn’t want to sit there picking at a salad while they had fries!  ( although, now days, a salad is almost always my preference simply because I like them and feel better eating them over a heavier meal) If I had a burger, it was an intentional choice that I enjoyed and then just moved on with life.

 

Sustainable.  I think this is the most important point. Whatever you set up for yourself has to be what works for you. That is the only way you will stick with it and be successful long term, and for the rest of your life.  It doesn’t have to be what your co-worker is doing or your neighbor. They aren’t you… you aren’t them. It’s time to set aside cookie cutter diets and not try to fit into molds that aren’t designed for us.  I think that’s why so many fail in this process of losing weight.  Trying to fit into something that is designed to fail from the beginning .

 

Other suggestions to this would be:

Make sure you include all food groups in your plan. If you aren’t crazy about something ( like veggies) then just start taking small steps to incorporate them.

Eat enough food to satisfy your appetite, but don’t stuff yourself.

Listen to your bodies natural signals… eat when hungry…don’t eat when you aren’t.

Don’t restrict foods. I think that was a huge thing to my success. I basically told myself that I could have anything, nothing was off limits, and it really takes the power out it knowing you can have it…if you realllllyyy need it…  but it gives you the freedom to leave it alone too. It puts a huge level of control on your side.  Understand.. this wasn’t open season for me to just eat crappy food. I knew that was stuff that needed to be limited for my success. It just removed its power over me by mentally by not restricting it from my life. We always…want…what we cannot have.

Structure your meals to where you eat larger ones early on in day…tapering to lighter at the end of day.  Really, think about when you need the most calories and energy…it’s not before you go to bed in the evening with a huge meal.

Get to know your body! Know what foods make you feel good and energetic and which make you feel like crap. Don’t shun foods groups just because it’s the latest trend. If you have a valid allergy issue or if you don’t feel great when you eat it, fine. Otherwise aim for balance of all foods.

By developing and building your own plan, you will be able to stay on it for a life time and not just a few weeks.  Making your own rules will keep it sustainable and doable for you which will lead to your success.

 

A New Year And A New Start

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Hello beautiful people and Happy New Year to you! I hope you’re still out there since it’s been awhile that I’ve offered anything up to you… I’m still here!

2016 ended with a lot going on, not to mention the usual Christmas events and celebrations to prepare for. A big thing for me was finally having to move my dad out of his home into a personal care home  in December as his Alzheimers had greatly progressed and he needed constant care.

Unfortunately, my 2017 started off with him passing away a few days into the new year. Even though we knew he would be leaving us soon, the finality is always something you still have to contend with.

Ah…kinda  heavy stuff to start the year off with but life keeps moving… right?

Even with so much going on in my life, a new year always inspires me, gives me a fresh focus and vision with things I want to accomplish or try. A new year full of opportunities and goals to set.  And trust me, I have new goals already set.

As usual I’ve heard from many people about their weight loss and fitness goals. That this is going to be “their year” for success. They are ready to get going on “the journey”.

And of course, all of the weight loss products are out in full force on every aisle in the store along with your neighbors who are pedaling stuff and are now experts on nutrition and health … I’ve said it once I’ll say it again… you don’t need any of that to be successful… save your money for new clothes…

it’s sounds old school but solid nutrition and some healthy movement are the only things that will give you life long success at staying healthy and fit.

Sooooo….you have good intentions. You’re ready. More importantly, you’re mentally ready to begin this process… and it IS a process. It’s not something you will achieve overnight but if you keep at it, will be a lifelong process of health and well being… it will just be what you do every day without thinking about it.

Where does one start? How does one start? Do you feel overwhelmed before you begin?

You aren’t alone.  I remember multiple attempts before it finally “stuck”. What made it different for me? What got me moving in a permanent forward direction?

I’ll share a few things with you….

First, I had to just make a commitment to myself to do it. Not for my husband or kids or so I could wear skinny jeans . It has to be for you. This is your life, your body, you are responsible for taking care of it and keeping it healthy and well.  Do it for you.

Own where you are and be honest with yourself. If you’re overweight you know it. It’s not a surprise. Be real and then get real with how you’re going to change it.

Set realistic goals.

Understand, no one, at all can do the work for you. I can offer someone tips, suggestions, food and exercise ideas etc but if they don’t follow through and do the work…well… then they go no where.  What you eat, how much, if you get out for some exercise, it all falls on you.

Know that you will have a good and bad days. It’s important to just keep going. No quitting. No deciding nothing is ever going to change. You commit to one day at a time, hopefully making more positive choices than negative and you live the day you’re in.

Get honest with yourself and really examine your relationship with food.. why do you eat? what makes you reach for food? are there things that trigger you eating?  Getting an understanding of food and how you interact with it will be helpful on your journey. For instance, one thing I identified early on, was that I came from a family of emotional eaters. Over time, I’ve really learned to rein that in, be aware of it, and have  control over it.

Don’t let the scale be your judge and jury to your health journey. It’s a tool. It in no way reflects your overall health and well being. Use it carefully.. maybe just once a week. Note the numbers and move on.  Things like losing inches, lab results (reflecting internal health), getting stronger, or faster  and your mental well being aren’t reflected on the scale.

Start small. Start with one thing to change at a  time. If you’ve never exercised maybe aiming for 2-3 times in a week would be a good starting place.  If you always eat seconds maybe work back on not eating those. Learn to listen to your body…seconds really… are for our mouth and eyes…not our tummies which are usually satisfied.

Food. Don’t cut out everything you love and go on some restrictive diet that makes you want to quit in a week. Eat enough food to satisfy your hunger, no more. Eat when you get hungry. Don’t eat when you aren’t.

Work on eliminating junk type foods. Simple carbs should be minimal in your daily nutrition ( that means things like cookies, candy, soda, sugary drinks, boxed snacks/foods, chips, processed foods, baked goods , fast food etc)

Complex carbs… those found in fruits,  green veggies, whole grains, beans/peas, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, pasta etc should begin to fill your plate along with protein and healthy fats.

Treats. I always tell people I’ve been successful by not restricting myself from things I love.  I learned early on to really appreciate and savor a small treat over nothing at all. Literally, I could get a few chocolate kisses with my coffee at night and it satisfied the need for a sweet treat. It wasn’t anything that would sabatoge my work for the day and I didn’t ultimately go on some binge because I had overly restricted myself.

With a determined mind set, a willingness to change, the knowledge to take baby steps and progress slowly knowing change takes time, and making small changes in your nutrition and exercise program, 2017 will for sure be your year to achieve a lifestyle of health and fitness.

And the most important ingredient to your success? Don’t quit!

Diets And Your Relationship With Food

Oh boy. Here we go.

New Year and the diet industry is gearing up to guilt you into needing their products. You are being bombarded with all the reasons you need to get on their wagon.

Oprah now basically owns Weight Watchers and her commercials have been going like crazy. Her mantra is to make “2016 the year of your best body”.

I’m certainly not against that mantra… I mean… I want to be better this year than last year. I’m down for another year of my best body.

I can still be stronger, leaner, more fit. I just don’t plan to go about it with all the hype and diet products to achieve it.

Coming up this  week is a new TV show called “My Diet Is Better Than Your Diet”. I’m wondering if it will be the awful train wreck that “The Biggest Loser” is which also had it’s season premier this week.

I just have to wonder why it’s still around. I read a story on it the other day that the contestants workout 6-8 hours a day on about 1,000 calories or less.  A gerbil eats more.

I’d say all of that is insane but I don’t even know it that’s the best word to describe it. People will tune in and watch as a form of “entertainment” forgetting these are hurting, desperate and needy people who have been brought to this point. They have vast amounts of weight to lose.

The fail rate (that they don’t tell you about) is tremendously high.

Why? Because there haven’t been key important changes made.

Namely this… and it’s true for those on a reality TV show, or you my readers, and true of myself before I figured it out a few years ago.

There is this missing piece… and it’s crucial for permanent, life changing success.

If you don’t get your relationship with food right, and in the right place in your life, you will forever battle it. It will control you.

If food is more important to you than losing weight to be healthy and energetic then it’s time to look at it’s role in your life.

I firmly believe that food is not the biggest issue as is the reasons behind what drives someone to eat beyond what they need to support their lives and feed their hunger.

Sometimes ( and often) there are hungers and needs deeper than our appetites.

Loneliness. Boredom. Pain. Feelings of failure. Loss. Need. Lack of love. Acceptance. Routine. Emotional needs.

Mindless, empty eating, we use to try and fill aches, pains, and other issues in our lives.

It’s why I don’t think these shows will ever really work. It’s why I’m troubled over the “quick fix” surgeries that can rapidly drop pounds, but it’s not addressing the real reasons a person eats so much food to be in that place to start with.  If that person doesn’t make a mental shift and get food in it’s proper place, they will continue with the same behaviors and attitudes that made them fat.

The underlying issues need to be recognized to turn it around, to make food be what it is, enjoyable, life giving, but also controlled and managed appropriately. Food is much of a dangerous  drug for someone as cocaine is to another.

This is why 6-8 week diet plans will fail. And good intentions will go down the drain and you’ll console yourself with food again. It’s why patients who have weight loss surgery will regain weight they lost and be able to eat as much later on after surgery as before.

Years ago I figured out some of my triggers. I realized I had grown up in a family of emotional eaters. It was weird how I clearly saw it one day and called it for what it was in my life.

It wasn’t overly controlling for me ? But in my mom and grandmother it was very easy to see. They were both considered morbidly obese. I could look back at times and see how food was used for more than nourishment. It was often used as a form of comfort. The more you ate, the better you would feel, right ?

My brother had struggled with it too.

Now I am able to identify it in myself when I see it going on. Only now I ask myself questions and question why I’m eating? Why am I doing what I’m doing? How am I feeling ? What emotions are propelling me to go to food ?

Trust me… this was a huge step in my health and fitness journey.

So yeah. Let’s make 2016 “the year of our best body” but let’s decide first to get real with some things in ourselves that hinder us from moving forward to that goal.

If I offer any humble suggestions to you in this it would be….

*Pay attention to why and when you eat ( beyond meal time)

*Question yourself. Really, you can. Ask those hard questions. What is making you eat at that moment? Are you truly hungry? How are you feeling?

*Look at your family. Your childhood one and the one you have as a grown adult ( married etc) what are the eating patterns and habits? How is food used ? For more than nourishment?

*Do you eat when you are out by yourself ? In the car? Drive thru’s? Is it a habit ?

*Do you eat alone at night? In front of Tv? How much “mindless” eating do you participate in?

*What hurts you inside?  Do you use food to soothe your emotions ?

This is a place you can start. Understanding your relationship with food and taking a hard look at things like this can really help you move forward in your health journey…mentally and physically =)

 

Will Power Or Habit ?

Why hello December! November certainly was a whirlwind, wasn’t it ? Here in the States we just wrapped up Thanksgiving last week… which is always an amazing overload to the senses.

A day full of delicious food and tasty treats… how can you go wrong with that ??

Thanksgiving is like this seque into Christmas with it’s plethora of delights.

Candy. Cookies. Rich meals. Cakes and treats.

I grew up with a grandmother and mom who were baking queens during the Christmas season.  I will share more on that in another post, but it’s safe to say, I learned all my tricks from them. What a wonderful heritage to be given.

I love baking and I love giving it away. The week of Thanksgiving I took a variety of treats to my local Starbucks ( ’cause I love all my little baristas there 😉 and I want them to know I appreciate them. One of the comments I got was…

“How do you stay in the shape you’re in, and bake like that??”

My response, ” I bake, but I don’t eat much of it” 😉

Then comes something I’ve gotten used to hearing from people.

” I just don’t have that kind of will power”

Ah yes, the illusive “will power”.  It’s defined as control of ones impulses and actions, self-control.

Often when I’m talking with people that subject comes up. They are struggling, wanting to lose weight and move into a positive lifestyle change yet feel their willpower is lacking.

Can I say at best, it can fail us ? Oh we will be “good”. We will decline treats and special foods and maybe for awhile feel successful. We will drastically alter all of our eating and feel like we are finally getting somewhere.  After attempting to keep rein on our willpower we can even begin to feel angry with it.

“Why can’t we have that treat?”

“Why can’t we enjoy the things we really love?”

And then… one day..  we snap.

Everything that’s been off limits, is now far game. If it can run, it better get outta the way. You’ve held on to your willpower for as long as you can and now it’s anything goes. You deserve to enjoy things too, right ?

And then… you’re back at square one. You might have feelings of failure, discouragement and frustration that once again, you just don’t have the willpower to control things and you’ll never get your goals.

May I offer an alternate suggestion ? One that you slowly, simply, build into your life?

Habits. You begin to build new habits, day in and day out until it’s seamlessly a part of your life and willpower doesn’t really have to do with what you eat. You begin to develop comfortable boundaries with what you eat and when.

I shared on my Facebook page this past Monday that I was ready to get back to “normal” and by that I meant I was ready for some serious exercise and lighter eating. You see, I was able to enjoy my Thanksgiving celebrations, but I’ve built habits into my life that I naturally want to return to.

For me, getting back on the road for a run and having a big colorful salad for lunch was normal for me. Over the past few years I’ve made exercise and eating well, in moderation, habits for myself. Once these things are ingrained in you, it’s not hard to return to them.

When I talk with people I try and stress the importance of building new habits to make the journey to a lifestyle change. I believe it’s ultimately, the only thing that will stick.

Understand this: habits aren’t built over night. They are built from a purposeful and intentional desire to do things differently. So many things we do in our lives are habit, good and bad.

Know you will bomb some days. You’ll feel frustrated and wonder if it will ever stick. It will. Get up and start at it again.

When I first started out walking I was so worried if I missed a single day I’d fall off the proverbial wagon. If I didn’t get my walk in the morning due to scheduling, when I got home, the first thing I did was grab my shoes and hit the road. ( this was before days where I was all super athletically haha) I wore what I had on, changed my shoes, and got it done.

You know what that was doing ? Building a habit in me that said “purposeful, daily exercise is important and necessary. You make time for it. ”

Food. In slow, daily, and steady changes I taught my body to appreciate eating healthy food. I also allowed it Peanut M&M’s if it wanted  a few. When you KNOW you can have something, it really removes the power from it, because you know it’s there… if you really need it. In time, certain foods and treats honestly began to have less of a draw. I recognized how good I felt eating well, eating appropriate amounts and feeding my body in a healthy way.

Again, I had days I bombed, and days I felt like super woman. No matter what, I kept a forward moving mentality. Each day gained, got me that much closer to making those things permanent habits for me.

Not my amazing willpower. Not my superior strength of being able to say “no”.

New habits that were leading to a lifestyle change.

I’ve heard it can take 21 days for a new habit to be set in place. Depending on what it is, some things might take more or less time based on our personalities.

My suggestions if you want to build new positive, life changing habits?
Don’t try and change everything all at once. Pick one or maybe two things.

Slow and steady is best.

Do have a journal to write down your progress in the beginning to hold yourself accountable. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend to ask you how you’re doing.

Focus on the day your in. Move through it making good choices. Allow yourself a measure of grace if you fall, but get up and get back at it.

No throwing in the towel!

Do not allow yourself to make excuses to not do what you’ve set out to do. You are more than capable of success.

Make a realistic goal sheet of habits you want to form.

Understand you have to practice your new habit daily to make it a um…. habit 😉

Seeking to build habits instead of having “willpower” will lead you to a new freedom and your healthier lifestyle.

What good habits do you have in place already? What habits do you need to work on and build to live a healthier lifestyle ?

 

 

Let’s Do A Book Review

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I love to read. My entire childhood I was a classic bookworm. I’d spend summers dragging home bags of books getting lost in them. During school if there was free time in class, my face was in a book.

As an adult with kids during the summer I still loved heading off to the library this time looking for more adult books. I’d still drag as many home as the kids. The danger of getting in good ones was just camping out and losing track of time…. sigh… when you’re an adult there are adult tasks to be dealt with so I’d have to drop the book and scurry around being productive and then dash back to what I was reading.

And oh joy! If I stumbled in a series I loved. I was covered for the summer lost in the stories the author had crafted.

I also challenged myself to look for interesting biographies on people… there are some wild, cool people in this world, do you know that ?

One of my fav’s was called “Fearless” about Adam Brown a Navy Seal on Seal Team 6. I will never, ever hear them mentioned again without an amazing respect of what they have to go through to be a part of such an elite, superhuman group.

Given my love for reading it’s no wonder I just love words, right ?? haha 😉

So I just finished off a book my son gave me for my birthday. I finally grabbed it and got started reading. He thought I’d like it cause of my interest in health/fitness etc.

Based on the title, I loosely thought it was a humorous fiction book.

Actually, it turned out to be a memoir of one woman’s journey and battle with body image and self esteem. Proclaimed fat by her mother at age 11 ( when her first diet started) she chronicles a life of negative body image, constant diets ( and failing them) painful moments through school, constant struggles and self loathing, and ultimately, (yay, figuring it all out)

As I’ve shared in previous posts, I’ve had times in my life dealing with diets (yuck), wanting to lose some weight, having the “skinny” clothes, the “fatter” clothes, and the ongoing goal to get back to the “skinny” clothes ( yay, I don’t even deal with that anymore 🙂 I never felt like I had bad self esteem or wasn’t comfortable in my skin. I did know when I needed to drop a few pounds and it bugged me. Bugged me that I was at that point and bugged me ’cause it felt like it would take eternity to get it done. This was such an interesting and eye opening perspective to me helping me understand the painful and difficult struggles so many go through in a battle to be “thin”, when really, that isn’t the source of happiness nor as it turns out, is it the ultimate goal.

All that to say, reading the book, my heart broke for a young child who was already under fire by her mom for being in her words “5 lbs over weight” and how it affected her childhood years and then into adulthood. Diets, dieting, and the constant cycle became a ongoing way of life for the author.

It is well written, humorous in a way that I enjoy, straightforward and brutally honest.

The book is an easy read and I highly recommend it if you’ve struggled with body image/ self-esteem… or know someone who has. The author shares her struggles, but also her victories and shares how she overcame the constant diet rat trap and her body insecurities, to being comfortable in her own skin. It does have a nice happy ending 😛

I also enjoyed the “reading group” section at the end with various Q&A’s, and an overall “wrap up” since the book published.

Tell me… have you read anything fun or interesting lately? What types of books do you enjoy ?

Food Vs. Fitness

biscuit
Biscuits. I could eat my body weight in them 😉

Food. It was on my mind. I just wrapped up a little over an hour on my bike. That’s roughly… 12ish miles for me… lots of hills and inclines so it’s not always easy. Which really, I don’t want it to be.

Coming in and cooling down, my tummy rapidly reminded me food was a long time ago ( last night) and it’s grumblings and rumblings were a sign I needed some nutrition.

Breakfast is my usual fare…. eggs… tons of sautéed veggies…. milk….  plenty of good protein and carbs to fill me comfortably.

It has become natural now for me to reach for healthy, nutrient dense foods. I crave them.  Not only that, how can you go wrong filling up on veggies that are amazingly good for you, satisfy your hunger, and leave you feeling strong and steady ( no dip and decline of blood sugar levels)  for hours ahead and for minimal calories?

Win. Win.

it hasn’t always been like that for me. On my health and fitness journey these past few years like anything, it’s been a learning process.

Choosing healthier foods over ones that didn’t support my goals has been a learned thing.

I guess the eye opening moment for me ( and I believe anyone who is seeking to lose weight and be fit) is determining who your love affair is with ? What do you love/want more ?

Food… the taste, sensory,  and emotional connection to fill your needs ?

OR

Food with balance and moderation with the goal being healthier and leaner ?

If you keep choosing food over your goals of health and wellness you will never get there.

You and you alone must decide….before something goes in your mouth….. is it worth it ? Does it support my goals? Do I want this ( thing) over my goals?

For example……Saturday morning hubby and I had determined a breakfast date for Cracker Barrel. If you’re in the south, you know what that means. If you don’t know, well, it’s this amazing southern foods restaurant that has all kinds of tasty treats.

I had biscuits on my mind. Coffee too 😉

All was well and good until our food came out and the waitress nicely says… “oh, we ran out of biscuits but we have some coming out in a few minutes” I assured her that was fine and launched into my meal, trying to not focus on the fact the eggs were slightly chilled…. and waited for my biscuits.

Hubby gallantly offered his up but I told him I’d wait….

and I waited… and waited…. until we were almost done and I flagged her down and she said… ” Oh I’m so sorry they aren’t done yet, but would you like a muffin ?”

Seriously. No.   It’s like asking a soda drinker if they want Coke or Pepsi.

I told her no thanks and was starting to feel like a disgruntled little kid. Hubby told me to take his other one ( which was not so warm anymore) and she brings me solid, frozen butter for it.

I did make an attempt to eat at it. I just couldn’t. It was nothing like I had envisioned when I had breakfast on my mind. I didn’t wanna be a brat…but seriously… it was disappointing.

Here’s where I’m going. I’ve learned to be selective on my journey. I didn’t want a muffin. I didn’t want a cool biscuit with frozen butter.  I’m at a place in my life and journey that if I eat something and take in those calories I want it to be good. I want to enjoy and savor it!  I want it to be worthwhile. I don’t have to mindlessly shovel it in ’cause it’s there. I can say no and walk away.

I can be picky and selective.

In my journey though it is a battle to think in terms of “food” versus “health/fitness”.  It is moment by moment decisions that lead me to victory.

It works like that for most of us.

It comes down to that moment of decision and deciding…. what do we want more…. food ? or our health goals ?

I’m not saying… don’t eat… I’m saying… make it worth while.

In time practicing this will  become a new habit in you that almost becomes second nature =)

What about you ? Is it a habit to think about what you put in your mouth and determine is really “worth it” ?