Getting Past ‘No’

Diets don’t work.

But I know that I feel better physically when I cut out carbs, especially sugar. My skin is clearer, my digestion/elimination is better, my sugar crashes aren’t… aren’t, and I don’t get the wicked headaches I used to get all the time (maybe I destroyed my liver with all the ibuprofen?). I’ve learned that when I do eat too much sugar, like during the holidays, a piece of bacon will settle my stomach. Bacon!  I’m trying to eat this way, for my health, without the focus being on losing weight.

But it feels like a weight loss diet. It has the same texture and pattern, one that insists absolute fealty and obedience to the Diet God (it’s so not a goddess), or in this case maybe it’s the Health God. I feel deprived and bitter and put upon. I feel like I’m holding myself back on every level, weighting for some perfect state of health that’s not going to come. I feel trapped, torn between giving up dieting for weight loss, and eating in a way that works for my body, which is dieting!

Then I read something like this from gluten free girl:

When I found out it was celiac disease, and all I had to do was stop eating gluten to find my health again, I never thought of all the foods I had to live without. I thought only, yes. Yes to being alive. Yes to all the foods that do not contain gluten that I can eat. Yes to food and being awake and my body healing. Yes to all of this.

And I feel small, horribly, horribly small. In spirit, not size.

If I found out I had celiac disease would I be this happy? I doubt it seriously.  I would weep at the thought of never having bread again. I make awesome bread. I have a huge framed poster of bread in my kitchen. I doubt I could look forward to a life without bread and not feel I was being punished for something, I know not what. Because that’s what dieting for any reason feels like, like punishment for unknown and made-up crimes.  But not to gluten free girl. She’s just happy as a clam without bread. And not to anyone who sees a huge restriction as an opportunity to create something new.

I want to let this trapped feeling go but I’m so used to it, it’s all I know. I’m not sure what’s there without it. How do I make the switch from focusing on what I can have instead of what I can’t. How do I say YES to life, when NO has been shrieking at me constantly for so long? How do I drown NO and resuscitate YES?

If you have any ideas, let me know. Alright?

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August 15, 2009. Tags: , , , , . diet. Leave a comment.

A theory

I’ve been thinking about fat and why it has a tendency not to go away for good once someone has packed it on. (You know, other than the obvious we’re all just greedy lazy gluttons who sit around all day eating sweet, fatty, salty Doritos.)

When I read Elizabeth Kolberts article, Why Are We So Fat in the New Yorker, I was reminded once again that fat is not longer considered a symptom of disease (or even a side effect) as it once was.  Every single book, author and study she mentions says it’s all about the calories we consume, not the kind and/or quality of the food we eat, or non-food factors that my have affected the American populace as a whole.  Disease is a byproduct of being fat, which is caused solely by our overeating/underexercising (it might as well be a word).

But let’s say fat is a symptom or side effect, which never goes away, even when the body has healed itself of the disease that caused it.  Emphasis mine, of course.  The assumption is always that we now eat more calories, so that’s why we’re fat.  What if we assumed that we eat more calories now because we got fat as a side effect, and we need those extra calories to maintain our higher weight.

Think about it this way:  If you have breast cancer and you have mastectomy, after your treatment, the cancer, the disease is gone. But you’re not going to grow your breast back. It’s kind of that way with fat. There’s some hormonal imbalance for whatever reason (puberty, pregnancy, high sugar diet), you gain the weight.  You change your diet or go on or off birth control pills or stop using hairspray, so your hormones are balanced again. But you don’t lose the weight, because it’s not important or your overall health.

Emphasis mine, again.

July 15, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Fat and Order

Paul Campos’ article Fat Judges Need Not Apply makes me want to cry.  Why am I surprised? I knew this.  I know this. Women are only worth what they look, like nothing else. I should only be surprised that it looks like most of the comments, so far, are from men and not women.

Most people are talking about the men’s desire quote or creepy old Rehnquist, but it’s this quote that gets me: “for average-height women, no increased mortality risk correlating with weight begins to appear until weights above 200 pounds”.

Why doesn’t anyone EVER says that?!  No amount of fat is acceptable for women.  They make you think you have to be a size 2 to be healthy.  So women who wear a size 14 think they’re headed toward imminent death!

And god forbid if you’re a size 16!  Newly fat Brit author Tanya Gold put on weight and discovered there’s no amount of money that can get you a designer frock if you’re that size. None!

Is this a tipping point? Every obsession has it’s end?  Suddenly tulips are no longer that necessary.  With Campos using the science, and fat women with a lot of money to spend during the New Great Depression, and the fact that models can’t possibly get any thinner (unless designers start to use corpses in their ads; they’d all consider it modern and edgy), could we be seeing the beginning of the end of the reign of fat terror?  Can I have some butter now?

May 5, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Here I go again

I want to avoid this. Really I do. I want to be all “hey I’m confident in my body right now as is.” But I’m not. I’m really not.So here I go again, because I don’t really feel that well.

I’m getting headaches again, waking up with them. My knees are suddenly killing me. I’m tired all the time. I feel heavy, like I’m just dragging myself around. And my skin, my skin is not flawless. So. The dreaded D word. I refuse to call it a “lifestyle”. First of all I hate the word “lifestyle” and second, it’s not a lifestyle. A lifestyle is living on the beach and surfing every morning, or a farm and taking care of your animals. This is a diet, plain and simple.

I’m all over the fatosphere, reading the fat positive blogs, so I know that diets don’t work, if by “work” you mean solely that you lose weight “permanently”, then no diets don’t work. But what if by work I mean other things like, having flawless skin, no headaches, no bloating or stomach pain, and no uncontrollable farting. No uncontrollable farting is a goal to work toward.

So this whole situation doubly sucks. Because now I have to give up all the foods I truly truly love, and I’m not even going to fucking be skinny.  What’s the point?!?  See above.

I love sugar, I love bread, I love jams and jellies and crepes. It’s not fair, it’s not right. What am I suppose to do for fun and pleasure now? Pooh was right, Pooh was right.

April 28, 2009. Tags: , , . diet, fat acceptance, weight loss. Leave a comment.

Biggest Loser

Last night was my fourth Biggest Loser finale. I’m not sure why I didn’t watch it the first two seasons, but I’m hooked now. Every time I watch the finale I’m amazed at the amount of weight people have lost in 4 or 5 (or 6? it’s hard to tell) months. It’s incredibly motivating, and as I watch I always think, “I can do that”.

But clearly I can’t, because I haven’t. Yet? I baked cookies during the show. Mexican wedding cookies to be exact. I’ve been craving them and they are delicious. And I’d had lasagna before the cookies, meat and pasta which I’d also been craving. But still I watched the finale thinking: I can do that. Really I can. I could eat right, get up and workout for an hour in the morning and then for another hour (or what the hell! 2) after work. Easily.  I have the time. I’m not married, I have no kids to take care of. I’m not someone who doesn’t take care of herself because I’m too busy taking care of others. That’s not my story.

So what is my story? I’ve decided to just eat what I want for the holidays. The frustration of trying not to eat any holiday goodies is too much. But as I lay in bed last night, my stomach hurting, I couldn’t help wonder what my freaking story is? How is it that I can eat things that I know are going to make me sick? I’m not even talking about weight loss at this point, although being a Biggest Loser wannabe clearly that’s the goal too. I’m talking about eating something that I know will cause me physical pain, learning yesterday, post colonoscopy, that the tests really aren’t that accurate.  What makes me do that?  If I were diabetic would I say “Oh I’ll just eat sweets during the holidays and then I’ll stop”? Honestly at this point I think I would. Even though I could lose a foot. I could lose my eyesight, kidneys, the list goes on with diabetes.

But I don’t have diabetes. I have only my inner voice telling me what hurts and what doesn’t. Why won’t I listen?

p.s. I’m so glad Vicky didn’t win! Michelle rules!!!

December 17, 2008. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.