Category Archives: Food

Recovery Tip Tuesdays: Set Point Theory

acceptanceGood ol’ set point theory.  What is it?

The idea that all of our bodies have their unique set point, a number, give or take 5-10 lbs, that our body likes to reside at when it’s healthy and we’re feeding it well.

One of the biggest breakthroughs I experienced in my ED recovery was accepting my set point.

(Which is a tall order, I do realize.  Acceptance can be a bit of a bitch to work through)

And my set point is pretty average.  Coming from a family of Irish-German “Campbell Soup Kids”, I realized I was never going to be 110 lbs soaking wet (sorry for the rare number), once I was able to see through the irrationalities of my eating disorder.  It just wasn’t going to happen, unless I engaged in superhuman exercise and dangerous restriction every day.  Which, was alarming to my ED at first.  My ED wanted to fight my body.  Screw you, it said to my body.  I’ll show you.  You can be different.

However, once I accepted it, set point theory was…relaxing, actually.  It comforted me, because if I fed my body the way my nutritionist told me to, it would never screw me over.  It would never put me at an obese weight I feared…it would put me right where I belong.

(But there was quite a fight to get to that acceptance.  Think: A crying, binging sometimes, scratching, screaming fight.)

I still have to check myself fairly daily on this when my ED starts luring me into lesser-weight land.

What do you think?  Have you accepted your body type, your set point?  If not, what steps do you have to take to obtain that acceptance?

*What works for me may not work for you.  Proceed at your own risk.

eateverything

Three Reasons Why This Blog Will Never Be Popular.

eateverything

I’ve spent a long time thinking about how I can market this blog, make it bigger, more accessible, increase the traffic so it can reach more ED sufferers and those in recovery (from bad body image or an ED), and I’ve concluded –

This blog will never be popular.

This is not pessimistic, this is a realistic viewpoint.

And these are my reasons why:

 

1.  Some readers think I’m pro-fat.  I’m not.  I’m pro-health.  And sometimes being healthy also means being overweight.  Given that the current trend is panicking about any “bad” foods or “bad” eating patterns, this “grey-area” blog is not going to go viral anytime soon in this all or nothing thinking world.  (“Either you’re fat and unhealthy or thin and healthy!”  Nope, nope, that’s just not true.  And what about emotional health?)

 

2.  People LOVE trends.  LOVE.   What’s more appealing than a new quick fix all the cool kids are trying out?  Let’s take an example – Paleo.  (Just using that because it seems to be the “trendiest” right now.)  Can some people turn this into a permanent lifestyle?  Very few, I think.  The thing about trends is that they’re never sustainable.  History has proven it.  Powdered faces with the hairline shaven back?  Gone with the medieval times.  Or something.  White lipstick?  My mother dabbled with it in the sixties.  Paleo?  Probably gone just as quick.  

Now, is Paleo healthy?  Absolutely, parts of it.  But it’s the fact that it’s a trend that will ultimately be the demise of it.  Something else will come along that people will latch onto and try.  and it will be left in the dust.  

My blog doesn’t focus on trends – it asks you to do the longterm, day-at-a-time work.  The internal work, not the “change your outsides so you have a temporary high” work.  

 

3.  Diets Make Money.  I could google it, but I’m going to assume that the diet industry makes millions of dollars each year off of people buying into their particular cookbooks, their programs, and low-carb cheesecakes.  So, when I say they’re bullshit, this will obviously earn a quick snub from most viewers. Why?  They invested money in a product and they don’t want to be told it was for nothing, or for little, or for temporarily.  They want that investment to mean something.  And I’m threatening that.  

 

So, that’s part of why I think this blog will never be popular.  

(Like not being popular has ever stopped me before….)

And an anecdote to finish this off.  Recently, I was sitting with my therapist, and said, “You know, I think I’ve found the secret to a healthy weight and healthy life.”

“And what is that?”  She asked.

“Not worrying about it,” I replied.

She smiled.

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Blissful Body Fridays!

imagesHappy Friday, all!  I hope you’re having a great one.  My daughter and I spent the morning at a music group, and a friend is stopping by for a visit later on.  Good stuff.

So, I don’t know if this is blissful, Media-Monday worthy, or just plain realistic, but I found this article on my friend Jen’s FB page.  In it, it shows comparisons of Hollywood celebrities during photo shoots, and then during day to day activities (ie. without any photoshopping or makeup).  I sort of feel bad for posting it, because it’s almost more of the same (critiquing women’s bodies), but at the same time, I’m betting the celebrities are often willing participants in the Hollywood “game” and I feel it’s important for us “normals” to have a reality check on how, well, they look just like us.  All I know is that it helped me to reality-check myself, because we usually take these airbrushed images at face value.  Let me know what you think – triggering, or helpful?

Here’s the link!

Have a good one, folks!

(Image provided by photocine)

 

A little bit of both is health, IMO...

My Toddler Knows About Dunkin’ Donuts (And Other Non-Atrocities)

A little bit of both is health, IMO...
A little bit of both is health, IMO…

Every day I’m convinced I’m going to give my 16 month old an eating disorder.

Which is stupid, really, because it’s not just one thing that causes one – but the fact that I’m recovered from one ups the ante a little bit.

Let me give you an example:

Every week, my daughter has her play group and like one week out of the month we stop to get Dunkin’ Donuts right before (me: iced french vanilla with cream, you know it, and her: one or two munchkins ((crazy baby doesn’t seem to care either way for them.  WHAT??))  This morning, as I narrated her life, as I do maniacally every day, I said absentmindedly, “So we’ll get in the car and we’ll stop at Dunkin Donuts.”

She halted.  Her head swiveled and her eyes lit up.

I guess she cared more about those sprinkles-encrusted balls of goodness than I previously thought.

And my head went into a mindspin.  Is this why she’s in the 90th percentile?  She’s going to get bombarded by obesity comments at the doctor’s in a couple of years.  I’m so bad for giving her sugar, at all?  I’m going to parent hell!  I might as well be Honey Boo Boo’s mom!  I might as well set up camp at McDonald’s.  I’m ruining my daughter’s future!!!!!!

And then I stop, take a pretend Xanax, and reality-check myself.

First, I try to remember my therapist’s words (“It’d be pretty hard to force food to a baby, Amanda”).  Then, I remember that I feed my baby quinoa on a regular basis.

(You should have seen it when I tried to explain what it was to my mother.  She kept going, Kinney?  Quinna?  Finally I had to tell her to remember Joaquin Phoenix but backwards.)

(Some might even call me a “Quinoa Mom” – horrors)

And I mix spinach into her sweet potato so my fruit-lover will get some much-needed vegetables as well.  And I buy those overpriced organic pouches so she’ll eat SOMETHING nutritious on a day when all she wants is cheese in 1/2 inch squares only.  And, I don’t keep juice in the house.   And over my dead body will she have soda.

I think my downfall is comparing myself to those gluten-free-paleo-vegan-vegetarian-GMO free mothers who don’t let a drop of sugar pass into their kids’ sacred bodies.  But that’s kind of redonk, because a.  I’m never going to be that kind of mother and b.  I don’t, personally, think that’s healthy.  Do I think kids should snack on Happy Meals regularly?  No way.  But do I think they should enjoy the occasional bowl of ice cream that you can get messy in and smash all over your face?  Absolutely.  That’s part of being a kid.

And lastly, I try to remember the work I did on myself that brought me to the place where I don’t attach moral value to food, and the valuable lesson I will pass on to her.

So, I think I’m doing ok.  In spite of the neuroticism.

Walmartsteak

Is Walmart the Cause of Obesity?

So, an acquaintance recently posted this pic from the Walmart FB page on her FB page with the following caption:

Walmartsteak

 

“This is why America is OBESE.”

And I’m not gonna lie, it irritated me…A LOT.

And the reasons why are numbered below.

1.  Is one serving of steak the reason why Joe Schmoe in Arkansas is obese?  Is one carb-laden meal the reason why your aunt has struggled with weight her entire life?  No, fucking no, otherwise I would be obese, because at many a BBQ I’ve ENJOYED meals like this. ENJOYED.  Because it’s healthy to sometimes eat extra carbs on a summer’s day when you’re with friends.  Just as long as you don’t eat like that all the time.  I argued this to my acquaintance, to which she replied, “Americans don’t eat in moderation.”  Maybe not, but I don’t think the answer to getting them to treat food like it’s Hitler and not touch it with a ten foot pole.  I think the answer is more like, not attaching moral value to a fucking meal of steak, mac n cheese, and beans.

(Do you get that, critics?  If you stress people out about the “badness” of food, they’re not going to learn moderation.  In fact, you risk having them going to the other end of the spectrum, starving, and then binging on those “evil carbs” again when they can’t keep their organic-paleo-gluten-free-cage-free-dairy-free diets ((read: you eat broccoli only)) up.)

2.  So, what about genetic obesity factors?  What about emotional eating tendencies that you learned from your mother?  Is Walmart alone solely responsible for our nutrition?  No.  Does it help?  Of course not.  But the cause of obesity is never one thing.  Every individual is different, with different genes and tendencies that help determine our body type and health.  It’s like saying video games cause people to be violent.  Do they help?  No, at least in my belief.  But do they cause all kids to shoot up an entire school?  Nope.

3.  Check your expectations.  Is Walmart going to stop doing what they do?  Probably not, they’re a multi-million dollar corporation who will keep marketing Velveeta if it sells.  So…take some personal responsibility.  Educate yourself and others.  Is the education about food and access to healthy food available to all populations?  Hell no.  But do I think Walmart’s going to start being the model of health?  Nope.

4.  Where’s the war on anorexia and bulimia?  Oh right, those diseases look more aesthetically pleasing, so we don’t need to spend any time there, even though they’re opposite sides of the SAME COIN.  Shit pisses me off.  Anorexia is the #1 most deadly mental illness and yet people are more up in arms about obesity because it’s unhealthy (read:  I don’t like to look at heavy people).   Obesity is a major threat to our health, sure, but people don’t seem to understand that anorexia is a symptom, or group of symptoms, of the same problem.

My Body!

Media Mondays: My Body Gallery

Happy Monday!  I’m gonna take a break from my “media watchdog” status and post something from the media that is BODY POSITIVE – or at least, I think so.  My fabulous friend Liz let me know about the My Body Gallery, a site that is dedicated to portraying an accurate depiction of what REAL women look like.  The coolest part, in my opinion, is the place where you can type in your height and weight and see pictures of other real women.  For the women I spoke to, this was a wakeup call – as in, “Hey I look better than I thought!”  Why?  Because often we view ourselves more negatively than we do others.  However this could be a trigger for some – so you have been warned.

 

So click away!

 

Have a great Monday, folks!

keepcalm

Do You Want Your Blog Linked On Mine?

Hey all!

 

I’m looking to link a bunch of Recovery Blogs on my “Links” page.  I’m all for the ED Recovery community connecting and supporting each other.  So, if you want your link on my page, you should meet only a few requirements:

1.  Have a pro-recovery blog (no pro-ana or mia sites, please)

2.  On this blog entry, submit your blog URL.  I will post it!

3.  Comment on another blog that’s  linked on my “Links” page.

 

That’s it…link up my friends!

 

 

shhh

Blissful Body Fridays: Things They Don’t Tell Fat Girls

Happy Friday, all!

So, my awesome feminist friend Maggie from college posted a link on her FB page recently.  It is from The Militant Baker,  a fab blog about body love, feminism, and cats (I’m a fan already).  In it, she acknowledges the nuances of the human body and shatters misconceptions about them.  My fave part?  “Everyone has rolls when they bend over. Everyone.”  Without further adieu, here is…

 

Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls…SO I WILL.

 

That’s it folks, short and sweet this Friday.  Have a good one!

spiritual_comm

Recovery Tip Tuesday: Spirituality

Welcome to Recovery Tip Tuesday, a weekly update about a skill that’s worked for me in ED recovery.*

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spiritual_comm

Spirituality.  Why is everyone so afraid of it?  Maybe because we’ve seen those religious extremists who’ve taken it way too far.  Or maybe it’s because the word “God” (Dun-dun-DAH) is involved in it.  Or maybe it’s because self-help groups which claim spirituality as its base struck us as cult-like.  Either way, I personally find it unfortunate that some shy away from this, because your spirituality or God could be a can of tomato soup.

What do I mean?  Well, let me give you an example.  Right after treatment, I worked a job in Harvard Square at an upscale boutique.  I took the T home daily, and got off at Davis Square.  I had been feeling pretty lonely, and fairly lost, because of my recent necessity to quit my regular job to attend treatment.  One day, I had gotten off the T, and all of a sudden, time seemed to slow down.  I noticed everyone around me, walking, running home, all doing and participating in the same thing.  All humans, just trying to achieve the same simple goals, of making enough money to survive or thrive and to be able to enjoy life with their loved ones.

And I, suddenly, felt connected.  Because I was doing the same thing:  I was part of a whole.

And that’s spirituality to me.  That feeling of connectedness that hits you unexpectedly, rendering you ever so present, aware, mindful, and humble.

And connectedness kills eating disorders.  EDs thrive in isolation.

That day was groundbreaking to me, because it reminded me I would never be alone, even if I was alone.  Who knows why it happened – maybe it was some higher power, or maybe, because I was finally feeding my body, my mind was able to be totally and beautifully present.

And I now attempt to utilize it daily.  I’m not perfect, but I try.  When I try to make the right choices about food, I remind myself I’m not alone.  That if others who went before me could trust that eating full meals everyday worked and didn’t make me fat, so could I.  I remind myself that if I need to stop a behavior, I can call someone or pray.  Yes, that scary word, pray.  (To me, prayer is as simple as a dialectical skill, a pause between a feeling and an action, so it’s not that scary anymore.)

What is your form of spirituality, if you have one?  Is it connecting to nature?  Is it healthy exercise?  What other recovery strategies have worked for you?

 

*  What worked for me may not work for you!  So proceed at your own risk.

(Image provided by adaliaconfidenceandsuccessblog.)

Media Mondays: Too Fat to Cheer, My Ass

Welcome to Media Mondays, my weekly post on something ridiculous and stupid I spotted this week that involved the objectification of women’s bodies.  Please feel free to pass along stories you hear at any point; I will profile them on my blog.

 

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This is Kelsey.  Kelsey dances for the Oklahoma Thunder.

kelsey

 

Kelsey was the subject of a literal poll taken by a literal news station (CBS Houston) regarding whether or not readers thought she was too fat to cheer.

Yup.

Since this story broke and it met a crapload of criticism, CBS Houston removed the post.  Who in their right mind approved this?  Someone from the 1950’s via a timewarp?

You know, the first thing I thought of was really inappropriate, but it’s what I thought and here it is:

It’s not like we’re posting pictures of white men and asking, “Do you think his dick is big enough to give him enough macho arrogance he has to embody to maintain his corporate asshole job?”

(So sue me.  It’s what I thought.)

I’m thinking society has fallen pretty low to have to post pictures of women’s bodies for ratings, probably KNOWING that it would cause a firestorm, probably KNOWING that blogs like mine would cover it.  They’re probably not that stupid.

(Or are they…?)

Argh.  And then there’s the “this is nobody’s business but her own” duh viewpoint.

When will we learn?

(Image provided by landthieves)