Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Now this is a holiday I can get behind. Get it? Behind? Because I have a big ass.

Content note: weight, diet and food talk

It turns out today is International No Diet Day.  So I had pizza and garlic bread for dinner.

Don't get me wrong, I would probably have had pizza anyway, but now I feel extra justified in my choice.

I gave up dieting a year or so ago, and decided that I was going to try and love my body, no matter what shape it takes.  It's not been an easy task.  I will admit, I still own a scale, and I still step on it from time to time.  Some days i take the number i see with a grain of salt.  Other days, It's hard not to fall into a pattern of self-loathing.  Mostly, I'm trying harder these days to try and listen to my body and what it wants.  I believe it's called intuitive eating. 

In retrospect, when I look back on the 5+ years I spent actively trying to lose weight, the health benefits that I experienced during that period came not from the weight loss itself, but by my increase in physical activity and some improved eating habits. That is to say, I think I benefitted from the good stuff I added to my nutritional intake during that time, rather than the "bad" which I had taken away.  

By the way, can we stop ascribing labels like "good" and "bad" to food? This lends itself to labelling ourselves as "good" and "bad" when we allow ourselves certain indulgences.  

But anyway, I digress.  The fact that I was able to walk faster, run further and do more physically, I now believe came from the fact that I was making my body stronger, rather than making it smaller.

These are the things that I try to concentrate on now during my recovery process.  I concentrate on reducing my negative self-talk and avoiding in engaging in diet talk with others.  

Learning about fat positivity has helped me, after 30+ years, to stop feeling like less than because I don't fit into a size 8 or into societal expectations.  I no longer feel like I need to deprive myself of things other, more slender people take for granted, simply because my body processes food differently than others.

I've learned that clothes are supposed to fit your body, not the other way around.  If my pants don't fit, I don't try to force my body to change; I change my pants instead.

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11 comments:

  1. No diet day is a good idea every day. As you say, exercise is more beneficial . I disagree about 'good' and 'bad' foods as there is no sense in denying that chemical additives and trans fats are bad for us but agree it is unproductive to beat oneself up over a reasonable amount of indulgence. So long as one is healthy, body shape is of no consequence and obsessing about it is silly

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  2. Any diet that instills a guilt factor or contributes to a feeling of deprivation sucks! Moderation...for me that's the key. I find that I can eat whatever I want and my doc marvels at my good health :)

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  3. I also believe on going for exercise than diet. I have also reduced my weight from 72 to 59 with dieting and exercise. I did a lot diet and for hours did exercise.
    Now I eat what ever I want and I have also got that the exercise made me stronger and eating healthy is the key to be fit and active. As without health we can not survive.

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  4. hello; what a healthy approach to food exercise and most importantly loving your body. i had gastric surgery two years ago. I have lost over half my body weight and am king it off. however, in addition to the surgery i eat healthier, exercise at least 30 minutes a day, tai time for breaks, read for inspiration motivation and pleasure; etc. and i lot what you said about doing away with good and bad labels for food. that insight was right on. I wish you all the best with getting healthy if possible and loving yourself either way. take care, Max

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  5. 'diet' is not a verb in my life; it's a noun. a diet is a collection of food i eat; like, fish is not part of my diet. cheese is part of my diet. i eat a healthy diet. noun. 'diet' is not action. i also work on the whole body positivity thing. i've spent too much of my life trying to lose weight and i don't know why. will i feel happier when i'm thinner? will it change something about me? why can't i be fat and happy?

    well, now i am. most of the time.

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  6. I vote for expanding no diet day to 365 days a year! I love how you put it that you are concentrating on making your body stronger, not smaller. I may just make that my own mantra. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I didn't think that diet is the unique solution to have a good shape. I strongly believe that going for exercise has lots more benefits in terms of healthy weight and happiness. We only have to try to maintain a healthy diet and find a sport that we really like. Mine is swimming, I love it and can't live without :-)

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  8. The "self loathing" thing can be very damaging. I am a size 8 and I still wallow in it way too often! Where does it come from? Weight watchers was the best "diet" program I ever tried because basically it tried to reteach eating and exercise habits and with a good group leader, the group support is helpful. But, the truly best diet for me has always been happiness. It's already tomorrow in Hawaii where I'm writing this, so I figure I can mention the "D" word.

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  9. I've been struggling with my weight of late and really an trying to take off some of the excess I've unfortunately accumulated. Feeling guilty when we fall off the wagon on a diet is the worst! I do try to stay with the thought of moderation. It really helps me stay on track and not feel so out of whack when I'm not as good as I should have been.

    I so understand your thoughts about clothes. When they fit well we feel better and we look good too. :)

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  10. I started losing weight last year when I stopped dieting and started focusing on eating healthy because I developed gallstones. Eating healthy for me means eating lots of vegetables (mostly cooked, because that's what I like, and non-starchy). Beans and whole grains, too. Mostly avoiding sugar and refined wheat, because those foods seem to cause problems and are unhealthful. I also put some time into thinking about portion sizes (mine were too big, and eating too much tended to trigger a gallbladder attack) and eating more slowly and mindfully. Turns out that a lot of times I kept eating not because I was hungry but because I was rushing and because I like the taste. But eating more slowly allows me to enjoy more and recognize when my stomach is actually satisfied. So far I have lost about 60 pounds and would like to lose another 40 in the interest of health. But I am still not dieting. Useful resources were a couple of good books on mindful eating, as well as "Clean Eating" magazine which made me recognize the portion size issue.

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    1. PS As a side benefit, I have not had a gallbladder attack in about 9 months.

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