Obsessed with food. will this make me fat? will this make me sick? how many calories in it? will I have to throw this up? is this bite worth hating myself when I look in the mirror?
And I'm not alone. Not by far. Because EVERYONE I KNOW is thinking the same things. EVERY FEMALE I'VE EVER KNOWN has been on a diet for a good portion of their lives. EVERYONE has looked at pictures proclaiming how fat they are. We all talk about it. Like it's just the cool thing to do to talk about all of the parts of your body that you hate. That you wish you could zap away.
I love and hate this. I love this because it shows how "plastic" we all can be. We can recognize this behavior in ourselves, and laugh about how ridiculous it is, while continuing to do it. I hate this because how many teen girls sat in that movie theater and went "if she hates her calves, mine are repulsive!" Not intending to at all, this scene sent a message that even skinny isn't skinny enough.
And I've had it.
The BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY that is the diet industry is profiting off of making us feel fat, shame for being fat, and giving hope that their product will be the cure that will fix all of the problems in your life. Cause when you're skinny you have no more problems right?
I have 2 little words for the diet industry. F*** YOU.
F*** YOU for pushing us to believe that we can't be good unless we live up to your standards.
F*** YOU for working arm in arm with Hollywood/ Fashion Industries to make the genetic freaks (yeah that's right Giselle...you are NOT THE NORM) the gold standard for woman.
F*** YOU for ROTTING US FROM THE INSIDE OUT. Knowingly. Willfully.
F*** YOU for KNOWING that your plan can not possibly be long term, that it will have TERRIBLE health consequences, and for pushing it anyway all in the name of the almighty dollar.
I read somewhere (and try as I might, I cannot find this blogpost again... ARGH) that the diet industry started after World War II. And it started because the men in power at the time were scared. Women had to start working, since their husbands were off fighting. Working outside of the home had given women some empowerment, and men were scared as hell. If they weren't able to keep their women at home and in-line, what would this country come to? So, they decided to hit us another way. Kill off our confidence by making us feel less than. Telling us that the way we looked, now that we were out in the work world, was the only important thing, and if we didn't measure up? Well then we simply were not worthy. I have zero idea where she got her information, but as far as all of the other research I've seen as to when the diet industry started? It all lines up. And so I choose to believe her. I think it's the same thing that happened with the mommy wars. Just more ways for women to tear each other apart and down. And this makes me RAGE.
I grew up in the 80's and 90's. Margarine was the healthiest thing for you! Buy that tub of country crock- butter is bad! So fattening! Instead eat this....only part of it is made out of plastic. Yup. Plastic. NEVER EVER EVER eat eggs! Especially the yolks! The cholesterol will kill you immediately! Don't use salt, use this fake it-kinda-tastes-like-salt-but-it's-all-chemicals-so-it's-good-for-you! NEVER EAT FAT! Fat makes you fat. Don't eat calories! Calories make you fat! Here, we created these little pretty blue and pink and yellow packets of powder that make everything SUUUPER sweet but no calories. and no fat. so dig in!
Snackwells, Fat Free Ice Cream (even the name is oxymoronic), fat free potato chips (they only cause a leeetle bit of anal leakage), fat free salad dressing, calorie free soda, sugar free everything.
Then it was onto NO CARBS! Parents watch out, bread kills. Put down that potato. Put down that fruit. Carbs will send you straight to your grave! Isn't that why all Italians weigh 400 pounds!!! (oh yeah, they don't...let's just not mention Italy or France or just Europe in general....) If you just eat bacon and meat and cheese all of your problems will be solved! Stay away from the rice! Look at all those fat people in Asia...err...no don't look there. Just STOP EATING CARBS.
Now, if you pay enough money, you can go ahead and buy a friendship with Jenny, pay for some pals over at weight watchers, or have meals sent to your house from Nutrisystem (you'll save SO MUCH MONEY in groceries....except that you have to supplement with fruits, vegetables, bread, dairy....). Or just pay someone to HYPNOTIZE YOU so that you never have to eat again! Or wire your jaw shut. Or only drink green smoothies.
And HATE LIFE.
Oh, and be sick. Extremely sick. Like, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, feeling like there's an army of little men stabbing you in every single one of your vital organs. Develop headaches, exhaustion, muscle weakness, loss of hormones, too many hormones, depression, anxiety. AND GAIN WEIGHT.
So that's basically the story of my dieting history...of my life. Because food and life? they go hand in hand. You need food to live. It's not something you can just not think about.
But today?? Today I'm claiming VICTORY over the fraudulent diet industry.
I have NEVER FELT HEALTHIER. My skin is clear, my hair is normal, my cramps are not forcing me to take copious amounts of drugs to give the smallest amount of comfort, I get headaches once every few months and only when I sleep with my neck in a weird position, I no longer have to always carry ibuprofen with me, or immodium, or tums because I DON'T GET HEARTBURN, and I rarely have stomach issues anymore....(just don't ask me how I'm feeling after I eat some garbage food at an amusement park). This coming from the girl who vomited EVERY SINGLE DAY for over a year and it couldn't be diagnosed. Who pooped up to 12 TIMES A DAY for no apparent reason. Who gained a CRAP TON of weight and bloat but was somehow malnutritioned.
This, my friends, is a miracle. Oh yeah. And the best part? Yes, I now fit into clothes that haven't seen the light of day since I got married. Yes I actually bought, and WEAR a two piece for the first time since my honeymoon. Yes I'm loving the way I look and feel right now. BUT. EVEN BETTER. My BMI is in the normal range, my percentage of body fat is in the normal range, my bone density is fabulous, my percentage of water in my body is spot on, I'm sleeping normally, my body is functioning as a body should , I'm not tired, weak, bloated, irritable, crampy, achy all the time.
And I'm sure your first thought is "What diet are you on?"
ZERO. No diet. because diets are of satan. "Well what exercise plan are you doing?" None. I run after my toddler. I clean my house. We go walking with friends sometimes. I once tried to do a pilates video, but babygirl decided to sit on my head so that didn't last long. We dance. We chase the cats. We go up and down the stairs a million times because someone LOOOOOVES the stairs now. I give her airplane rides (I'm sure that counts as an ab workout, right?).
The point is, I'm simply living my life. I'm making food the way food was made waaaay back in the day. Or, the way it's made now in countries where people eat a loaf of bread every day, accompanied by pasta, chocolate and wine, and they are all itty bitty with some nice curves.
I let it go. Do I obsess about food? Nope....but I do get REAL excited to figure out what I'm making for dinner. Because I know it's gonna be delish, the hubbs will be excited and continue to let me not ever have to go back to work, and babygirl will chow down. Do I eat dessert. Hells yeah. Do I buy cookies or cookie dough? No. I make dessert. I swear, the cookies that have been raved about by many only took maybe 15 minutes to put together and another 12 to cook.
My "secret" is to simply eat REAL FOOD. Did you know that fat is good for you? That your body CANNOT function without fat? So we buy Kerrygold butter and cheese. It's made from GRASS-FED COWS- imagine that, cows being allowed to eat what cows were designed to eat and not being injected with artificial hormones and antibiotics. Eating Kerrygold butter is unicorns dancing on rainbows good. We only drink organic whole milk (I'd like to move to raw milk, but someone I know doesn't feel like spending $12 per gallon...) Did you know that drinking anything but whole milk is giving you zero of the nutritional benefits you thought you were getting from drinking milk, and the process they have to make it skim or 1 or 2 percent is not a particularly healthy one? Same goes for ultra pasteurized milk...stay away- if the expiration date is a few months out do not buy!We use a crap ton of extra virgin olive oil (organic or certified, because a lot of companies are slipping nasty crap into their olive oil and are getting away with it). We eat bread. I just make it myself. And it's not really that hard, just a little time consuming with the rise times. Bread should have 4 ingredients in it-take a look at the packages you buy. It's INSANE what they're putting in there.
We buy ZERO processed foods (at least for babygirl and I. sometimes the hubbs gets some organic frozen meals to take to work if I didn't make his lunch for the next day). Do you know what they put in processed foods? A lot of chemical stuff to allow it to sit on a shelf and never expire. Also, they add gluten to almost everything. No wonder everyone and their mother is allergic to it. I was too. But not anymore!
Is this lifestyle easier? For me, it is. Mainly because I've always loved cooking, and I come from a family where everything was homemade. And also? I'm a food snob, and once I've tasted what REAL FOOD tastes like, I can't really go near the other stuff. It really is disgusting.
Now. Obviously there are some meals that I make that are fairly time consuming...like lasagna. And when I make it, I make it in huge quantities so I can freeze it and we can have a yummy made from scratch meal when I'm just feeling lazy. However, the majority of meals that I make take no longer than 30- 45 minutes to put together. I do buy pasta for a lot of the pasta dishes I make, but I buy organic, made in Italy pasta that has only 3 or 4 ingredients. So, not Barilla. Or the blue boxes.
I have discovered a bunch of different ways to save time, save some money, and make yummy food. So I'm thinking perhaps I just need to host a big ole cooking party and we can all learn how to make different stuff. Fun and yummy. That's my kinda party.
So, the take away? After a lifetime (I'll be 35 in September, and I've been on this path for almost 2 years) of complete and total obsession with food, not eating, and being sick, I can breathe easy if we have plans for dinner AND something afterward. After years of battling an eating disorder, I'm no longer embarrassed to eat in front of anyone else, I no longer think about food 24/7, I no longer hate my body, I no longer miss out on life.
I seem to have not only healed my body, but I just may have healed my soul too.