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Get me off this food roller coaster!!

June 24, 2012

Remember when the advice was to eat three whole meals a day? And that breakfast was the most important meal of the day? But then it changed to having six small meals a day was better for you?

Remember when we were told to avoid carbohydrates at all cost? Gluten? Or that meat was going to be the death of us? Then we were told that the Caveman Diet (Paleo) was the way to go?

But not to be outdone, from somewhere else it’s being extolled that FASTING! Fasting works wonders!

SOUTH BEACH DIET, ATKINS DIET, BODY FOR LIFE, WEIGHT WATCHERS, JENNY CRAIG, YOU ON A DIET, THE ZONE DIET, THE RAW DIET…

Aaaaaaaargh! Is your head spinning like mine is?

If it is, you’re likely choking on all the nutritional advice being shoved down your throat. It’s enough to make me want to head down to my beloved Taco Bell and beg for its forgiveness for having neglected it for so long.

The problem is behind almost every diet is a very real and rational science. With support from nutritionists and health professionals, even your doctor! You may even know people who have done well with one of the diets  – and they swear by it! And they’re all very convincing! And they all mean well! One minute you’re stuffing your face with bacon and then the next you’re eating more green, leafy things than goats and cows!

ENOUGH!

I am tired of being made to feel insecure about my food decisions. I am tired of counting calories. I am tired of jumping from one diet wagon to another. I am tired of bookmarking every single article on what to eat – for the “optimal ME!”

I just want to feel good. I want to be happy. I don’t want to be just physically healthy – I want to be emotionally healthy as well. And most of all I don’t want to waste a single moment fretting over a damn cupcake!

I am done with all the noise. I am done with all the food bullying. I am done listening to others. I need to listen to my body.

YOUR truth lies somewhere amidst the chaos. Let me reassure you that your gut is probably right. If a certain nutritional diet plan doesn’t make you feel good, then you should do something else. Humans are as unique on the outside as they are on the inside. What works for your best friend isn’t necessarily going to work for you. You have to find what does.

My friend, Joy of The Joy of Acupuncture, suggested a food journal. No, not so you can obsess over every single calorie but so that you can pay close attention to your body’s reaction to the food that you eat. Yes, tracking everything that you eat is a pain in the neck. But you might discover that raw foods just ain’t your thang. Or that eating fruits late in the day keeps you awake at night. Maybe gluten makes you gassy. From there you can build on a diet plan that works for you. With food that makes you feel good, gives you energy, lets you thrive and do all the things that you want to do.

Obviously, if you declare that you’re going on an all-McDonalds all-the-time plan because that would make you “happy,” I would probably block your way with an electrified cattle prod. If you really listen to your body, I doubt you would hear “let’s eat more junk!”

So today I am declaring myself FREE! Be the master of my own dietary fate! I am going to figure out what foods are good fuel for my body and I am going to stop worrying about what the latest and greatest is in nutritional news.

Won’t you join me? Tell me what your relationship with food has been like. Do you have any tips?

Photo via Flickr (Creative Commons) by Meredith_Farmer.

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From → Nutrition

18 Comments
  1. Applesandglue permalink

    Well said… I thinking food must be kind of a personal preference, whatever floats your boat thing. And as long as we make mostly good choices, what’s the harm in indulging every once in a while?! 🙂

    • Food should be a source of strength, you know? Not conflict. Not stress. Joy and I were marveling at just how passionate people get about what you’re supposed to eat! But I guess I’m guilty of that, too, especially about McDonald’s… But maybe I’m just jealous of folks who get to eat their french fries… hence all the bitterness. 😉

  2. I don’t diet, I never have. My choice to follow a primal lifestyle is just that, a lifestyle. If I eat sugar my body doesn’t like me it’s as simple as that. If I eat bread or pizza dough my body doesn’t like me. It took weeks to cut that crap out and to get to a point where it DOES hurt to eat it – because you suddenly realize you were poisoning yourself. Paleo or Primal is not a diet, it’s a choice to eat CLEAN. If it was processed it wasn’t meant for your body, plain and simple.

    • The initial advice we get for what to eat growing up is so cookie-cutter. “Milk good. Meat bad.” Stupid food pyramid. I am hoping that at least one benefit of all this advice being thrown around is that doctors will give a more tailored recommendation to their patients. At the end of the day, it’s still just YOUR lifestyle. Also, I love pizza. Back off. 😉

  3. Cara permalink

    I found myself in the food journaling club recently w/my postop adventure. Mainly b/c I don’t want to feel worse about 2mos (so far) w/o activity and growing to jabba the hutt proportions. Now I KNOW it’s not that bad but I do notice a definite change in how food makes my body/mind feel w/o any activity to offset it. I get that weight is just a # and an objective measurement but the way I feel after eating some foods is much more subjective. It has helped me immensely to keep tabs on it, sugar isn’t really my BFF…nor is dairy (I’ve known the dairy thing for a long time) so minimizing those things = I feel much better. Good thing bacon doesn’t fall in those categories 😉 I do kinda love the paleo concept b/c I’m a fan of meat and veggies but I’m not into diets and rules sooooo…I’ll eat what fuels me and doesn’t make me feel like garbage 🙂

    • And that’s a really great point, Cara… Your activity (or lack thereof) also affects your relationship with food. I’m so glad you were smart enough to join the food journaling club. Did someone suggest it to you?

      As far as weight goes, I tell myself over and over again that it’s just a number. But my vanity just laughs at me.

      I don’t eat bacon often but when I do it’s like heaven on earth. That’s one thing I’m glad that people are no longer so uptight about.

      I hope recovery is going well! Miss you!

  4. Great post, Samantha. It took me a while to fully understand that dietary theories are here to help me navigate towards my own personal dietary theory. After a while, you embrace them all and pick what ideas from each work best for you. I pretty much embody all dietary, at least the ones that promote real, whole stuff – vegan, primal, high-carb, low-carb, zone, but mostly going back to predominantly a primal bent. The point, they’ve all assisted me in understanding food more and more, to which I’m grateful. I say bring on all the contradictions, because I know how to handle them now.

    • Thank you for that thoughtful comment, Chad – especially because you are someone who has not only studied dietary theories but someone who has tried them and lived to tell the tale. I am hoping others will follow your path. (Also, I hope Oklahoma is treating you well!)

  5. No suggestions on food journaling but I’ve spent tons of time online (reading blogs) and decided to try to do some constructive, healthy things w/my down time. Partly b/c I was irritated at the thought of gaining weight or just feeling like poo while laid up and partly b/c I felt this could be a time for me to grow in different ways. I can eat pretty much what I want when I’m active…not all out crazzzzy but w/in reason. Things changed when I was no longer fueling all my adventures.

    I’m w/you on the weight thing. I’m not as comfortable in my skin as I’d like to be and it’s partly b/c I’m not used to being sedentary but it’s a-ok. I’ll be back w/a vengeance…in 6-12mos.

    Recovery otherwise is going well and I’m doing a few core exercises (per my PT) at home and walking in the pool. It’s hot as hades here (plus wildfires) so pool time is not too shabby!

    • I hear about the wildfires from Colorado co-workers. I am hoping it doesn’t get worse.

      I am almost afraid for the world when you’re back to 100%. But like I said before, this experience is going to make you a phenomenal yoga teacher. Sending many many warm thoughts your way.

  6. After following so many who preach about food and others who are always on diets, I have found myself in grocery aisles with hardly anything in my basket not knowing what to get anymore. I threw up my hands and told myself to just eat things that gave me energy to keep moving. Keep it light, keep it green and make it happen. Eat the cupcakes with happiness. Who cares, as long as you are happy and feel like you’re making life great. ❤

    • Exactly! So what if you’re eating things that are supposed to make you feel physically good when you’re emotionally miserable? Balance is that line between looking good and feeling good. 🙂

  7. elsaheff permalink

    I love this post! For years, while I tried diet after diet, I lost (not weight but) a sense of myself and the ability to intuit what my body needed. Since I stumbled off the roller coaster and onto solid ground, I have reconnected with my body and regained (not weight but) an appreciation for what food is supposed to be! Food shouldn’t be a source of stress, it should be a source of nourishment.

    • Your last line said it best.

      I knew I was in trouble when my heart would start to sink right before mealtimes… Or when going out with friends. It really sucked the life out of living! I was even considering those weight-loss pills just so I can stop worrying about food! Although that would have brought on a whole new set of issues… These days it feels good to say okay.

  8. Hey Sam!! This is great ~ thanks for reading my blog and sending me to read this post! FREEDOM feels good, doesn’t it?!

    • It does! I am not successful every day but I do well on most days and that feels pretty damn good. 🙂 Looking forward to more posts from you!!

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