I’ll tell you a secret: I hate getting on the scale—absolutely dread it—because the number is often lower than I’d like. Though I make an effort to eat enough to keep up with my busy lifestyle, I go through phases where I have a hard time keeping weight on.
That’s a big part of why I tend to think negatively on the rampant weight loss industry and the media’s obsession with weight loss. However, I suppose my perspective does help balance my viewpoint and requires me to take several sides of an issue into account when I read nutrition and health articles, especially those concerning weight.
Today I had a check up with my doctor, and was frustrated to find I’m not quite where I should be. While most people would be thrilled with the prescription she gave me: “peanut butter, shakes, and ice cream,” it’s tough to consciously go against pretty much everything I hear and read.
Guess it’s back to sneaking nuts and cheese and dried fruit into things and trying to be mindful to take in more calorie-dense foods. One good thing about having some knowledge of nutrition and how to meet my needs is that it does make it easier to know what to do to keep myself healthy. The issue, of course, is always habit, turning off the autopilot once in a while.
Oh well, at least summer’s coming, which makes ice cream a pretty easy choice. I wish New York would adopt Dairy Queen, that’s one of the few things from the suburbs I miss!
Happy Memorial Day. Hope you have a great long weekend planned!
Our media focuses so much on emotional eating (comfort foods, anyone?) yet rarely examines emotional “not-eating.” Some people lose their appetite when stressed out or may (consciously or not) limit their intake when other areas of their life are weighing on them.
Another thing not often discussed, given the subjectivity of the topic, is the way some of us avoid certain foods with which we have negative associations. While many people have foods they turn to to make themselves feel good, many of us avoid and/or refuse to eat certain foods with which we have negative associations.
I think there are varying degrees to which this avoidance affects someone’s life, but regardless, I wish there was more info out there about it. So many times, I pick up a magazine or read a website, only to see yet another article about how to create a strategy or deal with the temptation to eat to make yourself feel better. Um, what about for people who have the opposite problem?
Personally, I just don’t think it’s fair. Still, the $40 billion weight loss industry is pretty damn healthy, and the magazines know where their ad money comes from. It keeps things running to go on feeding that machine rather than take a step to the side and address some other related issues.
While I do find a lot of information about weight loss interesting (especially the different ways in which publications regurgitate the same few studies every month/week/etc), it’s, like, “Hello! Not everyone is trying to lose weight!”
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or not, exploring your emotional connections to food can be incredibly valuable and helpful, though I guess it probably goes without saying that it’s best to delve into that with a therapist or trusted confidant rather than read about it in Glamour or Shape.
So unless you’ve been in a coma the past week or so, you’ve probably been bombarded by media coverage of the swine flu “pandemic.” The newest thing is that the World Health Organization raised the pandemic alert level to Phase 5, which has never happened before.
Naturally, what you have to actually read the article to find out is that it’s never happened before because there was no phase system until 2005, when the system was created in response to the “avian flu crisis.”
Anyway, I really wish that the media would balance out their panic pieces with a few articles about how to stay calm and ways in which you can take care of yourself and boost your immune system to promote general wellness. I’m a firm believer that stress negatively affects your physical health.
True, “how to feel good” doesn’t sell papers quite the way that “EMERGENCY!” does, but a girl can dream, right?
There are certain things you can do to help yourself mellow out, though. For example, sipping a cup of tea (especially chamomile) or taking a warm bath can help. You might try yoga or acupuncture as well.
As far as nutrition goes, there are definitely foods that have a calming effect. Here is a video featuring Self blogger Cristin Dillon-Jones talking about what kinds of foods to eat to manage stress. It’s a few months old, but the information is still great!
No matter what, you can’t go wrong making sure that you’re getting enough of the nutrients you need. That, along with enough sleep and exercise (and okay, maybe a little bit of obsessive hand-sanitizer application after subway trips) can help keep you well. Swine flu be damned.
Here’s an interesting article from today’s New York Times about how many colleges are beginning to get rid of trays in their dining halls. They’re finding that it saves money and food waste, and it’s caused students and other people who regularly take their meals in the cafeteria to eat less. I guess that’s one way to control portion sizes.
That just reminded me of when I was in college and ate in the dining hall. I always tried to avoid putting more than I could balance on my tray because I was afraid of dropping the damn thing. I wish I’d kept that same fear in mind when I was a waitress at a fancy country club and attempted to carry a tray piled high with half-full red wine and port glasses across the ballroom (with its brand-spanking new carpet).