Tag Archives: lifestyle

How to Eat Less (At Least, What Worked for Me)

12 May

I used to have a magical metabolism.  I ate whatever I wanted, in whatever amount, all the time and was still thin.  I was never a heavy kid or teen.  And I got a little more hefty my first year of college when I was living off Domino’s Kickers and gummy worms, but only like 5 extra pounds.  I had this gift of a metabolism until I turned 34.  Then, things started catching up with me.  Suddenly, I had to pay attention to what foods I ate and how much.  And I did not like it.  It was different.  I had never, never had to pay attention before!  And it first, it was like I noticed it, but it didn’t really impact my weight.  But my clothes just fit different.  Then, clothes I’d worn since 6th grade, suddenly just didn’t fit.  Then my cute-stuff shorty-shorts didn’t fit the same.  Then, I suddenly couldn’t wear my jeans.  Abruptly, my weight shot up!  At an alarming rate, too.  Once the number budged, it just kept going up and up.  I was upset and heartbroken, yet I didn’t really want to stop eating like I had.  I love food!  So I tried to out-exercise it.  Instead of just the 1 mile per day, I added strength.  And crunches.  Those did help tone me, but did not fix my clothes situation.  And I was determined not to buy a whole new wardrobe!

So I knew I had to reign it in.  And it was a slow process, with a lot of embarrassingly loud stomach growls as I retrained my body.  Here are some hints that helped:

–>here is a key point:  -small daily** changes<– 

Seriously, don’t punish yourself.  Just like anything else, you have to work up to it.  Yes, hold yourself accountable.  Have goals.  But just go for one small change in habit every day.  Just one.  And when that gets slightly easier, challenge yourself a bit more.  Until you’re really getting somewhere.  Accountable and challenging, but don’t beat yourself up or too push too much, too fast.

-packing snacks in zip locks or tiny tupperware.  Because my appetite could have polished off a bag.

-Prioritize.  When I am trying to get my food under better control, I suddenly have to choose between foods instead of having them all.  Just do your favorites.  If you could take or leave donuts, don’t let yourself auto-grab a donut just because someone brought them to the meeting.  If you love pasta–fine.  But have smaller portions of light foods the rest of the day to counteract all those carbs.  Choose solid calories (vs drinks) because, let’s face it–it’s a waste to drink your calories and feel starving afterwards.  And remember, artificial sweeteners are 100x sweeter they so increase hunger.  Make what you eat count.

-Drinking more water.  And yes, at first this makes you feel even more hungry, but over time (like a span of months, so don’t give up) I think it really does help.

-Picking the right snacks.  Produce was like eating nothing at all.  I was starved out of my mind, hangry and cheatee.  But a handful of nuts, especially those flavored ones with wasabi or chipoltle were somewhat satisfying.

-Honestly, what really helped in those very early stages was adding a bit of soup broth to my water.  That salt (bad long term) really helped get my hunger back in check.  Just don’t over-do it, because soup is too salty for the heart and hydration status.

-Use smaller plates and tupperwares so you don’t SEE deprivation, and so you can clean your plate without overindulging.

-eat more fiber

-eat more protein

-I’m not good at eating my meals slower–ain’t nobody got time (or patience) for that, but I would pack a bag of Triscuits and just eat one every time my stomach growled at work.  So I’d work on a bag throughout the whole morning.  More power to you if you can stand to eat your meals slowly, chewing extra and all that.

-KEEP BUSY.  It’s all caps because it’s a big factor.  Don’t just sit there thinking about hunger, cheating, your next meal, or how you want to give up.  Focus on work.  Do extra chores.  Do anything to take your mind off of it.  Yes, it’s very preoccupying, especially in those first 2 months.  But keep busy, busy.

-Did you know belly fat stimulates hunger hormones?  Which doesn’t seem fair, since the problem just keeps perpetuating.  So doing that exercise is actually helping reduce the hunger too.

-When I’m fatigued and tired, I make shitty choices.  I grab the ice cream, skip the workout, then feel regretful.  So get your sleep!

I’m not gonna lie.  It takes a long time to reign it back in.  There will be times you’re super hungry, healthy meals that leave you totally unsatisfied, and some cheating.  But do stick with it in the long run.  I’m back in my jeans, back in my cute clothes.  And more than that I feel better, and have more energy than when I accidentally got fat.  It’s worth it, and as cliche’ as it is, YOU’RE worth it.

 

Fat-Positive is Negative

9 Jan

Yeah, I said it.  Unpopular, un-p.c. opinion–but I stand by it.

I listened to Lizzo because it’s fun, and feminist and I totally get behind that!  It’s a ‘you go girl!’ moment where I see role-model for young girls. But is she an entirely good role-model?

Lizzo001

I also watched Shrill because I think Aidy Bryant (name/sp?) is funny on SNL.  And I saw her do stand up with a pad of paper and she was hilarious.  I wanted to see what she’s doing with her talents.  But the show was kind of depressing, which is a sad commentary about how our society makes overweight people feel.  [and we should stop that].  But then her boss was made to look like a villain because he cared about the health of his employees.  And the whole fat-positive movement in the show rubbed me the wrong way.

aidy bryant

Fat-positivity is what I call enabling. 

Let me back track just a second.

Kids should not be bullied.  Not anyone, not chubby-trons.  Hefty adults should not have to tolerate back-handed complements, or taunts, or trolling.  People don’t have a right to stigmatize others.  Not for mental illness, sexuality, weight, anything, really.  Mind your business, take care of you.

People that are “other” in some way should be allowed to love themselves.  And to one extent or another all of us are a little bit “other” in some way, many ways.

So there’s that.  I’m anti-bullying.

But, people we have taken it too far on the spectrum, shunning bulling, past neutrality, into enabling behavior known as fat-positivity!  It’s gone too far.  Fat is nothing to normalize or champion.  It’s a health concern.  Really.

Some people are chubby kids, and it’s a genetic trait that they will easily put on weight.  Yes, some medications and disorders can contribute to being overweight.  Also, Americans are inundated with advertising and marketing encouraging us to consume calories.  It’s an epidemic.

And yet, calories are calories.  Nobody has it harder than anyone else calories in, calories out.  You have to balance the two–and it IS possible.  For I’d say most everyone, except in very extenuating circumstances (a small minority).  Lifestyle choices are within your control.  Yes. They. Are.  It might not be easy changes to make.  Changing your ways might be difficult to adhere to.  But it CAN be done.

Things that we do not celebrate:

Mental Illness.  It can’t be helped.  You’re born with it, genetically predisposed to it.  We shouldn’t stigmatize people who suffer with mental illness.  Yet, we also don’t throw a party about it.  Society agrees people should do whatever they can to manage it (see the psychiatrist/psychologist, take medication, use strategies to manage symptoms)

Addiction.  It’s a disease.  But it’s not useful to society, and it’s detrimental to health.  People shouldn’t be criminalized (for drugs alone) or stigmatized–they are sick.  But we do want people to go to rehab, get off substances, and help themselves make better choices.

STIs (STDs if you’re old-school).  They are common.  It can be tricky and high-maintenance to prevent getting them.  But having one can impact other individuals and society at large.  People shouldn’t be called disgusting whores or dirty johnsons if they get one (or more), but I think we can all agree we would like people to treat STIs they have, refrain from spreading them to other sexual partners through abstinence, condoms, etc, and warn others prior to engaging in sexual acts.

Those things are all health concerns that we should not bully people over, but at the same time must be dealt with or consequences occur.  If we were to have mental illness positivity and just encourage people to live as they are and embrace their bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, instead of medicating it what would happen?  Well, it’s ultimately not good for the individual as being untreated can lead to inappropriate or dangerous behaviors, possibly even death to others or themselves.  Same with addicts–“Just champion and embrace your drug use!” we’d say. Then, all the crime, and downward spiral which isn’t good for anybody.  And STIs, well we’ve seen what happens when those health concerns are ignored and it’s no good.

Also, all of these health problems lead to complications, symptoms, consequences.  When medical bills are already spiraling and health insurance is a whole big thing–shouldn’t we do everything we can to alleviate the problems we can control?

Being overweight exacerbates other health problems.  This is science.

According to the Center for Disease Control, People who have obesity, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions, including the following:1,2,3

  • All-causes of death (mortality)
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
  • Low quality of life
  • Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders4,5
  • Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning6
  1. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/effects/index.html

chubby-tron

anorexic

People die earlier when they are over their BMI.  Ralphie Mae and John Candy might have lived longer if they had not been grossly obese.  And Chris Farley and Elvis Presley had drugs in the mix, but their obesity made their health status even worse.

That’s not a fate I want to get behind.  I’m not saying you have to be a size zero.  But everyone should be giving up vices, managing their health status, and aspiring to a healthy lifestyle.  For their own health and happiness.  And I refuse to be stigmatized for saying so.