February 14, 2014

GYST - 1. Food/Diet

This is part of my 2014 non-resolution-resolution to Get Your (my) Shit Together
I think I should probably call it my "Life Plan," but the 12-months of 2014 
seems more manageable than say, oh, the next 50 years.

**warning: I wrote waaaaaay too many words. I don't want your advice. overandout.**

Good grief, Charlie Brown. I know I'm pretty lucky to not have to worry about my next meal, but you'd think that might make Food less of a jerkface. 

Yeah, Food, I'm calling you names. 

As part of changing the habits and patterns that I've found myself in, I am shaking up the food I'm eating. How I'm approaching this: 
  • I LOVE FOOD. [even though it can be a jerkface]
  • I have no [known] allergies or sensitivities. HALLELUJAH.
    • except for pineapple which makes the inside of my mouth sore, but I think it's worth the tiny mouth ulcers
  • I'm staying veggie...maybe a little fish, but I had a bad experience over Christmas with fish in the midwest and my stomach still turns when I think about it. /-:
  • I want manageable changes.
  • I want to still love food. 
There are so many theories of how we're supposed to eat, how we're not supposed to eat, how to eat clean, how to be the healthiest, how to think of food as fuel, how to be the best-BEST-BEST food preparer/eater of all time. How do you even choose?
I can only tell you this: I don't give a crap about all that.

I think there are elements we can take away from paleo, vegan, vegetarian, any low-carb, raw, GF, or other diet. I just don't think any of those eating plans in their entirety are right for me. [I definitely know people who have to limit themselves in this way for health reasons, and I'm thankful I don't currently put myself in any of those categories.]

I like the philosophy of intuitive eating. Now, I haven't read books. I'm not an expert. I don't actually care how this plays out in other bloggers lives. [hashtag sorrynotsorry] I want something sustainable that will work for me and this feels like a good habit. I like being in touch with my body and what's going on from head to toe. 

I went to hippie massage school, people. 

Historically, I have never been a thin person. I spent the first 22 years of my life as an athlete, practice and lifting and running were part of the routine, but I was never small. One could argue that I was rather...beefy. Additionally, early puberty and genetics blessed my body with boobs and thighs. Then post-college I did a bit of this and that and ended up working at a college and eating in a cafeteria again. Freshman 15 had nothing on the Employee 40. Basically up to this point, I would say I fed my body poorly. Not to even delve into what is commonly known as Emotional Eating.

Food, you are a jerkface.

I needed to make some changes and after a lot of research and deliberation, I decided I'd force myself into vegetarianism. Of course there were several transitions happening in my life when I went veggie, but I loved [and love] the way I feel with this diet. [Just learned today that vegetarians have a lower risk for diverticular disease-woo! Totally part of my reasoning.] This is not a persuasive argument: it works for me and my life.

After moving to Fort Wayne as part of my 30x30, I decided I wanted to lose 25 pounds. I was a calorie counting, daily exercising fiend. I went down 22 pounds and a couple of dress sizes. I felt strong and powerful and badass. However, I was also sliiiiiightly obsessed with calories and staying at or below my 1340 for each day. It consumed my mind. As much as my counting gave me control, I would say it equally withdrew me from fully engaging in non-food obsession because all I wanted to talk about was food. UGH.

Food, you are a jerkface.

When I went back to school in Fall 2012, exercise and calorie counting were traded in for studying, new work schedules, and attending classes. I'm tired of feeling low energy, slow, and out of touch in my body, so I've got to figure out how to manage this.

The first steps I've come up with:
  • One meal a day is vegan. This isn't a demand, but similarly to forcing myself into vegetarianism, it really makes me think and plan what I'm eating. 
  • Before [and during] I eat I will ask myself: Are you hungry? Are you hungry for that?
  • Some days I'll count calories. Some days I won't. It's ok. I do like being able to be educated about what I'm eating [a doughnut is ____ calories, this serving size is ____ calories, an egg is ____ calories] so I'll calculate things once in a while. my goal = BALANCE
  • I want to eat whole foods, which means I'm trying to make more food from scratch or purchase things that have ingredients that are recognizable. [i.e. not crackers. I love you Goldfish!]
    • Going for full-fat diary [mostly yogurt and cheese] is SO HARD for me. I always reach for the 0% Yogurt and the Lowfat cheese, but when you look at the ingredients sometimes they put in some weird stuff to replace the fat. 
    • I'd like to transition to more local stuff since it's easier to find in the big city, but that still feels a bit overwhelming. 
  • I'm not eliminating, just limiting and making smaller portions. 
I'll say it 100 times on repeat: I LOVE FOOD. In my life, food has facilitated deep conversation and new friendships; nourishment for body and mind. I adore cooking and baking and it fosters my creative side. I love trying new ingredients and recipes. I will always think about doughnuts fondly...and frequently. That being said, consuming loads of doughnuts, cookies, cake, fried food, and simple carbs leave my body feeling heavy and slow and CRAPPY. I know that when I take the time to assess what my body wants and needs, I generally make really good choices. My body works at its best when it's filled with nutritious food, and it likes that. Healthy foods that also taste delicious exist! 
So maybe Food isn't such a jerkface, it's just my boundaries with food? In all honesty, I'm not trying to lose weight at this point in my life. I can't handle the pressure of school and clinical time and papers and trying to find a job and trying to be a friend AND losing weight right now. TRUTH. I do know that if I'm eating well and exercising [next post!] I might lose weight. Or I might not. Now is not the time I want to worry about it.

This may be a foreign concept for many people--I know, I know! I'm overweight! My BMI says blah blah blah about me! I should want to lose weight! I should want to be skinny! Oh, shoulds, I hate you.

I want to focus on healthy choices right now. [A body image post has been started and that's another story for another day, if I'm brave enough to share it.] I'm not sure what a healthy food relationship looks like for me, but I know I'm not there yet. I'm actively working on it --- hence the getting my shit together. 

You know, if things work out my shit will literally be together. LITERALLY, like my feces.
Too early for poop jokes? 


  1. Yes, it is hard to eat whole foods when all the feels are about the foods that remind us of things.

    I so want to hear your perspective on body image, because I think you probably have found a better perspective than I have. I still look at my body as not right, or not there yet, when I should be celebrating it.

    and yes. food. you are such a jerkface... unless you aren't. when I eat right, then my body feels more like my body, and that is a good thing.

    sooner or later I will continue to update my vegan blog... I'll send it to you when it becomes more of a resource, to help you with the one a day goal.

    one day at a time. one step at a time. you can do it, go be awesome.

    1. How do we change that? If not for ourselves, for the daughters who come after us?

      We'll see how I feel when I finish writing it. I know you've read some portions (I stole some from my spiritual autobiography that I wrote years ago on the super secret blog that I can't remember the name of and I quit being a good moderator of because I'm lazy, ha!), but things have definitely changed for me between then and now too. Growth goes forward and backward and all over the place sometimes...

      YES. I love reading vegan recipes. I'll admit to usually thinking, "that sounds good, but I'd like to throw some cheese on there!" haha! I've been refraining though! perhaps your blog will give me more inspiration.