So I’ve been exercising a lot, but not eating really well, and I’d like to start figuring that out. I’m not eating a lot of sugar or junk or anything, but I’ve been doing a lot of grazing and feeling unable to make good choices and basically eating a lot of nothing (because I’m afraid of eating the “wrong” thing). I feel absolutely incapable of listening to my body.
This comes to mind because I was reading about the Kate Harding Diet Plan earlier this week, and she talks about this issue:
Teppy points out that the marketing schtick for so many diet programs boils down to, “You can eat what you want! You won’t feel deprived!” Of course that’s a complete load of crap — either you can “eat whatever you want” except for certain foods (Atkins, South Beach), or you can “eat whatever you want” in gerbil-sized, pre-packaged portions (Jenny Craig), or you can “eat whatever you want” and then spend an extra hour at the gym and not eat anything else for the rest of the day in order to stay on your plan (Weight Watchers). But regardless, “We will give you permission — in some limited way — to eat ‘bad’ foods!” is a tremendously effective marketing strategy.
And that’s because so many of us really believe somebody needs to give us permission; simply choosing to eat fatty, sugary food because you feel like it is absolutely not an option. And then somebody also needs to put a limit on that permission, so we won’t go and devour the world. In this culture, most of us never learn to trust our bodies when it comes to eating, and we certainly never learn to trust our desires. Choosing what to eat is a daily battle between good and evil.
I thought more about Kate’s diet plan while walking around the grocery store yesterday. (The idea being, first you have to just allow yourself to eat the world, and then come out the other side realizing you don’t want or need to do that.) But then I realized I wanted to eat cookies, Entenmanns donuts, chocolate pudding, and cheese for dinner, and maybe three weeks before my wedding is not a great time to start this diet plan. (Maybe I will begin at my wedding, with the red velvet white chocolate mousse wedding cake–will the guests mind if I eat all of it myself?) But in the meantime, if I’m not eating the world, and I want to be healthy, what do I eat?
The only nutritionist that springs to mind is kind of crazy. So tell me, healthy and well-adjusted people with normal relationships with food. Do you count calories? Do you mark things off on a food pyramid? Do you just eat what your closest co-workers eat? How do you decide what to eat? If you answer quickly, you might help me decide what to have for lunch.
Posted by mo pie