The Fantasy of Being Thin

Lisa Jane just linked to this amazing blog post, over at her gorgeous
new blog (Body Love and Cupcake Envy).
Please please read it. It’s about BODY ACCEPTANCE. I know.. a really scary concept, but please, I urge you.. read this!!

The Fantasy Of Being Thin

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March 31, 2008 at 1:39 am Leave a comment

Beyond Chocolate – Easter newsletter

Just thought I would copy and paste some of the newsletter we got today in our email Inbox.. I thought it was thought provoking.  If you are interested, read along!

Why diets starve your soul

PRINCIPLE NO. 2: EAT WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY
Remind me what this principle is about

Soul food

Hot cross buns, still warm from the oven, oozing butter… Chocolate eggs, cracked open to retrieve the treat within, then savoured slowly, piece by melting piece… A slice of simnel cake, delicately spiced, and topped with marzipan… Will you be indulging in these timeless traditions this Easter?

Every religion has feast days and food rituals – the Jewish Seder, the Buddhist ideal of ‘mindful eating’, the grace that followers of many faiths say before meals – because food has always been sacred, worshipped by mankind for millennia for sustaining life.

Why, then, do so many of us now pray at a very different altar – the altar of deprivation? In recent times, far from the act of eating being perceived as enriching, it is viewed warily, as something to control, its significance sidelined. This historical shift in our attitude is something that interests Michelle Stacey, journalist and author of Consumed: Why Americans Love, Hate and Fear Food and The Fasting Girl: A True Victorian Medical Mystery. In an article entitled Starving Your Soul, she questions why limiting what we eat has become revered: “Food is not just sustenance but comfort, companionship and communication. It is both a connection with our most elemental, animal selves and with the physical world outside of us that supplies our needs. In that connection, and in the plain physiological reality of eating, there is a joy that can be transcendent, if we let it be. The truth and logic of this fact have become so lost recently that, oddly, we’ve turned the idea around: we’re more likely to think that in being stingy with how we feed ourselves lies our salvation.”

Ellyn Satter, a US dietician who specialises in treating eating disorders, agrees: “Dietary restraint – holding back on either the amount or the types of food we eat for external reasons – has become so pervasive that people see restricting their food intake as normal. And it’s applauded by the dietary powers that be. It’s become completely accepted that eating for emotional reasons is bad, that one should simply put fuel in one’s body as if it were a car.”

Instead, says Stacey, we should make sure our diet is peppered with “soul foods” -“the cheesecake you used to share with your high-school best friend, the spaghetti carbonara from Maria’s Kitchen that you fell in love over, the rice pudding your mother made when you were sick. These foods soothe us, take us back in time, and unite our bodies with our hearts and our minds.”

She concludes: “An Italian friend once described the family meals she grew up with, at which cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings, grandparents talked, argued, laughed, stirred pasta and risotto, drank wine, then let enough hours elapse to return once again to the kitchen for midnight pasta; the food was inseparable from the emotion. These are the foods we cannot live without – and fats, protein, and carbohydrates have nothing to do with it.”

March 31, 2008 at 1:35 am Leave a comment

Eating disorders

I’m watching Oprah.  It’s about bulimia.  And it’s really making me cry.

I have never been bulimic.  I have never once thrown up after a binge.  Even though I have wanted to and tried to.

Part of being true to myself with IE and the way it’s changed my life, is trying to be honest about things.

This is making me cry because I’m seeing that I have come so far, that now this special on bulimia is making me feel REALLY sad and horrified that this woman has been suffering so badly.

It embarrasses me (although it shouldn’t because I know for a fact I am not the only person who has ever thought this), that when I was deeply into my binging mentality, that I would have watched this and felt envious.  Envious that she is slim, envious that she can eat all that food and just pukes it up. Envious that she CAN make herself puke.  Seriously, I tried quite hard many times.

So I know how I go on about IE and wish more people would give it a go.. it’s only because it truly has changed my life in a way that I never EVER would have been able to if I was still attending dieting classes.  If your problem isn’t just being overweight, if it’s not just that you aren’t aware of what you are eating, if it HONESTLY runs deeper than just eating big portions (and you will know in your heart if you have an eating disorder.. maybe not right now, but eventually you will get the idea that something isn’t right), then for people like me, it’s been a life saver.

Quite literally, I believe.

I binged and over-ate for over 10 years.

Now:

I do not binge.  I rarely overeat.  I do not purge.

Life saving.  Seriously.

Life saving!

March 31, 2008 at 1:32 am Leave a comment

More IE thoughts

IE works.  It really does.  For all the people out there jumping on yet another diet band wagon, have you REALLY thought about giving this a go?  Believe me, it REALLY works.  I believe it can work for anyone, if you give it an honest try.

I’m not really talking about trying it as a weight loss alternative or method.. because it really is about so much more than that.

For months now, I have really been off cheese, yoghurt and milk.. even soy milk eventually got to me.  I was perplexed, but I listened and carried on.  Whenever I had milk, I ended up with sore guts, and ended up feeling really odd.  So I decided to go with this, and trust what my body was telling me.

When I found out I was pregnant I asked my Dr for some calcium supplements as I was a bit worried about the effect on a baby.  But you know what?  I obviously need calcium as my body has been asking for cheese, yoghurt and milk!  (Before I had a chance to fill the prescription!) Do you know how weird it feels??  But it’s such a strong signal, and I need to honour it, to maintain that body trust.  (Even if the smell of milk makes me gag & retch.. LOL)

Anyway, by this stage in my other two pregnancies I had already gained a good 6 (or more) kilos.  With my second pregnancy I was already, ALREADY (8 weeks) firmly in maternity clothes!  This time around, my clothes still fit and some of them even fit better.  I LOVE IE!  And don’t get me wrong.. I am not following someone else’s version of what I SHOULD be eating.  I’m still fully going with my instincts.  Some days that means a yoghurt and an orange for dinner, and sometimes that means I want to eat a whole curry restaurant.  Stopping when I am full feels better than ever, and I’m so glad I’ve learnt to do that, because it can get really uncomfortable when your belly is already getting crowded out by a growing uterus and squashed organs.

It is completely second nature now for me to look in the mirror, naked, and I don’t see the ‘Oh my god, I’m so fat’ girl anymore.  I see the ‘I’m so curvy and Ifeel good’ woman.  What a change!  I’m not blind, I still see the wobbly bits, the rolls, the cellulite and the stretch marks.. but the difference is they are just a part of me now, and I love those parts as much as the rest.  When I look in the mirror, it’s not time to criticise, it’s time to celebrate my curves.

I’ve also noticed I am gaining confidence in being around strangers, and I feel incredibly sad when I am around people with the full dieting mindset.  I didn’t realise how BORING it was to listen to people banging on about how many points they’ve eaten this day or that day, or how the scales were up or down a few measly hundred grams this day or that. Life is SO much more than this.  I can’t believe that was my main focus for so many years.  *yawn*

I still have some anxiety around being hungry, especially at the moment when hungry = major nausea.  Because I can go from being completely not hungry, with no hunger signals to ravenous in the space of 5-10 minutes! Pregnancy hunger is fierce, like a tiger. I’ve taken to carrying around a protein bar in my pocket if we are going to be away from anywhere that has food (like a bush walk), and I just have a bite when I need it, and that usually keeps my hunger at bay until we stop for a proper snack.

Oh, I’ve also noticed that some of my old eating signals have changed.. instead of thinking ‘I feel like something to munch’ when I’m bored or need to relax, quite often now it comes as ‘I feel like going into the garden’ or something similar. How can that not be more positive?

March 31, 2008 at 1:31 am Leave a comment

IE update

IE:  Going brilliantly.  I feel like I’ve finally got it.  2 years of working on it, and it’s finally all fit into place.  Food is no longer scary in the slightest.  Examples : a few years ago I could eat a whole pizza by myself.. now, 2-3 pieces absolute max.  We used to eat a block of chocolate in a night (and sometimes I could eat one whole block by myself in one sitting… EW EW EW!), now… we’ve had the same block of chocolate in our fridge for nearly 2 weeks.. every day I open the fridge and it’s there, but I barely notice it.  How amazing is that?  I couldn’t imagine this kind of life before.

I’m a happy girl right now!

oh p.s. didn’t really want to validate all of this stuff with weighty talk, but I’m down about 7kgs.  According to my Dr, that is.. I don’t weigh myself very often at home.  I’m happy, but mostly because I feel more comfortable. Moving around isn’t such a chore, and I’m *gasp* enjoying exercising a few times a week!  I REALLY don’t want to focus on the weight.  The changes inside me are far more significant than any weight loss.

March 31, 2008 at 1:26 am Leave a comment

Thoughts for today

I remember when I had my first day at my support group, and there were about 20 girls in the room, and I was the only one whose problem was not undereating.  Can you imagine how it was to be the largest in the room by probably AT LEAST 30kgs?  I was really uncomfortable, and more than a little confused.  These girls were slim / skinny, they wore fantastic clothes, had interesting jobs, and no kids (aka all the freedom in the world, lol), but yet, they were as unhappy as me in their own skin.  Actually, that’s not true.. I think I was the one who was the most accepting of my size. Or maybe I had the most ‘realistic’ view of my body.
Something I have been trying to do lately is to pick something about myself that I like that day, and accentuating it, or reminding myself of it throughout the day.  It’s easy to look in the mirror and judge and find the worst bits, but now I look and find what I like the most.  E.g. the other day, I said to my husband ‘I really like how my waist goes in and out like that’ and he gave me a big grin and said ‘I love that too’, hehe, now that was a nice self-esteem boost.

Anyway the point of my post is to just jot down my thoughts, and also to encourage people to find something about themselves to feel good about, even if, especially if you don’t have a ‘perfect’ figure -it’s really important.  The more you start to accept, the easier it gets – and eventually when you look in the mirror you don’t automatically look away in horror.

March 31, 2008 at 1:22 am Leave a comment

Now this is what IE is about!

A few days ago I was walking through the supermarket. I walked up the cereal aisle and spotted one of my old favourite cereals.

Hubbards Fruitful Breakfast.

YUM!

I remember I used to eat it all the time because it’s packed with dried fruit, doesn’t go soggy, and is so delicious.

But then in a wave of WW neurosis.. I decided it was too fattening, and since there were lower fat cereals I should stop eating it.

There is a ‘fruitful lite’ of the same brand, but let me tell you.. it pales in comparison.

So I saw this cereal, and it was on special, which just made it more attractive – and before I knew it, it was in the trolley. I went home, gave the kids lunch, put them to bed, and set myself up on the deck under the umbrella, with my laptop, a crunchy fresh apple, and a bowl of this delicious muesli.

It was so delicious. I haven’t felt so satisfied by a food in weeks. It was filling, it was fresh, it was healthy. I got a lot of energy from it, and it kept me full until dinner time. The hardest part was waiting until I got hungry to eat it! (In the old days I would have scarfed a bowl for a snack as soon as I got home).

Anyway, I got to thinking how crazy it was, that my life for a while there consisted of fat thinking. How much fat is in this? Is it more fattening that this other thing? How much of it can I eat before I put on weight? Oh god, did I just ruin my weigh in this week? I’m so fat, I shouldn’t be eating fattening foods.. etc etc.. you know how it goes.

That is crazy talk!

This muesli has other nutritional elements besides kilojoules and fat grams!  There are a load of nutrients in it. When did food start becoming ALL about fat/kjs?

It makes me very sad. I would pass up food like this, because it was higher in points than something more processed that would leave me feeling unsatisfied.. which of course leads to binges because you’re still hungry / unsatisfied. It’s just crazy!

I just had a tiny bowl of that same muesli for breakfast, and it’s so filling and delicious, I know it will keep me going for ages, with the added benefit of me feeling totally satisfied.

Now that is what IE is about.

March 31, 2008 at 1:19 am Leave a comment

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