Coming soon is a post about acceptance that I wrote for a dear friend. It’s an ongoing struggle and I’m not having much luck with it today.
Eat Low Carb
Eat No Carb
Have to Have Some Carbs
Eat A Lot of Fruits and Veggies
Don’t Eat Fruit After 2:00
Only Eat certain Fruits
Eat Low Fat
Eat No Fat
Cut Out All Sugar
Natural Sugar is Okay
Eat Low Calorie
Have to Eat Enough Calories So Body Doesn’t Go Into Starvation Mode
Dairy is Good for You
Dairy is Bad for You
Cut Out Gluten
Eat 3 Meals a Day
Eat Many Small Meals a Day
Watch Portion Size
Everything in Moderation
Food has always been an issue with me and with the list above, is it any wonder that I have absolutely NO idea what to put in my mouth? No idea what is okay to eat. Logic tells me it isn’t smart to cut out whole food groups. Something else inside of me, though, cancels out logic when it tells me it’s okay to eat 5 or 6 chocolate chip cookies so it is hard to know what to trust. I know what my problem is. I am the world’s pickiest eater, I eat weird foods and I love sugar. If I could just find a way for eggs, edamame and Tilapia to be a way to lose weight with flavored almonds, celery and cheese and apples and peanut butter as snacks then I’d be all good. I don’t even like to eat a lot. I often am so busy that I am unable to eat (which yes, I know is bad for the metabolism). All of this was fine until…I had a baby at 39 and hit 40.
The number keeps going up. In the old days, I’d give up drinking my beloved regular Coke and instantly see a difference. I haven’t had a Coke (or any other soft drink) in I don’t know how long and no difference. I was convinced that it was the cereals that I love (and I love a lot of them) that was causing my yoga pants to be tight (yes, sad day when yoga pants are tight) so I gave them up, even my favorite Special K Vanilla Almond. Still no difference. It must have been then, the strawberries and chocolate (that I am not supposed to eat anyway) so I gave them up. Still nothing. Then I was convinced that it must have been the Black Cherry Propel. Those liars, they said it was zero everything but it must have been the chemicals that gave it the black cherry flavor that was doing it so I gave it up and now only drink lemon water. Apparently, eating only the marshmallows out of Lucky Charms after you are 40 causes the scale to go up so I stopped doing that. The only vice I have left is Starbucks Hot Chocolate and I already get that with skim milk and no whipped cream. Do I need to let that go, too?
I tried Weight Watchers but got tired of counting points. I did Spark People and I liked it but got tired of logging everything in. I did Atkins but I am not a big meat-eater. I did South Beach but was so hungry that I looked forward to the Calcium chews that I was taking. They felt like a delicious meal and if I could have cut them up in pieces to enjoy longer, I would have (that’s just sad). I looked into The Paleo Diet and it made a lot of sense but I don’t like a lot of veggies. I have started the 17 Day Diet figuring I can do anything for 17 days and I can definitely fit 17 minutes of exercise in a day but wouldn’t you know it? I am having a hard time getting two fruits in before 2 and I am having to force myself to eat yogurt.
I know it is a lifestyle change and that I need to find what works for me. The problem is that I haven’t found what works for me. I need to make changes but the realization that I just can’t have some of the foods I love is depressing. What’s that you are thinking? Everything is okay in moderation? Yes, but how many of you, like me, can’t stop at one cookie or one chip or a cup of Kettlecorn popcorn? That’s an issue of self-control and I’m working on it but right now, I suck. I thought the issue was exercise because I never was very good at that but even though I’ve committed to doing at least 17 minutes a day, I usually do 20 30 minutes a day and still nothing.
They say not to get caught up on the number but I can’t help it. I do and it is a number that says I need to make some changes. More changes. Ughhh. And whether we need to lose 10lbs or 60lbs, if what we see in the mirror isn’t something that we are comfortable with then we have a right to those feelings. For example, I used to get really irritated when a person that I thought was skinny (because it is all relative) would complain that they needed to lose weight but even though I think 120lbs is skinny, that person used to weigh 110 so to them, they are 10lbs overweight (and no this is not me, I haven’t seen 120 since before kids) . They are still not comfortable with the way they look or in their own skin so who am I to tell them to get over it and that they are being ridiculous? We are all fighting against the same societal standard of the size 2 woman being the ideal. We open the same magazines, watch the same TV and go to the same movies where these women have bodies that are unattainable to the “real” women out there raising kids and working both inside and outside of the home. It’s not that I compare myself to them because I know what they do to maintain their bodies and it isn’t even something I want to do. What I do want to do is enjoy life while feeling comfortable in my own skin. I thought that was what being 40 was about. I could have sworn when I was in my 30′s I heard that.
I am not telling you this because I am obese or think I am obese. I am telling you this because my unhealthy way of looking at food is affecting me in other areas. Take for example the picture that I had on here yesterday. Many people had a lot of nice things to say for which I am appreciative. The reality of that, though is that I made my sister take that picture so many times and at so many angles to get it so that my hair looked okay and my arms didn’t look like ham hocks and my smile didn’t make me look like I have a double chin. One picture out of a bunch that I felt okay enough with to post. Such a distorted view.
I cannot take a good picture with Nico. For whatever reason, I can’t stand the way I look. Maybe because he is tall and lean and in pictures with him I look short and stubby. I don’t know but I do know that I have to get over it otherwise there will be no pictures of me and him and I cherish the pictures from when he was little. Want to know the irony of that? I remember picking apart those pictures, seeing my adorable son but then looking at all the things I didn’t like about myself (thinking, I’ll never wear that shirt again or Why didn’t anyone tell me that short hair makes my face look rounder?) and looking back, I didn’t have anything to pick apart. I looked fine and I was happy cuddling with my son who was sitting on my lap (and I was so freaking young).
I didn’t post that picture to get compliments. I posted because, sadly, it was the only one I took but after reading what people said, I thought to myself, Why can’t we see ourselves the way others see us? I can’t tell you how many times I take a picture of someone (almost always a woman) and I think it is beautiful and they want me to redo it because they think they look bad. Why can’t we be kinder to ourselves? Such a distorted view.
I think about how Gia is always crawling on my lap and saying, “Mommy, you’re bootiful” and I wish I could see myself through her eyes. Why is my view so distorted?
So to wrap this up, I still don’t know what to eat, I need to put aside how I feel and be a part of the memories that I want to make with my kids and I need to remember that even if I am not comfortable in my own skin at the moment, someone out there thinks I am “bootiful”.
What about you? Do you allow the distorted view to affect your life? Are you comfortable in your own skin? When did that happen? Something to look forward to in my 50′s?