Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Word on Dieting -- Or Not

(This is not the promised "next post", but just a quickie comment on an article I saw today.)

"Intuitive Eating"

I read this article today:
I point it out because it is the first clear description of what I've been doing for about 5 or 6 years now.

Losing 5 pounds a year, instead of gaining same

I've always been overweight. In addition to liking to eat, my weight issues are complicated by the fact that my disability prevents me from doing most forms of exercise that burns calories. Since I don't sweat properly, "sweatin' to the oldies" is a road to heat stroke for me.

But about 7 years ago, I saw a picture of myself with my new kitten at the time and was horrified. I had no chin, but rather a blob of head on top of a bigger blob of my body.

I am proud to say that today, I have a definite jawline and chin, sagging with age though they may be. I am still a chubbette, to be sure, but I have turned the direction of the trend to loss and maintenance, rather than creeping gain.

Counted Calories and Fat Grams; Drew the Line at Carbs

At first, I counted fat grams, 'cause that was what was in vogue at the time. Eventually, I went back to counting calories, supported by the periodic interviews with nutritionists that I read, who said, "it's calories in, calories out", period. And over time, I did decide I could have anything I wanted, but did try, as mentioned in the above article, to not eat when I wasn't hungry (this can be a problem if one is depressed and never feels like eating, but that's another blog).

I do sometimes have Dulce de Leche ice cream for dinner. But sometimes it is green beans and rice (with butter and salt). There is a bag of Double Stuff Oreos in the drawer in the kitchen, but it has been there for 4 months or more (the same bag, that is).

Weight is a Crip Issue, Too

Body weight and body image are HUGE (no pun intended) issues for people with disabilities, and more so for women than men. Women with visible disabilities are often dealt a set of circumstances that are the antithesis of the current popular hype on what sexy, successful women are supposed to look like. I'm talking completely unattainable, at the far end of the not bloody likely scale that non-disabled women are faced with.

To add deprivation and food-guilt to that burden strikes me as asking too much [more] of us women crips. As if we don't have enough crap thrust upon us on a daily basis.

So...Think about this "intuitive eating" concept. I try to balance calories, and nutrition -- you can be overweight and still be relatively healthy. Above all else, take care of yourself, think long-term, and don't jump on every fad that comes along. The thing about the "intuitive eating" idea is that it is focused on each individual's needs and wants, not on some idealized model that seldom occurs in nature.

1 comment:

Ranter said...

Interesting concept. It actually makes sense to me. Like many peole with weight issues, I've lost touch with my body and its signals. We eat for so many reasons and eating is such an acceptable social part of our society. We eat when happy, sad, angry, bored, alone, with people. It's not like we can avoiding eating. I think everyone holds the knowledge to logially know what, when and how much to eat, we just don't trust ourselves or the thing that eating is compensating for is just too big that it dwarves our bodies' signals. I remember going to dietitians, nutritionists. I even did Nutrasystem for a bit. The assumption was that if you know what to eat you'll make better choices. But it's bigger than that. I know if I follow a varied diet, limit my portions, exercise, I will lose weight. Duh. What needs to be looked into more is why we don't follow that. What are the road blocks to following those simple instructions. I think making yourself aware, even if you don't change your patterns at first, just being aware of what you're doing each time you do it is a good first step. Food for thought, eh? Ahem. ;)