Friday, 02 December 2011
I know I have a problem that I've been struggling with for the past several months now, and as hard as I try to stop by myself, I end up failing. And it really sucks to fail yourself every day. As you can infer from the title, I binge eat. Luckily, I'm not overweight (the problem started while I was underweight, 5'6" and 107, so I still look normal), but if I don't fix this problem soon then I may not be able to say that anymore.
Within the past three months I've gained ten pounds. I've calculated my daily intake to be around 2500-3000 calories, most of that happening a night. My weakness seems to be crackers, canned vegetables, fruit, turkey and hard-boiled eggs (odd, I know) and since I'm in college, these are practically dorm staples for me. So as hard as I try to stay away from these, the facts that 1) I'm human and do in fact need to eat, 2) The alternatives to these aren't as healthy and 3) since these are dorm staples, it's what my parents buy me, these things keep cming back. And I can be great at self-control up to a point. And then I lose it.
Obviously the best thing for me to do would be to just put the fork (or box) down, but it's not that easy sometimes. Most times, actually. I compare it to alcoholism or drug addiction, which is what it is often compared to in clinical settings. However, sometimes I wish I was an alcoholic instead. That seems harder to hide (no impossible but simply harder), and the substance is not necessary to survival. It can be avoided, and while alcoholism is not socially acceptable, an increasingly more informed public is gradually becoming more accomodating to recovery. Binge eating still has a huge stigma attached to it.
The point of this post is not to get sympathy or attention or advice (although constructive advice would be appreciated). The point is, I need to feel accountable. I need to admit I have a problem. And I find this to be a good medium between keeping it a secret and coming out to my friends, who I'm sure would be glad to help but I feel would be disgusted on some level. Because I am disgusted with myself. And just like with Alcoholics Anonymous, I admit that I am powerless to this.
Saturday, 01 October 2011
October 1st: So begins America's little-known and underappreciated National Vegetarian Month.
This year, to celebrate I will be going back to pescatarianism. Which is not a form of vegetarianism as some would claim (since I'll still eat fish, which is meat last I checed), but I don't like rice, beans, nuts or protein bars and shakes, and and I've been kind of iffy about soy lately, and egg whites..well...it's not enough protien to live off of in my opnion, unless I go through a dozen and a half a day. Not to sound like I'm justifying my lack of full participation in what I consider a great monthly theme, but at least I'm getting rid of chicken, beef, pork, venison, etc. etc. etc....
Vegtarianism has many health benefits, most of them surrounding your heart. The effects of lower cholesterol and increased fiber intake are great for the heart muscle, and the vitamins and soluble fiber from the produce flushes out bad cholesterol.
The potentially lower salt intake may help with a lower blood pressure as well. But you still have to be careful, as many packaged foods that are vegatarian-friendly may still have a ton of salt.
A vegetarian diet may also help control diabetes; the high fiber intake most likely levels out blood sugar levels.
The most "safe" vegetarian foods are usually fresh produce; the lack of processing contributes to less toxins building up in the body. Which, by the way,may lead to less cancer ;)
And the added fiber (again with the fiber? Yes, again with the fiber) obviously helps with digestion and apetite regulation. So if done right (as in, you're getting enough protein and healthy, unrefined complex carbs), vegetarianism may help with weight loss!
What most vegetarians fail at is realizing that there are more food groups than pasta, peanut butter and salad out there for them. Unless you're vegan, milk and eggs are still good protein, as are rice and beans (eaten together), nuts (in small amounts, as they do have alot of fat), tofu (which may have alot of fat), and some protein bars or shakes. The caveat is that yu have to read ingredients lists; I can tell you gelatin and lard (unless specified as vegetable lard) should be avoided, as well as renin. But I need to do more research before I can eat again XD
Here's a good website to read up on a vegetarian lifestyle while I look for a comprehensive "ingredients to avoid" list...
Keep it healthy lovies, Happy National Vegetarian Month.
Sunday, 18 September 2011
I don't know about other people, but I don't particularly like my college dining hall.
For one thing, the food options are swimming in oil and butter. And yet, they all sounds so healthy (shrimp and onions, spinach-stuffed tomatoes) that I just can't help but try them.
Sadly, this has resulted in a net gain of 4 lbs so far. Hopefully this will stop now that I limit myself to one "Hurley Hall" (no lie, that's the dining hall's name) experience per day. But those 4 lbs aren't the only thing I've picked up in these past three weeks. The unlimited faux-healthy food has been accompanied with unlimited soda, and while I hate the taste of the regular stuff, my willing consumption of diet soda is my beverage vice.
I do in fact partially blame my parents for my new diet coke habit. While they never bought me soda, they, well, never bought me soda. The only time I ever had it was at parties. So, me being human and prone to human feelings of limited-vs.-unlimited resources (my complicated way of saying that if you're deprived of one thing long enough, when you finally get it you take too much), I've caved and had a diet drink at at least one meal for most days since the start of school.
Many people know that diet sodas and all of their sickeningly unnatural sweetness trigger cravings for sweet, high-calorie foods. While many may not be aware of this phenomena occuring in themselves, as someone who (until recently) was not accustomed to craving chocolate, animal crackers, or sweet teas, I can pretty much assure you that it does happen. I've never had a cookie sing to me. And I would rather that they remain silent, as God (or Satan, or the whoever the hell made cookies) made them to be.
Also, as someone who is medically underweight (I say medically because when it comes to appearance and how I feel, I'm fine for the most part), I am at a heightened risk of osteoporisis. And the phosphoric acid that is in soda gives me (and you) another reason to kick the coke out the door. Not only do the acids cause the calcium in your bloodstream to exit your body more quickly, but when this happens, calcium is taken from your bones to keep blood calcium levels stable. And I am not okay with that.
Phosphoric acid and Citric acid (no surprise, since they are acids and all) also causes tooth decay! Yay tooth decay. Who needs to chew or be able to form understandable words?
And, for those that love a good caffeine fix (another one of my flaws!), the caffeine may cause dehydration, and doesn't help that calcium balance issue.
Then there's the increased risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, possible heart attack and stroke and all that jazz. I'll admit that my sources for this topic are mainly just WebMD.com and Livestrong.com, but I personally find them to be more-reliable-than-not sources.
I'm not about to give up coffee, not about to give up tea, but the coke can go up in smoke. Ah, me and my corny nutrition quips....have a good day lovies, keep it healthy =)
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Hey guys =)
It's been pretty busy and all around here, what with college starting and all. And I've never been to college before, so it's pretty new. I guess it's exciting, but my classes kind of put me to sleep. On the bright side, I have unlimited access to fruit-flavored water, and it's not the fake fruit flavor either. It's actually got real fruit floating around in the cooler. Neat stuff.
Anyway, I need yor help. We've all heard of the Frshman Fifteen by now, but I consider myself a special case. I don't really dread it. I just dread it's composition. Here's what I mean.
I weigh as much as a 14 year old.
Sorry if this is TMI, but I have ceased to "count myself as a woman" in some respects. For those that understand what happens to the female anatomy when it becomes underweight, you know what I mean.
I am at a heightened risk of Osteopenia, Osteoporosis, Stroke, and Cardiac Arrest (according to some sources). Maybe Type 1 Diabetes, but I'm not really sure. Still, why take the risk?
And this is all at the ripe old age of Almost 18.
Now I want to be a dietitian, and help people be healthy. But how did that saying go? You can't light someone else's path if you haven't lit your own? Whatever. Either way, I guess I'm not as healthy as I would like. The constant circles under my eyes? Why are they there? I sleep more than anyone =P
Health aside, I guess guys like a curvy but lean hourglass figure? I have lean. But it's a jiggly lean, and as much as I like (sugar-free) Jell-o, I am not a fruit flavored dessert. And hourglass? I'm more likely to have the shape of a grandfather clock or full-length mirror. And it's not "cutely curvaceous."
SO, dear readers, friends, and whatever else you would like to consider yourself in relation to me, I am asking for your support. I would like to gain 6-8 healthy pounds, 3 of fat and 3 of muscle. That would bring me to 115 lbs on a 5'6" medium-small frame. This requires a full gym, which to my delight, my college has several of them. I just need the motivation to get my flabby butt into them.
Words of advice and encouragement would be great. =) Thanks.
Monday, 15 August 2011
And what is this source? Pro-ana, of course.
Now I know you may be thinking, "What are you, insane?" or "How can Pro-ana have a pro side?" or simply, "What the hell is wrong with you?" But hear me out. I'm not saying pro-ana is good. We all know it's not, and it has more cons than pros in both substance and intent. BUT. Have you ever read the tips they offer to curb appetite or mindless eating? I'm not suggesting that those trying to watch their weight take to drinking vinegar laced with bitter orange when they're hungry, or that trying to be a certain size (and using a ribbon that has your "ideal" waist measurment as a bracelet on your wrist for motivation) is a good idea. Bitter orange is known for its adverse health effects; straight vinegar causes ulcers; and people come in all different shapes and sizes, partially because of genetics.
But what I mean by pros are those little tips that no one seems to think of unless you really try to think of or find ways to cut your appetite or food intake. Like, hey, drink water when your hungry. Or slowly count to 100 if before you indulge in a craving, and even then, keep it in moderation. Or, for those of you that nibble while you cook, put a piece of strong-flavored gum in your mouth while you make the meal. There are crazier tips that anorexics use, and many of them are right-out dangerous. But how difficult/weird is it to drink a cup of green tea several times a day?
Heck, I use some of these tips. I tend to be an emotional eater, and while I really only crave healthy food like broccoli or chicken breasts, it's still food that should be respected (as in, not scarfed down in fron of the fridge due to mindless stress) and it's still calories. If, instead of grabbing the nearest box of whole-wheat crackers, I 1) sip some lemon water or seltzer, which gives me both flavor and a fuller stomach, and 2) sit and think about what I want, why I want it and how eating it would or wouldn't make me feel better, I can often overcome the need to eat something when I'm not hungry. And if I can sit there, drink my water, and still feel hungry even when I've ruled out emotions as a cause; well, then I guess it's dinner time and I should have some food.
Half of pro-ana tips are about hiding food or using caffeine as a diuretic/metabolic stimulant, but the other half are simply, "control yourself; here's how." I don't suggest posting pictures of models around your house or in your fridge as a weight management routine, because not only is it unhealthy to compare yourself to others, but models are also heavily airbrushed, but some tips aren't too bad.
To save you from having to read the (mostly bad and ugly) pro-ana tips, I've compiled a few that I think should move from the realm of these toxic sites into a more public eye.
1. Drink water all throughout the day, to stay hydrated and curb appetite
2. Distract yourself if you get a craving (play a game, read a book, update a blog, etc.)
3. Drink ice-cold water so your body uses a few calories to warm it up.
4. Don't eat in front of the TV or computer.
5. Don't eat in your bedroom/living room/place other than DINING room or kitchen.
6. Eat what you crave, but eat it mindfully and only in small amounts.
7. Get at least 6 hours of sleep each night.
8. Chew your food well.
9. Eat slowly.
10. Focus on the first 3 bites; after that, food begins to seem to lose it's flavor.
11. Before you binge/emotional eat, count to 100. By the time you're done, you'll probably have lost the craving. If not, see tips 6 and 10.
12. Eat on smaller plates in dark colors.
13. Save the wrappers when you eat sweets. Seeing that you already ate something makes you more aware, and you eat less of it.
14. Also, out of sight, out of mind. Keep tempting foods either hidden or over 6 feet away.
15. Be aware of your emotional triggers, i.e. know what stresses you out and come up with a non-food way to deal with it.
16. When preparing food, chew on gum so your mouth is full. Strong flavored gum is even better.
17. Green tea boosts metabolism and has healthy antioxidants, all for zero calories.
18. Learn what a serving size actually looks like.
19. Exercise, and try to get your heart rate up.
20. Look up restaurant nutrition facts before you go out to eat.
21. Fidgeting can burn between 300-500 calories a day. And sitting up straight helps your posture, gives you confidence, makes you look leaner and burns 10% more calories than slouching.
22. Take your vitamins.
23. Be picky at the buffet; take your time (the food's not going anywhere!) and only get a few things that you like.
24. Sit facing away from the food at a buffet; obese people were 96% more likely to sit facing toward the food than their slimmer counterparts (I stole this one from Yahoo! Health but I digress).
25. Avoid alcohol, or at least drink it in moderation. Not only does it kill your liver, brain and kidneys, but it's alot of empty calories and slows your metabolism by 73%.
26. Find a weight loss buddy.
27. Make your workouts fun.
28. Don't eat 3 hours before bed.
29. Eat alot of fiber-y, water-filled foods, like apples, cucumbers, lettuce (or preferably spinach, since it has more vitamins than lettuce), etc.
30. Put down your fork between each bite.
31. Keep a food journal and try to plan your meals.
32. Ask that your food be prepared with as little oil, butter and/or dressing as possible when eating out.
33. Sneak in exercise; take the stairs, walk the dog, etc.
34. Spicy food boosts metabolism and send full signals to the brain more quickly.
Many of these are already pretty commonplace in the media, on other health blogs and sites, and in diet and weight-management literature. And eating to lose weight or obtain.maintain optimal health can seem like a full-time job, with or without all these little "tips and tricks" meant to keep you in check. But again, I digress. Carpe Diem. =P