I hate diets

by jennine on January 9, 2008

But I’m always watching my figure. Perhaps that’s not unusual…. I also fluctuate between 135 and 115 pounds, but mostly linger 130 and 125. I think it’s important to talk about body issues, especially in the fashion industry, if you can even call my blog ‘industry’ but, looking all day at super thin models can really distort what quantifies as a ‘healthy figure.’

Right now, I’m going through a thing about my figure, my age too, but mostly my figure.

Last year, before I started blogging, and I had more time to obsess with other things, my figure was my main obsession. I measured all my food. Made sure everything was homemade, organic, whole. I exercised 3-5 times a week. I felt good… and I had a goal to look a certain way. Skinny. And once I reached that goal, it was depressing because I thought I would be happy if I were super fit. I wasn’t any more or less happier than when I began my quest. Although, I did like wearing clothes more.

Now that my life is different… and I have different priorities, like spending time with people I love, having a nice home, sleeping. It’s still important to maintain a healthy figure. Nutrition and physical activity is one of the most important parts of a happy life.

One of the sites I use to keep informed about what and how to eat, is Nutrition Data dot com. It’s a free (extensive) database that not only tells you the caloric content and it’s nutritional value, but it also shows you how nutritious food is. Like when people tell me spinach is good for you. I usually take their word for it… but I don’t’ really know what that means. Or empty calories? What the heck is that?
The thing I like about this website, is that I can take the food I want, and analyze whether I think it’s worth it or not to keep in my diet. If I have a goal to loose 5 pounds (which usually takes me 2 months… I do things slowly) I can look at what I’m eating, and I can also look for other possibilities, say I saw baby artichokes are in season… or they are having a sale on cherries. I can also see what the nutritional content is, and maybe make some room for pizza or cookies if I want.

The key is learning to have a diet I can be happy with. There is no use in punishing myself into being thin… because being thin doesn’t mean happy.

Also, Michael Polan wrote an very informative article in the New York Times, Unhappy Meals, which talks about our toxic portion sizes. I know it sounds crazy, but you can actually be sustained on the recommended portion sizes. At first they seem small, but that’s just to encourage lots of variety in your diet. Always look for the positives!

And last but not least, I’m not into starving. I have to eat several times a day, I get low blood sugar, I get super moody, sluggish… etc. I need to eat well to be happy. I have noticed, that food that was cared for, grown organically from smaller farms by people who are passionate about their crops, home cooked by your loved ones… etc., always tastes better. I can’t even think of eating frozen pizza.

As for my body issues… I’m still figuring that out, it’s an evolution.. I hope sharing this with you, will somehow inspire good eating!

Resources and other relevant sites:
Nutrition Data
Unhappy Meals, Michael Pollan, NYT magazine, 1/28/07
Back in Skinny Jeans
How to Cook Your Life

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susie_bubble January 9, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Oh dear… this makes me feel very bloated and unhealthy indeed…
My diet will probably driv you mental…today involved a custard danish, a huge foccacia sandwich and lots of pate…. hmmm…fatty goodness…

jennine January 9, 2008 at 4:54 pm

oh no! i’m sorry! i just have the body type where i have to travel the straight and narrow, or things get out of control very quickly…

but i do love foccacia & pate.

WendyB January 9, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Very nice post. Cool site too. Thanks for the link. I’m scared to even look at it now because I eat so naughtily but maybe someday I’ll get healthy like I always promise myself.

Lady Smaggle January 9, 2008 at 10:25 pm

It sounds like you were born the same as me! I swear I have no ability to burn food what so ever. The ladies I have worked with for a year revealed to me yesterday that they thought I was a diabetic because I never ate sweet food. You look fantastic by the way. You have to tell youself when you’ve gained a kilo after eating salad all week that it would have been much worse if you had have been eating pizza! ;-)

Mothra January 9, 2008 at 10:53 pm

Mothra thinks you’re hot.

meli January 10, 2008 at 12:00 am

this smells like post-holidays…

LaLa January 10, 2008 at 12:11 am

one of my new years resolution is to cut dairy and heavy carbs.: breads , pasta, basically. SO far i havent been able to achieve it for a whole 24 hours .. but i have seen people loose weight .. doing this. If your Obsessing and unhappy you know something is wrong .. thanx for the inspiration ! its nice to find an article like this to kick start the day ;)

Mer January 10, 2008 at 4:41 am

I never cared before. I always was in a good shape. The thing is, that when you are working like 10000 hours per day like I do these days, you forget about being healthy…You just have to eat something!!
:-) anywho, I get it now. I double the gym sessions and eat more fruits.

Mer January 10, 2008 at 4:42 am

because I´m getting big!! :-D

Allure January 10, 2008 at 5:49 am

I used to be truly obsessed with my weight two years ago (I was 18). I went into a non-carb diet, and after three months, I was super skinny. I remember my acquaintances telling me how good I looked, and I couldn’t help, but felt sad. I was only valued for being skinny (!). I eventually left the diet, and gained a bit of weight. Suddenly all my phantoms and insecurities returned.

Until one day I realised there is no point in obsessing about food and I surprisingly started to lose weight.

The Sewing Bunny January 10, 2008 at 12:06 pm

as a new years resolution, i decided to start roughly (emphasis on roughly) following weight watchers and within a week, i have seen an improvement in what i reach for when i’m hungry. i simply don’t understand how people eat so little sometimes or stop eating all together…i just love food way too much! but i am learning more and more about eating healthy. i want to prevent any future medical problems as much as possible now.

thank you for sharing the website and your own thoughts; they certainly did inspire me even more!

Meg January 10, 2008 at 12:57 pm

I’m involved in an everlasting fight with my weight and just being comfortable.
I wish I could say that beautiful graphs would make me more strict with my diet but I just love food.

ohlacherie January 10, 2008 at 4:58 pm

I appreciate your honesty when dealing with weight issues…I too struggle with body image. There’s this really great TV show from England called Cook Yourself Thin. It’s on the Woman’s Network here in Canada. It’s like SATC for chefs. Super cool, normal women who teach you how to make your favorite dishes lower in fat and calories. You should check it out plus they dress super stylish!

jennine January 10, 2008 at 5:11 pm

thank you all so much for all your wonderful comments. particularly when talking about something so personal as body image, and diet.

oh and thank you mothra.

Anonymous January 11, 2008 at 11:04 am

Thanks for sharing. I think we should all talk about our body issues. We all have happy days and unhappy days. We all have to think about our food. It is build in, you cannot eat everything that comes your way in nature or you will be dead pretty soon. Nightshade anyone ? We all know that we feel better if we do not just gorge on fast food. Even without any skinny obsession, there would be food obsession. So we all have to find a balance between caring for us or obsessing about something. And it is nice to know how other people cope. I myself for an instance have the feeling that at the moment I eat too much and for the wrong reasons. I try to figure out what has to change for me not to crave pure carbo anymore. I never did a diet, because with my hip bones (I am a pear), I will never be skinny. Some padding actually evens things out a little. But at the moment the balance is wrong. People just tell me that I am not to heavy. But this is not the problem. I know I just eat wrong and I am even for my low standard (I hate sport) not moving enough. And it shows in my weight. This is just one indicator of many, but one that is easy to measure. And I will not go on a diet, I will just try to change my lifestyle little by little. Less fat more carrots, I love carrots and broccoli.

cov. in cambridge January 11, 2008 at 2:33 pm

thanks for posting your thoughts, J. this is an issue that i have struggled with for what is now almost half of my life. thinking about the accumulated months of my life i’ve spent agonizing about my weight is really depressing. i made some resolutions too this year - not just about my diet/exercise, but in committing to getting my head right. or maybe not *right,* since i know that i have some obsessions and anxieties that will be with me for life, but atleast trying to be a little easier, a little kinder, to myself and my body. nobody is a harsher critic of myself than me, and that isn’t a great way to live, you know?

Gina January 11, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Jennine, NutritionData is a great site. For fitness, try MapMyRun.com. You don’t have to be a runner, and you’ll see that once you check out the site.

Also, I believe that the Buddhists say that one meal is the equivalent amount of food that can fitted nicely in your two cupped hands. That is the size of your stomach, and you should aim to leave it slightly empty to allow room for digestion. Good advice, but hard to apply at times. Perhaps that is easier than measuring and weighing food (which I’ve done to insane perfection) is just being mindful of what and how you eat.

jennine January 11, 2008 at 4:40 pm

oh my god… map my run is awesome… i’ll have that in my bookmarks, and making all kinds of routes.

i also like the idea of the two cupped hands. it sounds about right..

cnc… i know what you mean. i just spent the last two years in therapy learning there is nothing wrong with me.

being gentler on yourself is a bit harder than it sounds… i have a picture of me as a child to remind myself to be nice, because who can be mean to a little girl?

Holly March 16, 2010 at 7:02 am

Guess what…. I Hate DIETS!!! So much, that I even blogged about it on my Health Site… http://www.SkinnyTwinkie.com, and the link below


Why do I hate diets? Because they are….usually….temporary. Eat healthy LONGTERM and change your entire lifestyle for longterm results that stay with you —longer than just the summer time.

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