Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Diets are Dumb.

I took a class once on family processes. In it I learned that often times parents have beliefs of what works and does not work for in disciplining their children. If the child does not respond in the expected way, the parents often just try harder instead of think...mmm maybe this is not working....maybe I should try something else? For example, a child is home past his curfew, so the parent makes the curfew earlier or takes away privileges in an attempt to control the child. That may work for some children but not for the free spirit, that child will probably just rebell more, so then the parent restricts more, so the child rebells more and cycle continues until the relationship is completely strained and life is miserable for both the parent and the child. What needs to happen in a situation like this is for the parents to take a step back and revaluate what it is they are doing and what they could try different. As scary and against their beliefs it may be, giving the child complete freedom is often the answer. Many children want to know that you trust them to be responsible, as they are becoming an adult the last thing they was to do is have someone else control them. With REASON!

I feel that this is the same horrible cycle that I have been stuck in for so many years. My body is not what I think it should be, and I expect myself to eat "Perfect" everyday every meal. When I don't, because that is impossible, I get upset at myself and make more restrictions until eventually my relationship with food and myself is totally destroyed. I don't trust myself and so I feel fear every time food is around, I start to hate food because it is the horrible thing that is ruining my life and I am bitter against it that it has power over me. I NEED it to survive. So, I abuse it. I can tell you that this is NOT a fun way to live your life and it is a dangerous road to be on. There are many many things wrong with this. I will go through them. One, like I have said before, it is important to know that the diet and fitness industry are driven by MONEY. Just like fashion, the trends must change or else people will be content and no longer buy the latest. MONEY. They want your money. They feed off of good intentioned people who are trying to take care of their bodies and mess up their heads about what is good and what is bad.

I remember when I was a kid and it was time to have dessert, I was genuinely and completely excited. I enjoyed every bite and and experienced no guilt or self defeating thoughts. I was thin and active. Life was full of joy....then gradually life became about work and trying to be good enough. Play gradually turned into "WORKing out" and cookies gradually turned into Medication. I got overt and covert messages from my well intentioned family that I should not eat sweets especially when it was the off season. I began to believe that fat made me less than, and goodness gracious....who would want that!!!!! No one wants that! So, it started with sugar...sugar became the enemy. No more excitement to eat, eat slowly began to be a cycle of restrain, indulge, repent and repeat. Then it was restrain more, indulge more, repent , repeat. Restrain even more, indulge even more, repent , repeat. Finally, I realized that if a cycle wants to be broken, one or all of them need to be broken.

Restrain? Yup. Break it. There is no such thing as bad food. As intelligent as your body is, it does not know how to read food labels. It does not know the name of whatever you are eating. It does not send off "Store fat alarms" when you eat a hamburger. Nor does your body know how to tell time. It does not tell say....oh Sherry you ate at 8:02 and you know that your metabolism stops at 8. It is going to have to go into STORAGE! MUA HA HA! Suits you right Sherry for feeding me after 8. Suits you right for feeding me a piece of pizza instead of eating that cheese and meat and veggies in the form of a sandwich. So, the body many not know how to read, it is super super intelligent. We, thinking we know better often ignore it though when it is trying to talk to us.

Ever watch a baby. They are sooooo in tune with when they are hungry and when they are full. I believe that we still have that ability but diets and rules and guilt and shame do a good job of encouraging us to ignore them. The body has both hunger and satiety clues and if you listen closely you can hear them! These are the mechanisms in our body that God has given us to guide how much we eat. He also gave us appetites and food preferences. This is what guides us on knowing what you eat. I have known this principle for years, but I have been afraid to live this way because there are two things that you must accept in order to live this way. One, you must let go of trying to look like someone else, even and especially if that someone else is a past you. Second, you must be ok with not being "perfect" in your eating behaviors. Is there anyone out there that get exactly 8 hours of sleep every night to the very minute?? The great thing about the body is that it is good at finding balance, so listen to it! If you oversleep one day, you probably wont be so tired the next day unless your body really needs it! If I was like... OK I MUST get 8 hours of sleep every night....NO MORE NO LESS...while I was training for my marathon I would have been miserable. After my long runs my body would sleep for so long!!!! I have also noticed that I need more sleep when I have went through an emotionally straining couple of days. I trusted my body with sleep and that is how it should be with food too. If you eat a lot one day, don't worry! If you are consistently listening to your hunger and fullness cues then you may not be as hungry the next day.

When I let myself eat when I am hungry and then stop when I am comfortable, I DO NOT feel the need to indulge because my body knows that I am not going to starve it. I feel peace and I can focus on the more important things in life, like people.

Also, there is no repentance. I don't feel guilty for things that I used to feel guilty for and so there is no exercise to burn off calories, there is no throwing up, there is no laying in bed swearing to myself that I will never do that again.

I will stress though, in order to do this, I HAD to accept me for what I was. I also had to let go of the urgent desire to have a certain body, realizing that God does not care about what I look like. Sure, lots of men might think you should look different, but if you are living a life of joy and love and finding satisfaction from taking care of yourself and others, then he sure is missing out. You don't want a man to marry you for your body just as much as man does not want to be married for his money. Children of God are much more than a body and a career.

So, in summary, I know in a previous post I said that I ate what I planned and planned what I ate, but I don't do that anymore. This has always been my ultimate goal to eat intuitively but I did not believe that I could do it. With the help of the program that I posted last post, and the support of my loved ones I have finally come to this point. It still is a little scary but as long as I keep my thoughts in check, I will be ok. There are triggers for me that can throw me back so easily into my old ways of thinking. Some of those are when others around me are trying to lose weight, or avoid "bad" foods. Food did not hurt me. I hurt myself. Don't blame foods like sugar and butter for your unhappiness. And don't blame your unhappiness on your excess weight. Don't even blame yourself. You, like I, have probably put your trust in and found "health" information from sources that appeared to be looking out for your best interest (magazines, television, movies, advertisements, or parents and loved ones who were confused themselves) when the reality is that they want our money.

Well.. that was long. Hope it was helpful. I know I make typos and that my thoughts don't always flow, but I just sit down and write what is on my mind.....just like food...I would go crazy trying to make everything perfect. I am not publishing a book, I am posting a blog. Take it or leave it, but I am giving it raw!

I love you Daddy!


  1. This is such a great post, Sherry! Thank you so much for posting it!

    1. Thanks for reading! :)