Monday, April 19, 2010

"How you will get fat" and other pearls of wisdom

I think this is how it usually goes, right? It's winter and you eat things that fatten you up a bit. You want to sleep more, too. This is biological. This is the way it's supposed to be!

Then spring hits. You start thinking about bathing suits and tank tops. You start pinching that fat layer that, hey, you kind of liked mid-January, and you think What have I done?
If you have a child, there is an extra twist. I have said it at least twice before: When you make your toddler a meal, you must be psychologically prepared to either toss or eat it if and when it is rejected. Unfortunately, my wee gourmand often rejects carbs.

Now, I am not of the ilk who thinks that all carbs are bad. I certainly do not ascribe to the Atkins philosophy, eschewing fruit and so on. I believe Atkins once said something like "Why would anyone ever eat a banana?" The insidiousness in finishing a muffin here and waffles with peanut butter there is that all these little servings count. But we don't count them, per se. Just like we don't count the glass of wine or the handful of jelly beans. At least, I don't count them.
Enter the words of my mother. She has said this more than once - before I had and definitely after I had a baby. These little pearls stick in my brain somewhere and reappear to make perfect sense later on. Yes, you will certainly gain a bit more than you would have otherwise if you go around cleaning everyone's plate. She also said something about learning to eat really fast when you have kids. I think I do that too.
It doesn't help that this time last year I was quite fit because I was in the middle of my P90X challenge. I measured and weighed everything I ate. I felt good too. There is something satisfying in that dominion over your caloric intake and in all the things you eschew. At least I felt a sort of power ... I think this is part of the psychological profile of eating disorders, actually. Anyway, I certainly don't want to measure everything forever. And no one can live solely on chicken breasts, salad, and protein shakes. And I really love food, a variety of food, interesting food ... dessert food.
And I believe in "cheat days." My brother is a trainer and he has a cheat day. I read an interview with a professional wrestler in Muscle and Fitness Magazine and, when talking about his cheat day, he said he goes so overboard that he doesn't want that food again for months. So, he chooses pizza for his day, eats four of them, pushing his stomach to the edge, and is so revolted by pizza that he doesn't want it for months. Perfect.
So I need to change my current philosophy and practice, which can be summed up in the words of my father: "Well, there are only 14 tater tots left, might as well kill them."


  1. Thanks for sharing. It's refreshing to read about calories and weight and the like without rules saying one should avoid this and run quickly away from that.

    As one who tries to eat reasonably, but still likes to enjoy her own baked goods, etc., it's hard to come to grips with the idea of restricting one's food (no dessert, no bread, etc.). I like the idea behind "French Women Don't Get Fat"--enjoy the food one eats, pay attention to it while eating it, and don't deprive oneself, etc. It's a worthwhile read, especially when one starts feeling the pressure of springtime swimsuit season!

  2. I have heard this book title. I think I will run right out and get it. Thanks.