Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Disordered desserting

So I received my first anonymous comment.  My first instinct was to get angry and ignore it.  Then I wanted to respond to it.  Instead, I’m taking the most difficult option – embracing that comment as true and getting some help with it.

Here’s the comment:

“Anonymous said...

Love the blog! We have a lot of eating issues in common. Have you ever thought of saving desserts for "special" times? It seems like you have them at least twice a day! I too love cake balls, but honey, get them out of your house and stop making them before they ruin all your progress! I used to love to make them for everyone, but just had to accept that I'm not safe around them! Stick to your non edible projects and your waistline will thank you!”

Now, there’s no right way to tell someone, “hey fatass, put down the sweets.”  And now that I’m reading it again, the comment is not as snarky as I originally thought.  But initially it hurt my feelings because I know it’s true and I hate being called out when I’m wrong.  But this blog was created for accountability – if people detect bullshit from me or something I’ve done, they can call me on it, and I should be able to take it.

My mother has always been skinny.  My friends are all skinny.  Seeing them eat, and now reading skinny peoples’ blogs and seeing them eat, I’m not sure what “normal” eating is.  “Normal” for them isn’t “normal” for me.  I’ve been in support groups for it, I’ve been in therapy for it.  I don’t know how to eat normally. 

I know that for someone trying to lose weight, I probably eat too many sweets.  Those bloggers who have already gotten to their goal weights are allowed to indulge – see, “allowed” isn’t even healthy terminology…I don’t want to say I “can’t” have something.  I want to find a balance between too much and never. 

So what I really want is some help from you guys. 

When do you eat desserts/ice cream/baked goods?  When you eat it, what do you eat? i.e., do you have dessert with lunch and dinner?  Do you “make up for it” in some way? (I don’t mean purging, I mean having dessert one day then skipping the next, or working out a little longer)  For people who have lost huge amounts of weight, or even small amounts, did you ban yourself from certain things or from sweets altogether while losing?  Did you add those things back when you reached your goal?  For those losing weight now, what’s your philosophy?

Please, if you can weigh in on this, do…I’d really like some input from others as to how to eat “normally.”  And I’m not looking for any comments about the original comment…I want help for MY habits (and others who might be reading, too!)

7 comments:

  1. I've been on a journey for a while now. What I've found is that sugar increases my desire for...you guessed it!...more sugar! Only Stevia has no impact on my blood sugar or on my desire to eat more. I found that even putting Splenda in my coffee made me think about food ALL DAY. I have so much more success when I'm not making substitutes for treats. I used to do that - I'd make a ton of "lowfat" treats -- and then realized that my calorie bulk was not in actual nutrition, it was in nothingness.

    Now, my resolve is to eat nutrient-rich foods -- and, funnily enough, my desire to eat "normally" (ie, the way I used to think "real" people ate) drops. I don't think there's anything wrong with a wee treat once in a while, but I try my hardest to not have dessert with every meal, because it makes me eat most of my calories in treats.

    My advice? Take a look at your calories and make sure you're getting more than 30 grams of fiber, esp soluble fiber (sparkpeople.com lets you track your fiber too). Make sure you're eating a ton of nutrient-dense food. Look at food as less of a treat and more of a way to sustain your body so it can do all the amazing stuff you do!

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  2. I know what you mean about eating sugar makes you crave more sugar...I haven't tried Stevia yet, I've been stuck on Splenda. I also need to get back in the habit of using Sparkpeople during the day - during college I was a SP whore!

    I really appreciate the helpful advice, it means a lot to me that you took the time to give me some "food for thought" - har!

    Thanks :)

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  3. No problem! I'm in the same boat as you, hon! I started at 320 lbs and lost 120, then gained back 54 lbs between having 2 kids. So far, since August, I've lost 22.5 lbs (slow and steady). Love the new feeling losing weight gives me. Here's my latest blog re: weight loss
    http://crumpledjournalofjaggedramblings.blogspot.com/2009/10/weight-loss-journey-mind-over-matter.html

    PS DON'T try to cook with Stevia. It sucketh the biggeth one when you try to bake with it. But it's great in my coffee, which was my primary source for "sneaky" calories.

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  4. Kat,

    I was actually thinking the same thing the other day--but not in such a snarky way. You remind me a lot of what I have overcome and deal with everyday. I think that there are a couple of things which helped me and perhaps can help you do.

    1. Why are you eating dessert all the time? What is the emotion behind it? I tried to put parameters around the whole 'only one today and tomorrow I'll run more, etc.' But I ALWAYS rebelled against it ALWAYS! I had to start lovin' myself. I had to start thinking I was worthy.
    2. Get shiznat going outside in your social life. Join a club, do something. Expand your social network..that helped me SO MUCH! I am NOT saying that you don't have one..but packing my weeks up helped so much.
    3. Slowly ween yourself off of sugar..it took me about three weeks. Almonds helped a lot.
    4. Change your food everyday to incorporate one healthy thing in your meals. ex: when you're eating pancakes...put the syrup on the side and dip into it. Skip the mayo topping on the sushi. Only eat the sushi and no the soup and pannini.
    5. 20% less food and 20% more exercise.

    I don't mean to be snarky. I am just giving you what has helped for me. It's a journey Kat. It's ok to feel a bit down....but it's about lovin' yourself. It's about saying that you're worth it. It's about making positive healthy choices each day. There aren't rules around life, except that you should be able to say to someone..today was a healthy day--most days.

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  5. I'm by no means an expert but I lived for diet soda, bags of peanut m&ms and thought I would die without chips.

    I kicked the soda habit first, and I realized that that was a huge trigger for the other two. I can now eat one piece of chocolate and savour it and move on. Chips are becoming an even rarer indulgence.

    I did realize though that I couldnt keep this up and now I have "dessert" on the weekends. Whether it be a small, and I mean ramekin size, bowl of ice cream or a No Pudge Brownie that I keep frozen in the basement freezer. I usually have these treats Friday - Sunday night and it surprisingly keeps me sane.

    I'm not a tea drinker but I've noticed if I incorporate something warm into my nightly routine it seems like I am being extravagant so I make a sugar free apple cider packet....luv it!!

    I'm new to your blog but that I'd leave a comment and cant wait to catch up on your posts!

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  6. I'm not saying that there is any "right" way to losing weight or that what I try to do and what works for me works for other people. But, I find that if I eat early in the day (and I am talking about a satisfying MEAL)and taper off to small amounts toward the end of the day, with at least a 30 minute walk (if I don't feel like running) every day....I see results. If I am diehard about losing weight and I want something sweet, I eat yogurt. I go back and forth on sweeteners since I hear that sugar substitute lowers your metabolism. Long story short, if I'm busy and tired and not sitting there thinking about eating, then I don't eat as much. I also do this thing where I make sure that I stop eating before I actually feel "full". That has worked for me as far as losing weight is concerned. Most of the time (and I know you've probably heard this a million times)I'm just thirsty and not hungry. Which is the case most of the time since I'm a freak and can't seem to consume more than 1 or 2 beverages a day. Furthermore, I can't stress enough, SOME type of activity every day. I'm not gonna deprive myself all the time so obviously that equals gettin my ass up and workin some calories off but if I don't and I'm in lazy mode all the time, I find the weight almost an impossibility to get off unless I cut down to 1 healthy meal a day, which is, in itself, unhealthy.

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  7. Thanks, everyone, for weighing in. It's funny how we're raised into such habits - everyone in my family always eats something sweet after lunch and dinner - not necessarily a whole carton of full-fat ice cream or a piece of cake - so it helps to hear what others consider "normal." I didn't want anything other than to hear what you all do as far as desserts and treats are concerned, but I appreciate everything you've been able to share with me. This week I'm starting to include changes in my diet based on what you guys have said, and it's hard for me to take things to heart without getting my feelings hurt, so bear with me. I need this.

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