Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The Fat Self Never Fights Fair, says FEEDTHEHUNGER -- and that's so true. But of course the "fat self" is NOT my "myself": not the self that I aspire to be and the self I truly am at my most authentic.
The Fat Self focuses on the "nos" -- the things I "can't have". Triggering food-indulgent rebellion that sabotages weight loss and weight maintenance. I find it helpful to reword the "no" into a "yes" (possibly because there are enough "nos" already dwelling among those subconscious repressed traumas and painful emotions!!). For example:
Yes, food is healthy fuel for me.
Yes, I'm really going to enjoy those fresh raspberries I bought for me.
Yes, I can soothe myself in many ways other than attempting to scratch that itch using food which doesn't work anyhow: for example, a walk around the garden, time with my golden retriever, a bubble bath . . .
Yes, exercise makes me feel terrific and releases all those endorphins.
Yes, I can decide to experience positive emotions which will reinforce my positive choices.
Yes, food is healthy fuel for me.
Yes yes yes yes yes. Yes to the me I want and intend to be.
Monday, September 15, 2014
What an interesting article about the connections between anorexia, eating disorders more generally and neuroscience: based upon explorations of passion theory.
Passions are a good thing, right? Beyond a longing for passionate romance, perennially celebrated in movies and novels and poetry and music, we've extended our quest for passion-as-meaning into many other areas of life. We talk about "finding your passion", "following your passion" and seek passion as motivation. But is passion (in its Latin root, and in application itself) really a form of suffering? Is passion evidence of disordered and excessive "control" in the brain itself, requiring rewiring? Can we replace one passion with a healthier passion? Anorexia of the food control variety (which can be lethal) with exercise anorexia? Or maybe not.
Moderation in all things, said Aristotle --- the best is the enemy of the good, said Voltaire.
And does that extend as well to moderation in passion?
Yesterday's trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario for the Alex Colville show was great:(Torontonians, this is amazing!! what a passionate love story he and his wife Rhoda shared!).
Then segued into some marvellous jazz down the street at the Rex. And a rare swiss cheese mushroom burger with fries! Mmmmmm, delicious!
And what is interesting me is my increasing ability to stop eating when I'm full. I left a good portion of that burger on my plate. And a good portion of the fries as well. I enjoyed it intensely but "moderately". Skipped supper altogether -- was simply not hungry. Ended the day well within calorie range.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
That article and my blog yesterday about the sacrosanct family dinner hour hit a nerve: sorry. I did family dinners when my kids were small and I was home full time, yes I did. And DH did family dinners when I was back to school. And family dinners continued to happen with less frequency with kids in high school (but still happened) as we accommodated their schedules. And family dinners happened less frequently once the kids were off to university themselves . . . and when at home (as right now) mostly cooking for themselves to accommodate a great diversity in dietary preferences.
Interestingly, nobody commented directly about the connection I see between women (mostly -- really, still mostly) making family dinner happen, and women's sacrifice of their own nutritional needs to make it happen.
So what a coincidence that last night all of us -- DH, DD, DS, moi-- went to see the new Richard Linklater movie, Boyhood. Filmed over 12 years, a few weeks each year in the life of the same people (sister, mum, separated biological dad, several of mum's husbands/boyfriends), beginning with a six year old Mason. Basically we watch him grow up until he heads to university. It's fascinating. The plot line is fictional but the moments are so perceptive. Including quite a number of "family dinners" -- of both the heart warming and the unspeakably toxic variety.
It's long. And it could almost equally have been called "Family". Or "Motherhood". Or possibly "Fatherhood". Or even "Sisterhood" although the "Samantha" character is sketched out a bit more lightly .
We see the single mother initially separated from the biodad, who's fun but pretty irresponsible with the young kids. She's needing to return to school and get an education and make a living to support her family. (What a struggle -- and as a woman who went back to school with a totally supportive husband and two young kids, that struggle resonated.) She ends up as a professor -- smart smart smart but continuing to make horrifying choices with respect to her subsequent partners.
And (Spark People subtext!!) she quite definitely struggles with her own weight as she tries with greater and lesser degrees of success to do it all.
Not much sentiment here -- it's gritty.
Loved the portrayal of each of these family members.
Loved the (spoiler alert?? don't think so really) concluding take-away: it's not so much that we seize the moments. The moments seize us.
If you haven't seen it -- worth the trip and the time I think, and in particular viewing from our Sparkie perspective!!
Friday, September 12, 2014
Cooking for the whole family and sitting down together for dinner every night (or at least several nights a week) is the hallmark of good mothering. Right?
Of course the family dinner is essential to sustaining close family relationships. But that's not all. It improves your kids' grades at school. It improves your kids' mental health. It reduces the chance that your kids will abuse drugs. It protects your kids from obesity. And a whole lot more, we've been told.
Yup, mums, we should be doing this. Even if we're working full time. Even if we're ferrying kids to organized after-school sports activities. Even if each one of our kids (and our spouse) wants to eat something different. Insists upon it, in fact. Even if the contribution from other family members towards the labour of shopping for food, planning menus, preparing food, serving food and cleaning up after meals is . . . more theoretical than actual on the part of the kids. And the spouse. Even though family dinner feels highly stressful.
Guilt guilt guilt. If I just did it better -- if I just engaged the kids in chopping veggies while we chat-- if I just got more efficient cooking on weekends (instead of getting to the gym) and freezing individual portions of what each family member likes best -- basically if I just were a better mother: yeah, then family dinner would work, and my kids would reap all those key benefits.
Well, maybe it's all a nostalgic myth. Maybe the traditional 50s mums who put family dinner on the table every night for their working spouses and their brood of kids presented dinner on a "take it or leave it" basis. And meant it. Maybe those mums were mostly at home full time. Maybe those mums weren't responsible for scheduling play dates. Or supervising homework. And assigned responsibility to their kids for their own social lives and their own academic progress without even considering it could or should be otherwise.
Such an interesting article.
Gotta say, a lot of those much more relaxed 50s mums were pretty slim themselves. And it seems to me that one of the factors which makes weight loss and weight maintenance so difficult for mums today is exhaustion. It's a reality that picking up "individual choices" at the fast food drive through (and letting kids munch in the car on the way to soccer) reduces stress. It's a reality that when preparing a (rare) family dinner at home, mums may find simply eating what their spouse and at least some of their kids will eat means making one fewer meal.
And the meal foregone? Absolutely, the meal that would work for themselves, taking into consideration their own nutritional needs.
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