Skip to main content

diet diary

so a couple of weeks ago, i put myself on a diet. i often say that i'm watching what i eat, but it's been years since i've tried an actual, enforced diet, mostly because i lack willpower. why did i decide to give one a try now? i don't know. i haven't put on any weight in the last few months. i'd like to lose weight, of course, but i'm not nearly as neurotic about my size as i used to be. (ironically, i weigh more now than i did when i was insecure about my size.)

food, weight and our relationships with them are almost obsessive for the cast majority of adult women. statistically, up to 98% of north american women claim to be dieting or watching their weight on a regular basis, making dieting the most common non-essential activity on the continent. by adding myself to that number, at least for the time being, i'm hoping to discover what it is that drives this mania about size.

most women i know are trying, at least sporadically, to lose weight. i don't know any women who i would classify as truly overweight, so we can assume that they are not doing this for health reasons. so this is an aesthetic issue. most of them are able to specify the number of pounds they want to lose, or at least give a range, but it seems like a guess at best. no one seems to know how many pounds lost will result in the body they want. that's the tricky part. what does five pounds look like? or ten? thirty? for my part, i've told myself that i'll stop the diet when i can see a difference that makes me happy. (i don't weigh myself, the one little weight-related neurosis i have not been able to expunge. if i start stepping on the scale, i'll never get off it.)

i actually think that what i'm doing is a little trickier than a regular diet. it's easy to say that you've lost your target ten pounds, or fifteen pounds, or whatever the number in your head is. it's somewhat harder to overcome the natural body dysmorphism that's reinforced by pop culture images to find a look that makes you happy. because it involves having to say that you're happy with the way you look, something which is not encouraged.

until that happens, i'm taking the easiest diet route possible: i am limiting myself to health foods as much as possible an i am restricting my food intake. (if you want to figure out why obesity is, pardon the pun, a growing problem, have a look at the portion sizes that are offered in most restaurants. they often contain as many calories as the average person needs to consume in a day.) while i had initially planned on not counting calories, having a rough idea of how many i'm consuming is provign useful, as has finding information on my basal metabolic rate (you can enter both your current and your target weight to see how little the difference in calories needed is between them) and my body mass index (i'm within the normal range). these last two are about the only reliable pieces of information on healthy weight and diet that i've managed to track down.

and, as i mentioned at the outset, i'll also be using the opportunity to look into what it is about weight, food and appearance that drives us all so crazy. because if i'm going to be depriving myself of food, i at least want it to be a learning experience.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

eat the pain away?

nearly twenty years ago, an emergency room doctor took a look at the crushing muscle tension i was experiencing [they were clenched enough that a doctor at my regular clinic couldn't get a reflex reaction on my left side and thought i might be having a stroke] and told me she believed that i had fibromyalgia. a couple of weeks later, i went to see a family doctor that a coworker had recommended to me. when i told him what the other doctor had said, he snapped that i was being ridiculous, because, if i'd had fibromyalgia, "i wouldn't be able to move". after i moved to toronto, i got a new family doctor and told her what the other doctors had said. she said that she couldn't be sure, but it was better just to deal with any symptoms i had one at a time. then i came back to montreal and got a new family doctor, who didn't really buy into the whole idea of fibromyalgia and said there was no way to do any definitive test anyway. that doctor passed away, and my …

long suffering

i've been meaning to write this post for a while, but, every time i get started, something happens that makes me rethink portions of it, to add or subtract or consider a different way of looking at things. the post was originally going to be my take on a #metoo statement, but i ended up making that post on my personal facebook page. [it's not that i don't love you all, but there are a few things i'm not comfortable putting in the entirely public sphere.] but beyond joining the #metoo juggernaut, i wanted to write something about the wave of sexual assault revelations that continues to swell over the north american media landscape that wasn't about me. then i realised that that was a little more complicated than just writing "so, lotta sex rapes happenin' these days, ain't there?" or whatever it was that i was going to say.

so i tried writing something about just a part of it: the media coverage or the entertainment industry or the politicians or …