Wednesday, September 17, 2008
a new disorder to the list: the problem of taking the idea of eating "right" too far. This new diagnosis would be called orthorexia nervosa.
The term orthorexia originated with Steven Bratman, MD, a specialist in alternative medicine. He described orthorexia as an obsession with healthy eating, with the emphasis on the obsessive nature of this concern. Obviously, a serious commitment to eating healthy is not orthorexia. Neither is a reasonable concern about the social, moral, or political implications of the food choices you make, like that seen in people who choose vegan or vegetarian diets for ethical reasons, or favor foods that are locally produced using sustainable methods. Orthorexia would be diagnosed only when concerns about eating "right" dominate a person to such an extent that he or she can't maintain a nutritionally sound diet, or lets other areas of life suffer in ways that cause practical problems.
Personally, I’m not so sure it’s a good idea to add “orthorexia nervosa” to the list of formal eating disorders. I think there would be an awful lot of potential for wrongly applying this label to someone who has an uncommonly strict or unconventional diet that is not necessarily unhealthy or problematic--just one that strikes the person making the diagnosis as too extreme. I've lived in several different parts of the USA, from the South, where sausage gravy and biscuits with fried potatoes was the breakfast of champions, to the wilds of Northern California, where even the big chain groceries sell more stevia than sugar, and the herbal supplements section is bigger than the local drugstore. Trying to come up with one idea of what's healthy eating and what's orthorexic that would fly in all these different "food cultures" could get pretty challenging, to say the least.
But maybe orthorexia could still be a good concept for us to use ourselves, if we can use it to understand the roots of somewhat less extreme and more common problems. For example, what about problems like:
setting out to lose weight and thinking of food–or some particular food–as “the enemy.” Before long, you find yourself not eating enough to stay healthy, because you’ve put so many foods on your “bad” list (too much fat, too many carbs, not natural, etc) that your anxiety about not eating right drowns out your natural hunger signals and makes it hard to eat enough of anything.
getting yourself into a cycle of restricting certain “bad” foods until you feel so deprived or resentful that you seriously binge on that same food.
feeling guilty or ashamed because you ate something on your list of bad foods, and being unable to stop those feelings from escalating into a "mind storm" of getting down on yourself, feeling hopeless, and maybe even giving up on your efforts to eat healthy for the rest of the day (or longer).
getting so caught up in rigidly sticking to your eating rules that it gets in the way of your social life, creating lots of tension and conflict between you and family, friends, or co-workers.
appointing yourself as the local “food police” and telling other people what they should be eating, whether they want your opinion or not.
What do you think? Do you find yourself running into these problems (or others) because you think of different foods as good or bad, or do you find thinking that way helpful? Are some foods objectively bad, or is anything OK as long as you don't go overboard? Is it possible to lose weight and eat healthy without having at least some "rules" or ideas about what's good and bad to eat? What about approaches like intuitive eating or simple moderation?
I found Coach Dean's blog to be very interesting. I feel as though I am reflected in some of the "symptoms", but I've learned to keep my fooditis from interfering with my life and social situations. I'm not a fan of "moderation" or "intuitive" eating. For me I don't think of food as "bad", but there are foods that are just entirely unhealthy or offer no substantial nutritional value. I've eliminated those foods from my diet and havn't missed them for almost 3 years now. I think the idea of moderation is just a huge mistake. We can't and shouldn't eat all foods in moderation. We need to find other healthy alternatives to replace things like pizza, desserts, etc. I've done that by making my own "pizzas"(whole grain english muffins with tomato sauce/fat free cheese/boiled chicken chunks), and instead of cakes/cookies I find new ways to make fruit, cottage chesse into desserts(there is nothing better than taking a whole peach cut into halves, sprinkled with cinnamon, a few raisins/nuts and baking it for 25 minutes--delicious). Changing our taste buds to appreciate the tastes of healthy foods is the key to making weight loss a life-long success. I'm sorry but it's the only way to really change your life for good. To continue to try and eat foods in moderation is to set yourself up for failure. There are some foods that would make me overeat them in a heart beat. So why would I try to eat them in small/sensible portions? It's just not a strategy that works. I know that I used to love the freshly made breads served in resturants and could eat an entire loaf of Outback pumpernickel without blinking. I just won't even take the first bite, because it wouldn't satisfy me anyway. I think that it's a noble idea to tell people they don't have to give up all the foods they love in order to be thin and healthy, but in reality, it's a lie told to make them feel better.
Ok, that's it for my daily ranting! Here's what I've done for my workouts thus far this week:
Barbell Incline chest press 1x12 60lbs 1x10 65lbs 1x8 70lbs 1x6 75lbs
dumbbell chest flyes 4x15 10lbs
cable cross-over 1x15 20lbs 1x10 25lbs 1x8 27.5lbs 1x6 30lbs
Arnold press 1x15 20lbs 2x10 25lbs
barbell upright row 4x15 35lbs
lateral raise 4x10 10lbs
shoulder shrugs 1x15 30lbs 1x10 35lbs 1x8 40lbs 1x6 45lbs
lying dumbbell tricep extensions 4x15 15lbs
standing preacher curls 4x15 50lbs
ab machine 1x15 80lbs 1x10 85lbs 1x8 90lbs 1x6 95lbs
55 minute spin class
Hack squat 4x 15 50lb
Good mornings 4x15 60lbs
Dead lifts 4x15 75lbs
leg press 6x15 175lbs
calf raise 4x15 175lbs
standing hip abduction 3x15 50lbs x both legs
standing hip adduction 3x15 50lbs x both legs
60 minute spin class
60 minute spin class
2x25 forward curl machine 55lbs
3x15 ab machine 85lbs
3x15 lower ab machine 35lbs
3x15 clam shell crunches
3x15 lower abs feet on ball crunches
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
For a long while now I've gone back and forth between feeling very good about losing all this weight, and feeling guilt and embarrassment at having had so much to lose in the first place. Learning to accept a compliment is something I still stuggle with. So today, while reading Fitness magazine, I came across something that I'm going to add to my SP page.
"Anyone who sustains weight loss, which is extremely difficult, has essentially reinvented herself and is worthy of the utmost admiration and respect."
Michael Rosenbaum, M.D., associate program director of the General Clinical Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.
That really gives me a reason to be proud...I've reinvented myself. That is really what I've done. I'm not the same person I was when I began this journey. The changes are much more than just physical. So from now on whenever someone acknowledges my weight loss, I will remember that!
Squats: 40lbs 3x8
stiff legged dead lift 75lbs 3x8
single leg press 50lbs 3x8
hip abductor 95lbs 3x15
hip adductor 95lbs 3x15
single leg-leg extensions 3x15 35lbs
reverse crunch decline bench 3x15
55 minute spin class
Monday, September 08, 2008
Fabulous weather here in Jersey today! It made for a very enjoyable field hockey game, still warm, but not overly so. Today's workout:
bench press 3x8 80 lb
close grip push up 3x8
assist. pull-up 3x8 110lb
alternating shoulder press 3x8 20 lb
seated flye 3x8 55lb
seated row 3x8 100lb
lat raise 3x8 10lb
tricep kickback 3x8 15lb
concentration curl 3x8 17.5lb
ball crunch 2x50 20lb
50 minute spin class
60 minute field hockey game
Friday, September 05, 2008
Well tomorrow my son kicks off is final college football season! It seems like only yesterday he was a freshman and we were waiting with baited breath for every play he got to play. Over the past 3 years he has proven himself to be such a leader that he's been named a captain for this season (his senior year!). Where has the time gone? It's been such a joy watching our children play sports at the various levels through the last 20 years and it will be sad when the last game gets played. But, the moments we've shared and being able to watch them progress and grow and attain their goals though sports has been awesome. The bad news is that we will be experiencing the effects of "Hanna" and the game will be played under atrocious conditions according to the forcast. So, that will certainly dampen the experience.
But that's tomorrow. Today was about getting to the gym and doing my leg workout prior to spin class. I got there at 8 and lifted until class at 9:00. I learned a valuable lesson today; don't forget to eat your breakfast! I made myself two slices of wheat toast and planned to spread 1 slice of Laughing cow Lite cheese on it and eat that along with a banana. However, I got sidetracked taking the laundry out of the washer and left the bread in the toaster. 2 hours at the gym without breakfast is a horrible thing! I had very little left for the last 15 minutes of class. The good news is I did push through, but man was I hungry!
leg press 3x15 90lbs
squats 3x15 50lbs
deadlifts 3x15 65lbs
curl machine 3x15 50lbs
single leg curl 3x15 30lbs x 2
leg extension 3x15 50lbs
single leg extension 3x15 30lbs x 2
hip adduction 3x15 85lbs
hip abduction 3x15 85lbs
calf raises 3x15 160lbs
55 minute spin class
The following is an excerpt from Dean Anderson's daily blog. I felt it was worth keeping as a reminder.
There’s no great mystery here. A “lifestyle” isn’t something we can or do create all by ourselves, unless we’re hermits—it’s more of a joint project that includes our families, our friends, our workmates, and our whole social environment. It’s fair to say that your lifestyle at any given time is really a negotiated, give-and-take arrangement between you, as an individual with personal needs, desires, and interests, and all the “significant others” in your life, who also have their own agendas and needs. Given the fact that we tend to create our voluntary personal relationships with people who share interests, habits, and behaviors similar to our own, it’s not surprising that changing habits and behaviors is a lot easier when it’s a collective project and not just something you’ve decided to do on your own. Otherwise, change—even obviously healthy, productive change--can mean rocking a lot of boats, and that can be pretty difficult to handle, not only for you but for everyone else involved.
Does anyone owe it to you to change their behavior so it’s easier for you to change yours? We all like to think that, when we set out to make changes that are good for us, anyone who cares about us will jump on the bandwagon and do whatever they can to help out. And when that doesn’t happen, it can be pretty upsetting and disappointing. But remember...there are at least two sides to every story. When you change behaviors and habits that you’ve shared with the people around you for quite a while, they’ve got to figure out what’s going on. Does this mean you don’t approve of their behavior any more? Are you breaking your “deal” with them by changing the rules? If they don’t change too, can you still be friends/spouses, or will you move on to people who do things the way you want to do them? Is there any way you can still spend time together and enjoy it, without feeling like something has come between you? (These may be questions you need to ask yourself, too). Unfortunately, many people find it hard to deal with these kinds of questions directly and in the open–instead, they "act out" in strange ways to find out what the new rules are, see what the limits are and how you react, or non-verbally communicate their own unhappiness with the new situation. To you this may feel like lack of support or even attempted sabotage, but how do you know if that’s what it really is for the other person? And just how much do people who care about you owe it to you to make your changes easier for you to accomplish by making the same changes themselves?
Speaking from my experience, I was so very lucky to have the support and encouragement of my entire family. My husband does the cooking and he always prepares what I want, how I want it. My kids have adopted many of the healthy food choices that I now use. Everyone has always reinforced my lifestyle changes with their constant compliments. I couldn't have done what I did on my own. It "takes a village", really.
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