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May I unload?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tonight I put together my grocery order. After a lot of deliberation I made myself put back the bacon. And the beef gravy. AND the makings for my mac and cheese (a major calorie and fat bomb, but seriously delicious). Instead I ordered my favorite Greek yogurt (Fage -- pricey as Hades but luxurious texture and heavenly flavor) and granola (pumpkin and flax seeds). I did not, however, put back the half and half for my coffee or the wine. Right now I'm trying to figure a way to cook the beautiful lacinato kale I got from the CSA without bacon. It almost seems sacrilegious -- maybe a slice or two of the deli ham I bought for my lunch sandwiches, diced fine, with a few shallots?

There are a lot of people who think that I'm a fake if I'm not happy living on fat-free cottage cheese and iceberg lettuce for the rest of my life. That somehow needing texture and flavor and substance and yes, a bit of fat is a major character flaw. Okay, I guess I'm a flawed fake who's too human. I remember hearing one woman say that since breakfast requires fiber and protein, hers would be a couple of fiber capsules washed down with a bottle of protein water. Believe it or not, that almost made me cry, I felt so bad for her. Did she really dislike herself enough to punish herself that way? Is the goal REALLY to stop eating entirely?

Of course, this steps on an ancient nerve with me. I've had people all my life lecture me about how I need to eat (or not eat), that I need to do THIS and THIS and THIS. Mind you, this lecture was usually delivered by people with a beer in one hand and a big bag of chips in the other.

I'm tired of feeling guilty for loving food! But I hate myself for being so ugly and fat. I've had people tell me that the only way is to adopt the attitude that food is an annoying necessity to be dispensed with as soon as possible. I couldn't do that if you threatened my life. I love the flavors, colors, textures, aromas, even the sounds (ever really hear a steak hit a Hades-hot skillet?). I don't think I could adopt that blasé attitude on a million-dollar bet.

I saw that Bobby Flay is doing an online series on fitness and healthy eating (and from everything I've seen and read about him, he seriously "walks the talk"). And Lord knows, Bobby can get my attention!

This whole thing angers me and makes me want to cry. I am so tired of feeling like I need to do penance for feeling this way.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Feeling bad about loving all the wonderful sensual aspects of food is like feeling bad about all the sensual aspects of intimacy. I still believe in one and only one diet "law." Portion control, portion control, portion control!
    1959 days ago
    I woulda gone with the bacon.
    Just make sure its nitrate free.
    Get a good quality bacon... sure its more expensive but you don't need to buy a big slab of it.. with the bonus that its better for you.

    You can eat pretty much anything you want.
    There's only 3 guidelines to follow:

    Avoidance of foods that cause bloating or allergy.

    Its that simple.

    Incidentally... adding some bacon to your Kale dish would have increased your uptake of all the oil soluble vitamins... A, D, E, K... that the Kale contains... as well as made it delish. Fat is not the enemy... unlimited quantities, eaten frequently is the enemy.

    Anyways, that's something completely within your control... if you decide to make that choice for yourself. Or not.

    : )

    1960 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/13/2013 12:23:02 PM
    Wow you expressed my feelings as well. I think it is not in loving the food experience and we can learn to cook healthier but mainly our portion sizes at times..Eat what you love but limit the size and amount.
    1960 days ago
  • KATD13
    I ditto everyone elses post, about enjoying a variety of foods. Moderation is the key, not exclusion.

    What I totally & completely disagree with is your comment about being fat & ugly. You need to see yourself as we see you. A smart, creative, intelligent, beautiful person.

    1960 days ago
  • BOBBIE119
    You touched me so much I am a foodie to and I still can't wrap my head around how not to use things I have always done.Of course we have to pick and choose the thing that mean the most but it don't mean you can't have it just use it like once a month. I am proud of you for putting back the bacon I just did the same thing but I pick up the turkey bacon emoticon . and what is food without wine. I just have red and I try to have one glass but I have not done that since the new year but that also was no soda.
    All the people out there that make you feel ugly and fat don't give them the power to do that prove them wrong, you can love food but you have to change your recipes. there are some great one try the SP recipe for their MAC & CH.
    1960 days ago
    It is all about finding what works for you. If you need taste and texture, go for it. I'm right there with you. I love to eat good food and am able to do so in moderation.
    1961 days ago
    I love food! I enjoy eating. I take those silly quizzes to determine if I am an emotional eater, a stress eater, etc. Those types of things are NOT my problem. I just seriously enjoy a good meal. I like the smell, the presentation, the sound, the colors, the textures, everything about it.

    When some one makes a snotty remark to me about food, I love to remind them that Adam and Eve got the boot over a piece of fruit. emoticon

    With all the banquets and feasts mentioned in the Bible, I thoroughly believe God intends for us to enjoy the food he created for us, and to give Him thanks for it. I just have to learn how not to enjoy too much of a good thing.
    1961 days ago
    It's not the food, it's the amount. As long as it's in moderation, for it! Don't let those negative people get to you--they're not real friends if they have that attitude.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    1961 days ago
    I agree with so many of the other commenters: there is not need for you to apologize or offer penance, and there is no need to give up real food, no matter what the naysayers have to say. Real food is so much better for you than *fiber capsules and protein water* (which just sounds disgusting to me, in addition to being totally unnatural). The real trick is finding balance. Enjoying the bacon, just in small amounts. Savoring the yogurt, even the full-fat variety, especially if it's that wonderful Greek yogurt that has so many beneficial aspects. Food should be enjoyed, not merely tolerated. It is so essential to life, and you should not ever feel guilty for enjoying it. I just don't see Bobby, or Alton, or Ted, washing down fiber pills with anything, they'd go for the real stuff, wouldn't they? Then you should, too!
    1961 days ago
    Fat-free yogurt on a baked potato is so NOT sour cream. Nor is tofu-based imitation mayo real food. For that matter, tofu-based ANYTHING is not on my menu, except for hot-and-sour soup. I don't 'live to eat,' because my life has so much more going on than just the next meal. But I don't think a meal should be something to tolerate or choke down for the calories, unless we're marooned on a desert island and eating bugs for the protein.

    Apparently, if we eliminate anything that gives us pleasure, we can live forever; at least it will seem like forever. emoticon
    1961 days ago
  • LINDAF49
    WOW Excellent Blog and the responses were so encouraging for me...Thanks for writing your and OUR hearts!! Well done ..keep on evaluating value, finding delicious and enjoy!!!
    1961 days ago
    Enjoy your food. If you adopt a new diet plan and think of it as an interim measure until you get to whatever weight it is you're striving for, it's not going to work. You have to make a new lifestyle, and that means eating foods that make you satisfied and, yes, happy! I don't mean splurge as a reward, or as consolation, I just mean food that gives you comfort. There's nothing wrong with that.

    Do Not put back that bacon! LOL It's good for you. It's *better* for you if you can get natural bacon without all the preservatives and chemicals. But bacon, butter, whole-fat dairy...all those things are necessary for healthy metabolism. If I see anything labelled "low fat" or "fat free" or "light" or any permutation thereof, it goes right back on the shelf. Likewise for "low cal" or (sometimes) "sugar-free." Check the ingredients. In many cases, those "sugar-free" products are loaded with aspartame. Sorry, I think I'd rather chance the sugar.

    You're absolutely right about well-wishers who would advise you what TO do while demonstrating by their behavior exactly what NOT to do. And it makes me sick and sorrowful in the extreme to see people trying so hard to follow the advice we're still given by our "nutritional experts," and failing (because that plan clearly does not work), and beating themselves up about it before finally giving up. It's so wholly unnecessary. It's so futile. If there's a way to completely demoralize a person's honest efforts, I can't imagine any more successful way to accomplish it. Ignore them. You will find your way.

    If it's any consolation, people who wanted or hoped to dictate my nutritional plan have looks of confusion and abstain from further harangue on me now that I've lost a bunch of weight in near total opposition to their recommendations.

    Don't be discouraged. Live your plan, and let your body tell you if it's the right one for you.
    1961 days ago
    Loving food is good and bacon with the kale is good too - in small amounts. I reiterate things said previously here - moderation, portion control are important factors. You shouldn't give up all fat, because you need a balanced amount of good fats to keep your body syystems happy.

    Try the Spark Three Cheese mac and cheese recipe. Not quite as sinfully good as the way I used to make it, but good enough to satisfy the I WANT MAC AND CHEESE urges very nicely. The SPARK cookbook and the internet and SPARK RECIPES on the SPARK site are all good resources for recipes that cut back on the less desireable ingredients without totally giving up flavor and texture.

    Smile and try seeing yourself as a creative wizard turning bland into feast with just a few spices and a creative mind. emoticon
    1962 days ago
    fiber capsules seem disgusting much prefer to eat tasty food & stay where I am than eat awful so called healthy food
    1962 days ago
    I love food, too, and I don't hate myself for it at all. Fiber capsules sound disgusting.
    1962 days ago
    I enjoy the taste, texture and flavors of food. I'm a firm believer of "all things in moderation." I've been cooking with the help of Cooking Light which also has good ideas, and other reciped, and then usually increase the number of servings which decreases the calories. I'm not about to live on supplements not food. So I agree with you.
    1962 days ago
    No penance necessary! Love the food you are eating. If you don't, you are going to eat the mess people "say" we should be eating and THEN scarfing down the things you wanted in the first place!

    Jsut use moderation. My grandfather is 98 years old. He ate steak and potatoes and drank whiskey in moderation is entire life. He has better arteries than a 40 year old man, and they just did a super sketchy, brand new treatment on him for a tiny blockage that they thought might kill him. And he left the hospital the very next day.

    So the point is to eat what makes you happy... in moderation. I have scoured every fridge and closet in this house looking for something to make me happy when I eat it. Haven't found it yet, but an still looking. I think I am going to make up my own trail mix and keep it close on hand as I love cereal and snacking on it. Trying to back off the 46 carbs per 3/4 cup! Excessive? YES!!

    I am right there with you on enjoying food. Yellow squash is great with fat free ranch dressing when it's raw, but when slowely cooked in butter in a pan, so much better yummier. But a half cup is just enough. It was like eating a stick of butter as it was so melty-in-your mouth good!
    1962 days ago
    I'm just going to add my two cents here to agree with most of the above posts: food is to be enjoyed. Yes, it's fuel, but it's not ONLY fuel. The functionality-only mindset comes from people who "treat" themselves to diet pop, low-cal salad dressings, frozen non-dairy desserts, and plastic margarine in order to cut calories.

    Lest I offend anyone, I recognize that some people actually LIKE those foods. I like food with ingredients I can pronounce, and the fewer ingredients, the better. (I can also pronounce "M&M" -- I'm not a food snob, after all!) But my point is that I'd rather have real food --even if it's higher fat -- and simply eat less of it.

    I've found that I can still cook with full-fat items like real mayonnaise, butter, whole milk, etc., and can scale back on the amounts with no taste difference in most cases. Other times, I just try to cook lower-fat/lower-calorie suppers more often than not, so that when I splurge, it's not the end of the world.

    In the case of your kale-with-no-bacon dilemma, I would use a tiny bit of bacon grease so I had the bacon-y flavor. If I really wanted that bacon...really, really, really wanted it...I would have it, but less of it. Yep, there are times I let loose and eat too much of a good (bad?) thing, but I try not to let those times get me down, and I really try to weigh whether the splurge is worth the hard work I did to lose the pounds in the first place.

    Sometimes you need to let your body have what it really wants, and other times, you can tell it to just shut up and the urge will pass. :)
    1962 days ago
    Real food is good food! :)

    I remember reading a blog entry on another site talking about how she hates the term "emotional eating" because *all* eating is emotional! (Emotional OVEReating is what can be a problem.) Food *should* bring joy and love and comfort (it just shouldn't be our ONLY source of those things).

    Plus, cooking from scratch burns calories, too! :)
    1962 days ago
    Food should be enjoyed. Healthy should be delicious. I cook with all types of herbs and spices that allow tons of flavor without all the salt and fat. You enjoy your food.
    1962 days ago
  • LIS193
    Food is fuel but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. I enjoy food - wholesome good food, cooked from scratch.
    Booby's series about healthy eating sounds great! Enjoy!
    1962 days ago
    I am so glad I am not the only person who enjoys the different textures of foods.
    No way could I do fiber capsules and protien water for breakfast.
    1962 days ago
    1962 days ago
    Oh my gosh. Give up enjoying food? Make eating a chore to be dispensed with as soon as possible? NEVER! We definitely do have to get to a point where we eat to live, nont live to eat, but that doesn't mean it has to be bland, boring, tasteless food! So, dismiss what negativity you are being given! Just stop the conversation dead in it's tracks. "Oh, I have a plan that is working for me." and change the topic. If that doesn't work, walk away!!!

    HUGS and hope my comment sounds like a lecture, because that surely is not how it's meant. Not at all. I just understand your frustration and have had to work my way through it as well.

    I didn't know Bobby has a healthful eating site! I'll have to check it out. Paula Deans son Bobby has his own show as well. His recipes are actually pretty good!

    1962 days ago
  • MISSG180
    I guess I'm just really fortunate, because my friends are all foodies who would never dream of giving me a hard time about eating real, delicious food. In fact, they would probably scold me if they saw me eating processed "lo-fat" foods!

    You can have your bacon, and your sour cream. And you should. Moderate eating of delicious foods is a great thing!
    1962 days ago
    There is no reason in the world why you can't enjoy your food! Don't let anybody tell you differently! Food can be fun. It's learning how to eat in moderation that is a bit difficult...but you can do it! Keep on enjoying your food.
    1962 days ago
    Well, read a few blogs of low carb people or join one of their teams (not that I'd recommend it, nor low carb eating) and they will tell you you should eat MORE fat.
    There are SO MANY theories out there. Fat is good no it's bad protein is good no it's bad, carbs are good no bad sugar must be cut out no eaten in moderation etc etc.
    No one really knows the answers. If there was clarity about what truly works with regard to health and weight we would have heard about it by now. So we just have to figure out for ourselves what makes sense and what stuff we are able / willing to give up.
    Taking fiber capsules and protein water (WHAT IS THAT?? LOL) for breakfast and nothing else is plain dumb, if you ask me. As if scientists have yet realized just what it is that nature put into, for example, an apple or a head of lettuce. Not nearly all the nutrients in there have been identified yet let alone that a way to reproduce them and put them in a pill has been found.

    In other words, I understand your frustration. I think it's best to use common sense. Read a little here and there and then just see what is doable for you. My personal conclusion so far is that it's best if I eat as many vegetables as I can (that is, as is doable for me without losing my joy of eating). Fruit, beans and nuts are good for most people, too. The rest? As I said, just weigh carefully what you can and wish to give up.

    1962 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/11/2013 7:17:43 AM
    I too love food. Today is my birthday and I am going to make lasagna. :) Yummy. Taco braid bread was a few days ago.

    The point is I have reached goal weight and maintained it now for 2 years even though I love food. Spark advocates eating in moderation. This means we can eat real food. Yes, sometimes we take our recipes and make them healthier like substituting ham for bacon, or maybe a bit of canadian bacon for bacon in a recipe. But overall we can still eat the good stuff, just in moderation. (Yes, that is the hard part.)

    It can be done and you should not feel guilty for loving food. I like reading your blog because you love food as much as I do. Many people I know don't love food to the same level as I do and you love things that I would love too. IE desserts aren't always my undoing. For me it is my homemade breads, lasagna, the rich flavorful foods, not the sugary foods. (Even though I love desserts too!)

    But you can do it. I know you can. Just don't give up and don't listen to those idiot voices in your head. Yes, I have some idiot voices too, but not so much diet related. More self-worth related, which I am still struggling with.
    1962 days ago
    I too love real food! I NEVER us "low cal margarine" or margarine for that matter. Only butter or olive oil. Usually drink my coffee black, but if I want cream I use real half and half NEVER nondairy stuff. I to am a big Greek yogurt fan (I use kirkland brand, 2 quart containers for $6.99) but oddly I prefer the fatfree version to the whole version. That being said, I do track my food and try for a 40/30/30 Carb, fat, protein combo. It seems to regulate my blood glucose best. I try to keep to under 1600 cals a day and it does work for me. Do what works for you and eat what you like. It is the only other diet "rule" I have. "If it doesn't taste good, DON'T EAT IT". Life is to short to eat bad food.

    Never apologize for what you like or don't like. The world would be a boring place if everyone was the same.
    1962 days ago
    1962 days ago
    You most certainly may unload.

    I'm a very firm believer that food is most definitely more than just fuel. If it were purely fuel, it wouldn't engage and appeal to just about every one of our senses. Certainly we taste, sensing with our taste buds whether a food is salty, sweet, bitter, or sour. We pick up aromas from the foods that expand those four into a much broader flavor. We see and appreciate varied colors and arrangements of food even without tasting them (how many recipe pictures show a food just slopped on a plate?) We feel all the many textures, from the firmness of a carrot to the soothing silky softness of yogurt to the tenderness of a peach. We hear the sounds of cooking and eating, appreciating the crunch and slurps.

    The thing is ... we don't get fat from eating delicious food. We get fat from eating too much food and from too much imbalance in the foods we eat.

    If we ate a single small serving of an extremely delicious and appealing food, we'd generally be fine. It's when our portion size is actually multiple servings and we're limiting our food appreciation to high fat content or heavily sweetened that we start to run into trouble.

    I will say this as someone who truly loves food -- eating less, but appreciating each bite more, makes so much more sense than thinking "healthy eating" is about low-fat, non-fat, no sugar, rice cakes and salads for life.
    1962 days ago
    I so understand your love for all things food. You shouldn't feel guilty for loving all things food either. I think it's great that you are realizing that certain foods right now are not good for you, but you still wondering how to eat what you love in a different and healthier way. That is awesome! I think that you should take your love of food and find new ways to still have them just change things up to a healthier version. You know plenty of what you could use in place of something else because you have such a knowledge of food, use that. What a great challenge that could be for yourself.
    1962 days ago
    There is nothing wrong with loving food, it's here to be enjoyed not endured, you need to love yourself too. Have food you love but in moderation. As was said above try to adapt your favourite recipes to less fatty versions, eat slowly and enjoy every bite.. Lots of little steps make up a mile in a marathon. Good luck. Irene emoticon
    1962 days ago
    You are human, not super human. What you are feeling is natural and everyone feels it sometime though some will not admit it. I applaud you for being brave and honest enough to share how you really feel instead of putting on a phony act. You are not a fake.
    1962 days ago
  • JUNEBUG4967
    Mary, yes you are awesome just like the caller said! and Lynnwilk2 nailed it also about your big, caring and sharing heart. With your creativity, have you considered a remake of your mac and cheese? I know it isn't the same, but to come close at least in flavor is sometimes a major achievement. I also think you are right about the smells and the flavors and sounds of food. They do make a world of difference to our palates. Do penance - no! But I am learning to be more temperate with my choices. If I get a job soon, or figure a way to afford my usual testing, it will be interesting to see how much or if stress was a major factor in some of my health issues. Some things can be substituted and others need a replacement found. Good luck,chef!
    1962 days ago
    God gave us senses... He made us to need food as a source of nourishing out bodies. You should enjoy the food you eat. And I love your passion for the foods you discuss on your blogs from time to time.
    Loving yourself requires not judging yourself, or others. From everything I have ever read that you have written shows me a woman who has a heart of gold who's wounded heart needs to be allowed to heal and her true beauty allowed to shine like the light that radiates out of your heart.
    I love that you love everything about the act of preparing menus and meals so much. And if you have to eat, which we all HAVE to do, you might as well make it enjoyable with measured amounts that provide our bodies the nutrients it needs to keep us going and healing.
    And yes, You are awesome!
    Thank you for the stance that food should be rich with flavor!
    1962 days ago
  • AHAVAH123
    Remember, you are awesome!! emoticon
    1962 days ago
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