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What do I want?

Monday, September 16, 2013

***DISCLAIMER: this is not written with any food allergies or the like, it is intended for me as I have no food sensitivities. I am not looking to debate, I am just chronicling my struggles***

I have taken a pretty big intended break from SparkPeople. I have needed to get my head back on straight. These last couple of years regarding weight loss (or lacktherof) has been pure hell for me.

To capture the phrase from my good friend Missusriverrat, I have had to come back to Sparkpeople on my own terms. I have needed the break to figure a few things out.

My main goal as of late has been to find balance. Seek it out and establish it so I can press forward with the right goals in my sights. Balance has been the hardest thing for me to establish over the last couple of years for a number of reasons. I am not just talking in terms of diet and exercise but rather life in general.

When I came to SparkPeople initially, I wanted to lose weight. Nothing more, nothing less. I have been on that diet wagon on and off pretty much my entire adult life. When I found SparkPeople it was fantastic! Having a place that i could track my food intake, workouts, a community of people that were working toward the same destination... However, somewhere along the way, I managed to get sidetracked in a world of obsession. It no longer became a journey to reach a goal, it became an obsession. Food shaming began. I have dealt with food shaming in one form or another here on SparkPeople a number of times. Either seeing others shamed for their food choices or even myself directly and yes, I will admit, I have even been a part of food shaming.

The diet world is so full of many choice phrases that I would love to have stricken from my brain forever. Food shaming is just the tip of the iceberg. This industry and the overall mindset of it. We are constantly spoonfed ideas on how/what/why/when we're supposed to eat. It is no wonder people either get all too consumed with it (obsessed) or feel like complete failures at it. We're told how much water to drink, how much of what food to eat, when to eat given food, don't eat past XX:XX, eat this, not that, carbs are bad, gluten is bad, saturated fat is bad.... I could go on and on and on and on.

Here is the way I see it: this industry is trendy. That is it plain and simple. Guru number one says X about something and suddenly everyone jumps on that bandwagon and it is the way to go. It was like that in the '90's with the low fat craze, then the low carb craze, then the clean eating phase and now I see it as a paleo/primal/gluten free trend. Now, please don't misconstrue what I am saying, I AM NOT SAYING THAT ANY OF THESE ARE WRONG. I am however saying that when we get wrapped up in these trends and junk science, we just get more confused by what is 'right' when it comes to food. We somehow lose our way on the simplicity and enjoyment of food. Gone are the days of being able to simply sit down and eat. We are under constant bombardment of right versus wrong.

In my break from SparkPeople, I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I want and why. I want to lose weight. I will be the first to admit it. I want to fit in my smaller sizes. But I want to take the approach to it in the same context when I first came to SparkPeople, as a simplistic eat the food and move the body format. No right or wrong way to do it. I have been spending a bit of time tweaking my numbers and finding the right amount of calories that I need to create a bit of a deficit but not to a point that I am starving. There needs to be enough calories to sustain life support (BMR) and then enough to sustain the activity I do on a regular basis (TDEE) then subtracting from that to create a slight deficit.

I know not everyone will agree with what I have to say. To some it is more than calories in/calories out. I am just done following the trends. I am going to have my cake and eat it too (gluten, sugar, white flour and all) because I can feel good about that knowing that the choices I make on a regular basis for what I choose to feed my body are nutritious. I will no longer subscribe to ANY food shaming because a life without the occasional slice of pizza, beer or (yes I am going to say this) soda is not a life I want. I want to enjoy life because food is emotional. It is involved in all aspects of our lives -- there is no reason to not partake and enjoy the beauty of all sides of it. I have left the teams that I feel food shaming is the strongest. I am not here to listen to someone tell me what is the right way to eat. I have unfriended a few people on Spark as well as I don't need the constant reminders in my face of what they're propagating. I subscribe well and fast to the EYES ON YOUR OWN PLATE theory now. If I invite anyone to see what I am eating, feel free to pick it apart then, until that happens, I want zero opinions about it...

I am simply to that point. I just want to continue to live that balance and enjoy it. Life is too short not to.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • GMO_JEN
    I can relate too. Trying to find a healthy lifestyle is not easy, and it is only made harder by the general ideas on what we have to do to be healthy-how to work out, how to eat/what to eat/how much. I totally agree with you though- and spark has sides where it can be very supportive, but at the same time.... Totally agree with eyes on your own plate. I know you are going to do good :)
    2192 days ago
  • JUSTME29
    I think that in the end we all have to find a way to make this work for us. Some people are fine with cutting out foods or food groups, I am not. I never have been ok with that, and never will be. It's like saying "don't think of flying elephants" - what's the first thing you think of? Telling me I can't have potato chips or chocolate only makes me want them more. Taking one portion of them takes away the thrill, and I'm fine with that. No way will I ever totally cut out pizza or beer or cake (frosting too) but I am working to eat smaller helpings of everything.

    You have been through the wringer, and I hope that you have found a lasting balance. I think the only way to be healthy and lose weight is to find a way to eat for life - not simply eat to live.
    2192 days ago
  • no profile photo CINDYTW
    I can definitely relate to what you are saying here. I even break the "rules" of my own diet quite regularly. I agree that if you can lead a balanced healthy life there is no reason you can't have junk food and soda on occasion. I am TOTALLY anti-soda and yet I partake in a Throwback Pepsi once in a great while. If I was able to tolerate it I would still be having my cheat meals and then picking up the healthy foods again and moving on. I have just had to change how I do this because I can't eat certain things anymore. I think this is a very healthy attitude anyway, like you said barring any sensitivities or allergies. Good for you!
    2193 days ago
  • JULIE_1978
    emoticon for being so honest! Part of the reason I took time away from SparkPeople was because of the 'obsessedness' of being told what to do and when. I had to get my head on straight and figure it out for myself because being pulled this way, then that way was only making me gain more weight. And we know how well that ends up when it comes to self-esteem... So when I came back, it was after getting my own head screwed on straight and a simple, achievable plan in place that allows me to have the occasional slice of pizza, chocolate when my body craves it and heck, nachos with extra cheese and guacamole when the time is decreed by the nacho Gods. And I've lost 68 pounds to date! I love the idea of Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Plate! Kudos A*L*P*!
    2193 days ago
  • TINY67
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    2193 days ago
  • BEANIES_MOM
    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it! I have hit that point in time where I just want to feel normal again. I have become overly obsessed with carbs/protein/fat yadda yadda to where my kiddos even notice when I sit down to eat that I am stressed and uncomfortable with thinking about what's going to be the effect of me eating this meal instead of just enjoying dinner with my babies.
    2193 days ago
  • MISSUSRIVERRAT
    I applaud you for your blog, your attitude, your strengths and your wonderful honesty. Only you can know how you need to live your life, including what to eat!!!! We all have the right to make those decisions for ourselves!
    2193 days ago
  • no profile photo FLGIRL_4EVER
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    2194 days ago
  • STONECOT
    A lot of people have told me that my way of eating is a fad diet, and will end in disaster, forgetting that it is a way that suits me, and I am very successful at it.

    I also will not treat any food as the enemy, or act as if one slice of chocolate cake is the road to perdition!

    I hate the way that we are 'allowed' to eat one square of dark chocolate as a treat, but only one square mind. if I wish to eat the whole bar, I will do so, without gnashing of teeth or rending of garments!!

    So you carry on doing it your way. Whatever that proves to be, and enjoy life and eating. I sometimes think that eating 'right' is a new religion, complete with holy books and disciples!
    2194 days ago
  • HILLRUNNER
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    2194 days ago
  • ICEDEMETER
    What an absolutely wonderful blog, with a fabulous attitude!

    "I want to enjoy life because food is emotional. It is involved in all aspects of our lives -- there is no reason to not partake and enjoy the beauty of all sides of it."

    That really sums it up for me - thank you so much for sharing it!

    I might keep my eyes on your plate, though --- there just might be something really yummy on there that I might want to try...

    Hope you thoroughly enjoy being back on Spark, and have great success with what you want to accomplish!
    2194 days ago
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