I Will Always Have My Inner Fat Chick Part 2
Still There, Still Ravenous
I always will have her there inside me. After the first Hub and thinking back to the past few months I realized that here and there, I have been slipping back into my old ways. Not a reason to panic, mind you, but it did mean I have to revise my strategy. Because, somehow, my iron will of last year that meant ordering the healthiest version of a kid's meal that included a grilled chicken wrap, banana, applesauce and water and was fairly clean eating devolved into a spicy cheeseburger with fries, drink, soda and small ice cream with candy mixed in. And fried cheese bits on the side because I was hungry, dang it!
So, no, I am not a paragon of virtue by any means. If I could have my way I'd have soda and snack machines in every room, a chocolate fountain in the bedroom and a magical cheeseburger fountain in the kitchen. But I know I can't. And I know that isn't a bad thing. Because after a while nothing but fast food and candy gets to be a real drag.
So this Hub I'll still have some tips for you, but get a little more personal as well. I have changed my relationship with food, but like any other addiction it can be hard at times to remember why we quit in the first place.
As always, all written content and photography are my original work. Any videos or other materials used herein are for entertainment and educational purposes only. If you hold the copyright and want credit and a link or something removed, please let me know.
Cook a Few Minutes More To Pump Up Your Nutrition
Let's Put Some Gratitude In our Attitude
When we first make changes in our lifestyles and eating habits everything seems like deprivation and is emotionally painful for many of us, because frankly, it is. I will admit that I love candy and fast food because I equal them with feeling happy. With having success as well, because you always see successful, happy, fit and toned people in ads. If they were fat and poor you'd never buy the product and ad companies know it. I'm not calling them evil or misleading, but I am saying what we see on TV, hear in radio ads or see in newspapers can profoundly affect how we view empty calorie foods.
And at one point any time anything stressed me out (like my weight) or I was having a bad day, empty calorie food seemed like the only cure.
Giving that up by cutting back was emotionally painful because I was giving up my comfort food. It's stressful enough being obese and facing judgment and exclusion every day, now this crazy doctor of mine was taking away the one thing I felt kept my Universe in order. And for the longest time I could only see a dull and unhappy future in front of me because I could no longer eat everything I wanted in the portions I wanted. It has taken me the longest time to realize I had to change my relationship with food.
I had to learn to actually respect it. To see it as something that will nourish my body as well as my spirit because I love to cook and good food soothes the soul. And do you know something? It felt like I just woke up because now instead of me just shoveling food in, and trust me, I can still bolt food down when I slip back into old habits, I take my time. I savor it and there is this dialogue going on.
I'm learning to be a better cook and more respectful of the dishes I prepare. Even if it is a lazy day and I'm just opening boxes and cans, it doesn't mean I can't add in flavor, texture and healthy pairings.
Nor does this mean that I gave up fast food forever, or that I'm excluding food groups or went on some strange diet, but it does mean I respect the food I do eat and I'm aware that some foods, such as chips and candy, just keep saying "eat more" and dang if I don't listen.
Fast and Easy
I really enjoy these noodle bowls. They come in a variety of flavors and they are even great on a hot summer's day as they are light yet filling. Please keep in mind a bowl is two generous serving and healthy eating to you!
Don't Miss Out on the Holidays
Food journals are really team players here. You know all that leftover candy at Halloween? That box of chocolate from your sweetie, or that stocking from Santa or Odin depending on your worldview? Dang near all of it has a calorie count on the label or on the company website. And you can learn to tuck it in here and there, no guilt needed.
To me, and surprisingly my doctor agreed, you are better off feeding that craving in a tiny controlled way than resisting until you no longer can and eating it all in one go. Everyone knows a baby cone is better in the long run that a ice cream and candy concoction bigger than their head, right?
A few chocolates or sweets are OK, just keep in mind they will edge out other stuff in your calorie count and try and make the rest of the day super nutritious.
For stuff with no label like cookies or eggnog made with love and from scratch, use your own best judgment. We all have days when we take mini holidays. As long as you didn't eat two sheets of brownies and drink five gallons of eggnog you'll be fine. And if you did? Let it go and start over, its the only thing you can do. Don't punish yourself with negative feelings, too hard of workouts or overly restrictive eating patterns.
Just resume your normally healthy habits and you will feel better in the long run and any added holiday pounds will melt away gradually with the gentlest of effort. You should know naturally how to get back on track, and it isn't with a crash diet or two hours of jazzercise. Ask your doc, nutritionist or workout coach and you'll be given sensible advice for temporary changes to help get you back down, then resume your normal healthy routine.
Oh, the following video may be hard to watch, it literally brought tears to my eyes, but please, if you feel you need help, if trying to get healthy is just to much for you, please get it. There are tons of websites, hotlines and other resources. Seek spiritual help, anything. Please, I care about you.
If you feel you need help, please get it
Count Calories As Cash
Once you know how many you can have it becomes easier to figure out what you want to spend them on. I don't have to tell you about nutrition. You already know that nutritionally rich whole foods like fruits, grains and veggies are better for you than the same amount of calories in fries.
But knowing you only have so many can really be eye opening. For example, if you are put on a thousand calorie diet, suddenly all those meals advertised at being under seven hundred calories can have you scrambling for your journal to plan the rest of the day, and that candy treat that comes in at over four hundred calories and the soda you had with it that bit out over two hundred more?
You already know I don't believe in shame. Enjoy whatever you want, don't feel guilt, scold yourself or starve the rest of the day, but if you just have to have a break of that candy bar or that soda is the real thing, do the best you can the rest of the day, OK? Try those stairs, take that extra walk and be gentle with yourself. If you totally tank and eat five candy bars be glad it wasn't six. And still, for he love of your metabolism don't starve the rest of the day. We all fall down, I still do sometimes, and it is OK. A slip here and there is just the way life is and it doesn't mean you or I are failures and doomed to return to our old lifestyles.
For those wondering what whole foods are anyhow, it is any food in the natural state, or as close as possible to allow for cooking. Vegetables steamed and seasoned are still whole foods, vegetables deep fried become junk food. A steak or cut of meat is whole food as well, so is freshly ground turkey, chicken or any other meat.
Nom, Nom, Nom
This is an instantly cravable all natural snack for adults that has hints of cherry and other natural flavors, and I find that a pouch paired with a piece of fruit makes for a wonderfully filling meal. And each pouch counts as a half serving of fruits and vegetables, so what's not to love? I like mine chilled, but they can also be frozen. Perfect for lunch, hiking, or pour in a mug before heating for a warm and indulgent but healthy treat.
Excluding Foods? Educate Yourself
I am not pointing fingers or placing blame. I have been on every diet from total carnivore to the vegan and I went crazy as a carnivore and blacked out as a vegan, even though I followed all the rules and after the healthiest versions of those diets possible.
For my body, omnivore works. Some meals are naturally fruititarian, like the spicy frozen bananas I adore, or vegan with a handful of fruit and nuts. Some are vegetarian such as veggie patties, and yes, some are carnivore specials. But with healthy fruits or veg to round out my calorie count.
I also indulge in seafood and yup, dairy and eggs. But if you have your heart set on eating only one food group, be it fruit, veggies or meat, please, for the love of goddess, educate yourself. These diets are not as easy as just eating only one food group. You will need supplements at least to make up for the essential vitamins and minerals you are missing out on, so please educate yourself to what each diet lacks and be honest! If you can't do the work it takes to make up for what the diet lacks, it may not be for you.
Listen to your body as well. If your body keeps going haywire, especially months or a years in, something is seriously missing. You aren't a bad person or a failure or morally flawed if you need to go omnivore (or anything else) again. Our species is still here because we are the most adaptive one on the planet.
Perfect Food Raw
An acquired taste, but honestly not that bad. This deep green powder smells like spinach soup base to be honest and I add it in now and again to give my raw vegan shakes a boost.
How Many Calories Can You Have?
Well, sorry to tell you this, but that honestly is a discussion to have with your doctor or nutritionist, but as time goes on you will see how well the weight comes off, and again, keep in touch with your doctor. Loosing too much all at one isn't healthy or desired, as my doctor pointed out, it often rebounds on the dieter when we level off. So how do you know? The best way is to start a food journal and chart your progress.
After all, depending on the online calculator or website I consult, given my current age, weight and height I can have anything from the high 1,600s to the mid 1,800s or the default 2,000 to maintain my weight. I can tell you from experience that even a few days in the 1,700s will put on weight. My metabolism just doesn't run as quickly as other people's and I'm fine with that.
And calories, frankly, are just a number. By adding in more veg you can boost how much you eat and still stay on track and it doesn't all have to be sad-looking wilted lettuce. Think of mixed greens topped with cracked pepper, sliced veggies and a serving of sliced almonds. I actually like adding in beets, chickpeas, corn, possibly tuna, boiled egg or lean turkey or chicken to make a huge salad I can chow down on and not feel guilty about. Add some chives, chilis, and other goodies and I'm in heaven.
Get More Info
The American Cancer Society developed a free calorie counter tool to help you maintain your current weight or lose weight. Learn more about how to stay healthy.
- 3FatChicks on a Diet! – Diet & Weight Loss Support
Best weight loss support online!
- Food and Nutrition | USDA
Food and Nutrition
- What's the Difference? Steel-Cut, Rolled, and Quick Oats | The Kitchn
Oatmeal is the breakfast of champions this time of year. We also love it in pancakes, muffins, cookies, scones, and bread. Anything that can be passed off as breakfast, really. But we're always a little confused when a recipe calls for one particular
Other People May Change Around You
As you progress, sometimes the people who at first had all that good advice, be they friends or family members may develop mixed feelings. And it's natural and only they can tell you why they feel this way. Maybe they are frightened that once you are fit you will no longer love and need them, maybe they are afraid you will find another lover or spouse, they may even see you as potential competition for attention. (We all know a king or queen bee that gets the stinger out when life goes well for us.)
You, after all, are going from the fat friend, lover or relative to a fitter you, and well, that new you can be kind of intimidating. And scary. Because, for one, you are proving you can do it, and on your own to boot. True, you may have a support group, and I'm not discounting their positive impact in your life, but they can't exercise or eat healthier for you. And even though some may be proud or astounded, you may see a bit of competitiveness come out in people from time to time.
Even those who love you. Because you've changed. Let's face it we have all been treated as the fat friend or relative. The jolly (I hate the word, don't you? Only fat people get called jolly.) friend that isn't a threat because, let's face it, we are fat.
We aren't seen as competition for dates or attention because people either pity us or underestimate us. They assume we are lazy, sloppy and lack motivation. All the things, they assure themselves, they have. Most of all? They assume we are not beautiful, handsome or desirable. How many people want to scream the next time they hear, in syrupy sweet tones: "But you have such a pretty face."?
Now a lot of people will stand by you, because they don't see the fat person. They see the inner you, the human being that deserves love and respect regardless of the number on a scale. And they are the people you want to stick with. People that keep bringing up the past, your former weight or making catty remarks about how much less they weigh? You don't need them. Your body is uniquely yours and your weight is truly just a number on a scale.
Two Veg, One Fruit
What the Heck are Whole Foods Anyhow?
Whole foods are nutrient rich foods still in their natural state, think fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, eggs, milk, meat and fish you can still recognize. A cubed watermelon can still be identified, so can a cut of steak or filet of fish. Many dietitians will also OK whole foods when processed slightly, such as small servings of cheese, ground beef or other meat, or whole grain breads.
But the farther away you get from the original form, in general, the less nutritional value it has. A potato, baked, steamed, or even home cut and lightly rubbed with a scant amount of oil is super yummy and nutritious. One processed into a patty with added salt, sugar and chemical preservatives?
I eat as close to whole foods as I can, meaning, that yes, I eat my share of preformed beef (once or twice a month) or veggie patties. But I switched to making my own tortillas instead of buying bread, I try to honestly watch trigger foods such as soda, candy and fast food, and I listen to my body.
I eat every three hours. So if a half hour to and hour and a half later my body is raving for food it only takes a glance at my food journal to see what went wrong. Sometimes I ate too little calorie dense food like a protein bar that wasn't very filling, or a fast food selection such as a hot dog. But if I fill up on whole foods such as veggies and fruits I'm much fuller longer thanks to the natural fiber content.
But be gentle on yourself. I understand more than you think that access to affordable whole foods is not an easy thing, and if all you can afford is bulk beans and iceberg lettuce with zilch nutritional value you may want to run from whole foods screaming. And yes, I have seen meat prices lately.
My only advice is this. As I edge sugary junk food, fast food and other junk out of my diet, calories and cash appear for more nutritional choices. But I really do understand your position. Without the bus system I'd have my choice between two fast food places and two corner stores with not a fruit or nutritional veg among any of them. And forget meat unless you count lunchmeat or hotdogs.
And when the tiny farmer's market opens? For the price of two tomatoes (seriously around six dollars and up) I could buy a fast food meal, so yeah, I feel you. And there are days when saving bus fare (currently two dollars per zone) is tempting because it means more junk food, oh boy! Let's just do the best we can, OK?
Your Weight Is Only a Number
I'm sure some readers are angry over that. How dare the former (in their minds) fat chick tell me that? Well, because one, my BMI while ideal is flirting with overweight and although I've already gotten comments of being too skinny, and I seriously think they come from knowing my weight. Example, I mentioned in the last article that my doctor has a ten pound range she finds acceptable.
A week ago when I saw a person I know, and knowing I was at the midrange (I can add five to ten pounds in a week if I don't watch) they didn't correct me when I said I was still fat. I think this person agreed with me and was even disappointed in me. Today? Same darn outfit, and the person knew I am at the lower end of the range, a measly three and a half pound difference to be exact. Now can anyone tell me how I went from being fat to too skinny in three and a half pounds?
I think the reason is that the person, well meaning though they are, heard the numbers and based their reaction to my physical appearance on them. Because to me I look exactly the same. They may also be comparing the old me and the new me, while in my head I am comparing the new me to a fashion model me that never materialized and wanting to cry.
How come I don't look like that? Why won't my doctor let me go down to the lowest BMI possible even after I begged really sweetly? Because one, as my mother said to me: "There are two kinds of people in the world. Models and us. They are built straight up and down. We are built like sacks of potatoes."
And two, believe it or not, my doctor cares. I just am never going to look like those models unless one, I'm magically a teenager again, and two, I shoot up six inches and grow a waist, and three, I get major surgery. Oh, and the second reason I told you your weight is only a number? I will never be thin in my mind. I still feel, react, and expect to be treated as my inner fat chick.
Making myself walk past my favorite foods such as soda, cupcakes and anything fatty is actually a painful experience mentally. I have to put on blinders when I shop. I even had cookies in my hand today and only put them back because I couldn't afford them. And then in another store I almost pounced on some cupcakes like a lioness on a gazelle. So yeah, I will never be the skinny girl to myself. I don't care what the scale says, I've seen me au naturel and I want to erase the memory.
All that said? I still love myself. OK, so I never turned into a SI model, dagnabit. I'll live. And I'll live longer by taking it one day at a time. Which is why I want you to love yourself now. Fat or skinny, young, old, it doesn't matter; we are all worthy of love and we first have to truly love ourselves before we can love others.
So win, loose or draw when you step on the scale remind yourself it is just a number. Your weight, even your appearance, love it or hate it, is not who the real you is. You are more than that. You are an intelligent, accomplished, talented human being and I want you to remember that. There will only ever be one you in all of eternity. There never was a person like you before, there never will be again. You are precious in my eyes, OK?
Every Inch Of You Is Perfect
You And I Are Special
Did you know that? I like watch documentaries from time to time and research suggests that it was not always survival of the fittest. Not long ago from the standpoint of evolution our hunter/gather ancestors hunted and gathered or starved. And it was the fattest who survived the times of famine. You heard me. The fattest. Because they could ride out famine, mothers could still give their babies milk, etc.
So those of us with a strong drive towards foods, especially towards junk food because it contains a rare combo of fat and sugar our ancestors instinctively craved and got in rare quantities (and never together), were handed down a gift from our ancestors. Chances are we'd survive a famine just fine. Because they gave us the survival trait to seek out calorie and fat laden food. So, to me it's kind of cool to have that drive inside of me now.
Far from the conventional idea of me or other big eaters being "less" we are actually more because those huge appetites are proof positive our ancestors rode out the tough times in style. We just have to take some pride in having that gift and use it accordingly. Looked at positively it means we're very unlikely to ever starve and we can put it to good use after we retrain ourselves to make healthier choices. Those five servings (or more) of fruit and veg a day? No problem.