Monday, August 18, 2008

Let's Talk Weight

I'm not a super sized woman. But, I am not at my healthiest weight, either. We could get into an argument (probably) about what healthy weight is, but my belief is that the healthiest weight for a 5'3" woman is about 115 pounds. Maybe less.

The thinner one is (as long as you're not so thin you're anorexic and, thus, suffering from various vitamin deficiencies), the longer life you can expect to live and the healthier that life will be. I don't like being sick. I want to live a long time. I don't want to suffer from chronic disease. And, frankly, I want to look good. I think I look best when I'm slender.

I know what sorts of things I should be eating and, maybe more importantly, not eating, in order to achieve my goals. I've learned these lessons over time. In my early 20s, I ate a lot of stuff that really amazes me now - lots of fast food, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, hardly a fruit or vegetable. I was not thin....but nor was I big enough to feel the need to do anything about it.

I first started flirting with healthier eating really when I was pregnant with Davan. However, morning sickness and cravings found me eating first anything I could possibly stomach and then ribs. Oh man, did I want ribs. Of course, there was the binging on cherries phase, but the rib phase lasted longer.

I was pregnant, though, and, thus, supposed to be putting on weight. So, it was okay. After Davan was born, she nursed. A lot. For three years. I ate a lot, but I didn't gain weight. I did not eat the healthiest things, but, when Davan started eating solids, I did have another brush with healthy eating and what we ate did improve somewhat.

Even with the improvements, though, there was still a lot of unhealthy stuff in my diet and then Davan stopped nursing. I didn't stop eating. I like to eat. I like food. I like unhealthy food. I have addictive type tendencies toward sugar.

I got up to about 174 pounds. It might have been a bit more at some point, but that's the highest I ever saw on a scale. Weighing infrequently, though...well, it could have been more.

Shortly after realizing I was rather overweight, Anthony had some chest pains that he was concerned about. It turned out to be just stress related arrhythmic beating, and not life threatening at all, but still. My consideration of healthy foods went up another notch. And we made some changes.

I lost some weight. I was still pretty big, though. It was very gradual, which is a good thing, but not indicative of a huge change.

The next happening was that we found out that Anthony has high cholesterol. We're talking over 300 high. More changes were made. His cholesterol started coming down.

All of these gradual changes caused me to become more and more interested in nutrition. I've read a whole slew of books, articles and magazines. I've learned more and more. I've found experts in the field of nutrition that I agree with some and ones I agree with lots.

One person who helped me realize some change was Dr. Sears. He is also an attachment parenting guru. He wrote several books on nutrition aimed at keeping kids healthy including The Family Nutrition Book, LEAN Kids and The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood. LEAN Kids particularly helped us down the path of better nutrition for the whole family. The last would have also helped, but came out after we'd made even more changes.

I like Dr. Sears, but the nutritionist that really ultimately resonated with me and makes the best case without backing off is Dr. Furhman. He has several books out now about nutrition. The one I read first was Eat to Live. Next, and what makes the most sense for a family, was Disease Proof your Child. Now he has a book set out called Eat for Health that I'd recommend the most for an individual looking for a good nutrition book, although it'd also be good in ways for families, but I'd still recommend Disease Proof your Child if you're going to be feeding kids with his plan. You can find all his books here.

So, I know what I should be doing. I'd lost weight gradually, getting down to 119 pounds and feeling good. However, I still love cookies and chocolate and cake and Sunchips and TCBY and Ben and Jerry's, for that matter. I love eating out and having someone else do the cooking and cleaning.

We'd been straying down the dark path more and more. We've had a very stressful beginning of summer. We continued with the poor eating patterns we'd started under stress. I was knocking on 130 pounds.

As I posed before, we'd decided to start eating right in August. Sadly, we have not be doing what we should. To some extent...what we've had at home has been better, but it's so easy to slip and little and then more about eating out, about going to TCBY, about extending Anthony's birthday extravagances to multiple days.

Today I got on the scale and it was 130.5. It's been two years since I was 130. I don't want to ping pong. I don't want to eat bad stuff - well, I do. That's the problem.

Even knowing what I know and truly believing it, I still make poor choices. I still really, really crave stuff. Lots of stuff.

How do I get over this and back on the right track? What is the right combination of eating right and indulgence? How to I not slip into more and more indulgence?

1 comment:

  1. I had gastric bypass 4 yrs ago in July. I went from one extreme to the complete opposite. While I was hospitalized because I had lost to much weight...I lost even more weight.

    For me it has been about finding balance. It is 100% about moderation. I can allow myself to have a cookie, some chips, this or moderation.

    It is okay to eat a small snack size bag of chips. It is not okay to eat the entire bag of something that is a large bag of chips.

    I got down to 135 lbs. It was to small considering I have a ton of excess skin. I was forced to 'gain' weight which was horrible when you've been hospitalized for anorexia. But I did...I maintained at 150. Then..had an emergency hysterectomy and sent my body flying into a stupid hormonal rage and I gained weight.

    The biggest key in my ever so humble opinion is moderation.

    If you eat 5 snack size bags a day and don't do anything activity wise...yep poor choice.

    If you eat 1 or 2 snack size bags a day and go hiking, bike riding, walking, ect ect....not a poor choice.

    You seem very active and I think thatis part of the key.

    Keep up the good work. It is me I know. I too, hate cooking. HATE IT with a passion.