Why I Don’t “What I Ate Wednesday”

Why I Don’t “What I Ate Wednesday”

How many of you out there follow a blog that features “What I Ate Wednesday?” Raise your hands high, now–and then look around. I bet you see a lot of (imaginary, virtual) hands in the air. During the days of my second relapse with EDNOS (circa 2009), I discovered food bloggers. You know the ones–run by stick-thin plant-based runners* with high-quality cameras and perfect, stick-thin plant-based running boyfriends with cute pseudonyms based on the blog title.** The ones who post their workouts followed by high-res pictures of their oatmeal with peanut butter mixed in (a “treat meal” for after their long run). Around the time I discovered food bloggers, I also happened to be obsessed with “clean eating” and bodybuilding, so my days were full of “good” bad food habits: eating 200 calorie “meals” made of protein, protein, and protein (with vegetables) every 3 hours and hours spent lifting weights and pedaling away on the arc trainer at high intensity every single day. Because I wasn’t working at the time, my days (post-workout) were spent standing in “my corner” in the kitchen (I was too high-strung to sit), reading these blogs, and starving until I could prepare and eat my next “meal.” Like an alcoholic who goes to a bar just to sit and watch others drink, I followed the women who wrote those health blogs, feeding myself on the imagined enjoyment of the “decadent” foods they’d post on “What I Ate Wednesday.”   Why We “What I Ate”     Now, I understand why so many people feel the need to document their meals–many of these bloggers have...
5 Ways to Start Letting Go of Food Rules

5 Ways to Start Letting Go of Food Rules

Back when I was training to become a figure competitor (aka during my last and worse relapse with ED), I thought I had it all figured out: The carefully researched broscience in my muscle magazines told me that I was supposed to be eating small meals six times per day, and that they should include lots of lean proteins, veggies, and complex carbohydrates. Beyond the crutch of the leaning out meal plans included in many issues of said magazines, I found myself fairly comfortable in the knowledge that, as long as I was eating some combination of the same types of foods every day in small quantities, I would be able to achieve my dream of making my fat* disappear. But when I finally came to my senses–when the body building dream came crashing down around me due to injury, sickness, and amenorrhea–and I had to return to eating real food, I was at a complete loss. The problem was that I had been conditioned to believe certain things about how and when it was “right” to eat, and anything that conflicted with that belief was unimaginable as an option. Needless to say, when I realized that protein powder pudding and chicken breast with broccoli in 250 calorie portions at 6 am, 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm, and 9 pm were not really options anymore, I was in trouble: I realized that not only had I forgotten how to eat, but I was also afraid to eat.  [source] Afraid to miss a meal, even if I wasn’t hungry. Afraid to eat outside of the three or...
Trigger HAPPY Thursday: Underachieve on Purpose

Trigger HAPPY Thursday: Underachieve on Purpose

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYrJMAFOd9Q] It’s been a while since I’ve done a Trigger HAPPY Thursday, because, as usual, life got in the way…and so I figured I’d use today’s video to address that very issue. (And if you’re not near a video-friendly place, here’s the “mostly transcript”): Today’s Trigger HAPPY Thursday is brought to you by the letter “A.” Why? Because, as a culture, we’re conditioned to think that getting an “A” (or a promotion, or an award, or whatever metric you’re using to determine a societal assessment of your personal achievement) is the best way to measure one’s value as a human being. It’s also brought to you by the letter “A” as in “Type A,” for the people for whom the achievement of an “A” is not only a nice goal, but the driver of a single-minded obsession, the source of their entire sense of self-worth. [SOURCE] Many of us out there are overachievers. It’s a fact. You’ve probably found the Skinny Genes blog because some of the obsessive perfectionism that led to my eating disorder resonated with you in some way. (And, if that’s the case, I’m sorry that you’re suffering from Type-A-itis. It’s a horrible disease, and very often left untreated.) You may be a 9-5 overachiever. The kind who think a 40-hour work week is a sign of weakness, who feel guilty unless they are the first in the office and the last to go home, who go the unnecessary extra mile (stress and all–and you know how I feel about doing cardio) only to get the same raise, the same pat on the head or medal...
Wednesday Interlude

Wednesday Interlude

Hard to believe it, but it’s already Wednesday. I know it’s sort of out-of-character to post three days in a row, but Monday was International No Diet Day, and I’m feeling like extending the “Day” into a whole “Week.” Therefore, I have a couple of great blog posts to share with you to help you un-diet on your journey to health and wellbeing! Do the Next Right Thing by Kelly Boaz of Fearless Nutrition. Read this post and gain the power of “instant forgiveness.” The Negative Side to Achieving Female Abs by Madelyn Moon at Moon Fitness. Madelyn bravely shares her story of restriction in the name of “fitness.” How many of you can relate? (I know I can!) Bet on Yourself by Jamie at H20 Heals. A very necessary reminder in times of stress or anxiety: if you won’t bet on yourself, who will? Check out my testimonial to the ultimate awesome that is PRIMALity and its creator, Darryl Edwards, the Fitness Explorer. (And don’t forget to get his book, Paleo Fitness, when it comes out in June!) And, of course, if you missed it yesterday, the Finding Our Hunger podcast with George Bryant is up, and you really don’t want to miss this one! Okay. That’s all for now. What articles or blog posts have you read this week that have helped you find and keep a healthy mindset? Have a happy Wednesday & keep being awesome, Stay hungry,...
One Girl’s Trash Is Another Girl’s Trigger

One Girl’s Trash Is Another Girl’s Trigger

When it comes to the calories in vs. calories out issue, I know that there are no easy fixes. We live in a culture that sees “truths” in absolute terms so long as they’re based on recommendations by the government (a political and not scientific organization, if you recall) and retweeted by the Huffington Post and Men’s Health magazine enough times. In my last post, I wrote about how I’ve been struggling with triggers, and I wanted to talk a little more about that, since I know there are many of you out there who have to deal with these environmental and cultural triggers each and every day. First of all, what is a trigger? The definition of a trigger, at its core, is a “small device that releases a spring or catch and so sets off a mechanism” as in firing a gun. In addiction, such as it is like a loaded gun, uses the word trigger as a metaphor to describe any inciting incident that kicks off the addiction, causing it to fire itself back into the world. With eating disorders and disordered eating, that trigger can be anything: a jar of almond butter sitting in the back of the pantry. The walk past the cardio machines from the weight room. The calories in/out segment on The Today Show. The “tough love” articles in Oxygen Magazine. The conversation with your friend at lunch about why she’s ordering a salad instead of a burger. A trigger can even be positive reinforcement, such as praise for how good you look, did you lose weight, eat something you’re getting too...