I’ll start with what’s NOT annoying about today:
- It’s Monday and in four days I will be in Calgary and seeing my dad and his fiancé who I’ve not seen since February. In five, I’ll be swinging around golf clubs in Banff. In six, I’ll be on my bicycle climbing up mountains — check out the profiles and the itinerary of my trip but be warned to only do so if you want to get insanely jealous.
- I had an amazing swim this morning at Thames after a tasty breakfast bowl. The sun was shining and there were just enough people in my lane to push me to swim a bit faster than normal but not enough to feel like I was in the way or like they were in the way. Can you spell “perfect start to the week”?
- I stocked up on plenty of tasty groceries for this week. I fired up my crockpot with a roast for tonight, grabbed some ground beef to try stuffed portobellos at some point, and of course restocked with chard and kale cuz I am obsessed right now. I also gave in and bought pre-made meatloaf (though the ingredients were all recognizable and other than the price nothing was too crazy about it) at Remark because I was borderline hangry whilst shopping. And it made for a tasty lunch.
- I had a relaxing little sit on my balcony while I took care of some things I needed to do (emails, appointment cancelling/rescheduling, apartment hunting) this morning. Something about sitting outside makes mundane things seem more like a treat…or that’s what I’m telling myself. And my snack tasted better out there.
- I get to teach bootcamp today and I’m hoping some maybes who I absolutely would love to see make it out! The more people who come, the more froyo I can afford. I’m MOSTLY kidding…
Reasons I AM annoyed:
- There was a bat kicking around in the parking lot today and my landlord told me it’s not just me who has found one. Apparently they get in through the ducts and are not really causing problems but are just scaring the shit out of people (my words, not his). Gross, gross, and more gross.
BUT I’m not annoyed since I was already thinking of moving. So now I am not just thinking about it…I’m acting on it!
- My interview for my Bankrate article about how to handle your finances and subscriptions/memberships when you go on an extended vacation just postponed.
BUT I’m not annoyed because he’s still going to talk to me and because this gives me time to blog.
- Reading this Why Some Olympic Athletes Need to Gorge article that came up on my news feed. Really? Check it out but what stood out to me is the whole point of the article, which seems to be that when you exercise enough, you can eat whatever you want and not worry:
“This serves as a bracing reminder that, despite the idea that one type of strict diet or another (Atkins, Mediterranean, grapefruit or whichever) is preferable for weight control, the human body in constant motion can eat almost anything and maintain or — sometimes unwittingly — lose weight.”
When I read this, I literally grabbed my hair. OMFG came to mind. What about their health? I wish that media and freelancers and journalists wrote about things without all this emphasis on “weight control” and instead thought about just health.
Let me rant…maybe those athletes who burn that much can eat whatever they want and not get fat, but since when is not getting fat synonymous with being healthy?
What I see happening in magazines and newspapers and on TV is a huge emphasis on weight. Whether you read a cycling magazine, a housekeeping magazine or a food magazine, you’re bound to find some article that focuses on “healthy eating”. Healthy eating, more often than not though, is synonymous with eating to lose weight. Maybe because people buy into the idea that there’s such a big obesity epidemic on our hands, they get caught up in fixing the problem.
NEWS FLASH: The weight isn’t the problem. We don’t have to deal with the obesity epidemic. We have to deal with the behaviours and the habits and the environment that promotes obesity–all the things that people are doing that aren’t healthy that come with the outcome of NOT being at our optimal weights. I don’t believe that anyone should lose weight for the sake of losing weight–we should change our unhealthy habits for the sake of changing our unhealthy habits and THEN see how we weigh in. And on that note, we shouldn’t just focus on our UNHEALTHY habits but we should focus on what’s HEALTHY and what we can ADD to our lives and our diets:
- Instead of worrying about sitting less, could you think about how you could walk more?
- Instead of beating yourself up for eating chocolate, could you focus on making sure you eat a fruit or veggie at every meal?
See where I’m going with this? We need a paradigm shift. We need to focus on HEALTH and AWESOME-ness (for lack of a better way to put it) and stop worrying about the problems. We need to move towards what is GOOD instead of trying to avoid what we’re doing wrong. Small order, right?
But I digress. So back to the article and it’s take on things…
The perspective that athletes can get away with eating things like “ like a pound of pasta drizzled with olive oil (about 800 calories), a dozen eggs (840 calories), an entire cheese pizza (perhaps 2,000 calories) and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s cheesecake-brownie ice cream (1,000 calories)” just bothers the crap out of me. It goes on to talk about how fat is a better choice for athletes but since when can you just look at fat vs carbs vs protein without considering WHERE those are coming from? I’d argue that fat that naturally occurs in an almond or even in something like a steak is way way way healthier than something that you’d find in a processed food. You can’t simplify food like that — it’s not good vs. bad and it’s not a matter of classifying it. I think the only way you can (and should) break it down is REAL vs. FAKE. And then, health-promoting vs. not. Everything you put in your body is going to affect it.
While I understand that in some cases people legitimately can’t afford and “optimal” diet all the time. But Olympic athletes? Of all the people in the world who have the opportunity to try it, I’d think they would–you can’t TELL me that they can’t afford to eat an optimal diet. I’m not stupid, but anyone who thinks that exercise negates the fact that processed junk food crap calories are unhealthy is.
So what I think would be a better angle to take? What IF those athletes ate real food and optimal food at that? Oh wait, shouldn’t that be normal? Too bad it isn’t and the reality is, it will take someone cheeky to suggest that we should care about our health more than the size of our asses. Right now that’s what I’m trying to do. I might only have a couple hundred readers but you have to start somewhere, right?
NEWS FLASH: You can’t “get away” with polluting your body with junk food and you should not want to! Yes cake is good. Yes froyo is delicious and I have a special spot in my heart for it. But I’m not stupid and I don’t use my training to justify eating them.
Imagine these athletes at the height of their game justifying eating less than optimal fuel because they can “get away with it”? I’ve been food obsessed in the past so I’m not suggesting that they shouldn’t have some treats in their day, but so should everyone–olympic athletes and average folks alike.
I have an approach to eating now that leaves room for foods that aren’t regular features on my plate and room in my daily eats that, regardless of training, don’t serve to FUEL me but serve me in other ways (froyo is social, chocolate is necessary, etc.). If I up my training and my caloric expenditure, I don’t want to run on crap fuel. I want to eat more of the same awesome nutritious things that I feed myself already–because it feels good!
I don’t like this article one bit and I know that in the past I’d probably have written something from a similar viewpoint.
Which brings me back to the point that my being pissed off reinforced: just because you’re skinny doesn’t mean you’re healthy. Just because something won’t make you fat doesn’t mean it won’t make you unhealthy. Conversely, just because something will make you skinny doesn’t mean it will make you healthy. There’s more to health than body composition and when you start believing this you start eating differently–trust me. And when you get there, you start looking at your body differently. If you’re eating real food and you are eating when you’re hungry and until you’re full, gaining or losing a few pounds isn’t scary because your body is working how it’s supposed to. When you control things and try to affect your body weight–that’s where you should be worried!
I could go on and on and on but I’ve managed to kill that time I needed to and I think I’ve made my point: We need to be careful what we focus on AND it’s possible to change. I was once weight-obsessed and driven by concerns over how food would affect the scale. Now I can honestly say that I’m more concerned with my health and being as awesome to my body as I can and I know in my heart that this is the only way to get to peace and acceptance with your body. When you love yourself and take care of yourself, you want to eat healthy. Your choices become clear. It just makes sense to eat whole foods. When there’s junk food, you might want some so you might have some. But there’s not guilt and all of the negative emotions that go along with it because it is what it is…not a moral failure or a step away from your perfect body composition. Those aren’t your goals anymore.
Wow, sorry for the rant. If you’re still with me, I’d love to have some feedback on all of this:
Did you read the article?
Have you ever written a letter in response to an article?
Have you used exercise/training to justify eating junk food?
Is there such a thing as “junk food”?