While in my immobile state post-surgery for the past several days, I have done an enormous amount of reading. I've read Skinny Bitch, French Women Don't Get Fat, The Maker's Diet--and that's just the reading in book form! Yes, there's a theme here. I want to know the TRUTH behind a healthy, sustainable, long-lived body!
It all started when I was a young child. Okay, I won't go THAT far back and bore you to death, but you do need to know that I was an overweight kid. I loved to eat and I ate a LOT. Thankfully, a trip to Japan during my high school years, where a car was not at my disposal, and where I found that I was actually good at tennis and volleyball, reset my body and my mindset about eating and fitness. It also didn't hurt that I grew several inches in the following few years.
Since then, it's been very important to keep my weight in check. I read and tried the South Beach Diet, and it actually worked...until I went mad for the bread basket at a dinner one night. I tried simply eating less and exercising more. That worked until I got PMS or, uh, got irritated. I tried just eating half the food on my plate and having the server box the rest. That NEVER worked. I would pick just one more morsel until there wasn't enough to justify the take home box, so I just ate the rest of it. Why not have have the server box it at the start? Because I didn't want EVERYONE to know I had no self-discipline at all. How embarrassing. So I kept reading and kept fluctuating.
Of the books that I have just read in the past few days, I hold very little credence to Skinny Bitch. A few of the claims that justify a vegan lifestyle are far-fetched, and I really couldn't tolerate all the attitude from the authors. Yes, they have a disclaimer at the end where they admit they were "just being that way" to sell books, and that's even more vile to me.
French Women Don't Get Fat actually has a lot of wisdom in it. It just didn't need to take 256 pages to get the point across. My main take-aways: Watch what you eat, but don't deny yourself. Make trade-offs between delicious things that aren't slimming. Love your inner being; don't try to make yourself something you're not. Drink a lot of water, and learn to incorporate more exercise in your daily life, as opposed to running endlessly on a treadmill. I love that last part.
But really, there's something to the enjoyment of food that many Americans don't employ. We're an on-the-go society. We skip breakfast, work through lunch, and then eat in the car. Why else would we need so many cup holders in our cars? So next time, I'm going to not read, not watch TV, not work, when I'm trying to eat something. I'm going to enjoy my bites and chew thoughtfully and joyfully. That, and I'm going to drink more water, climb more stairs and love myself. Hm. That seems like a lot. Please, Lord, let this last longer than just one day!
The Maker's Diet was...interesting. Dr. Jordan Rubin has an incredible story that lends a certain credibility to his dietary platform, but when you really get down to it all, it sounds suspiciously like an organic version of the South Beach Diet. Well, minus the unclean meats and shellfish, as according to the Bible. But plus the addition of supplements sold by his company. That part makes me very suspicious. As my husband says, everyone likes to buy, but no one likes to be sold, and this book smacks of that.
Now, it certainly has principles that absolutely make sense. Like stop eating chemicals. Got it. The whole antibiotics-in-commercially-sold-meat, milk, and dairy is certainly something that should raise an eyebrow, but what's the solution in this modern world of productivity and speed? Organic food seems to be more expensive than I want to spend, and I hadn't given it much thought. Until now.
So off I went into cyberspace to search for alternatives. There are many great websites that write about humane and sustainable protein sources. When I began the quest, I had a suspicion that I was in the perfect location to take advantage of those sources, and boy was I right. Lancaster county is teeming with healthful alternatives. Stay tuned as I turn the research into something more tangible in the next coming months. I'll let you know how I'm doing as a French woman eating grass-fed beef...