Getting skinny will solve all our problems, right? We will be unconditionally loved by all, be able to run marathons in under three hours and, of course, be able to wear bikinis and heels to any occasion, including black tie events. As one does. At least that’s what all the diet ads say. But a new study says that not only does losing weight not make people happier, it can actually increase their risk of depression two fold.
Well this is uncomfortable. Confession: Even though I no longer diet or exercise with weight loss as a goal and I eat intuitively and exercise gently and I love and accept my body way more than I ever have in my entire life — even with all that, I still believe with all my heart that if I weighed 15 pounds less I’d be happier. I hate that thought still lives in my brain. I don’t act on it but it’s still definitely there.
Leave it to Jimmy Kimmel and late night TV to be the harbinger of the next big thing in dietary science. I mean, he is the guy famous for the “I ate all your Halloween candy” videos after all. So when I read a new study about gluten sensitivity (or lack thereof, as you shall soon see), the first thing I thought of was his “What is gluten anyhow?” sketch a couple weeks ago where he asked people on a gluten-free diet what it is they’re hiding from. Jimmy makes all the science fun: (click through to see video if it doesn’t show up in your reader)
“I live in LA, eating gluten is akin to satanism.” [Truest sciencey science ever]
Gluten is a combination of two proteins found wheat, barley and rye. You’ll never be dumb again. You’re welcome.
Do you think Angelina Jolie poops a lot? I don’t normally think of the toothy actress much but the past few days I’ve spent a lot of time wondering about her and her dietary habits, especially as I’ve been spending a lot of time on the potty thanks to her. Constipation is very rarely an issue for me and the past week it’s been really not an issue, if you know what I mean. The problem, as I’ve decided through the process of elimination (hahah!) and toilet-googling (don’t lie, you’ve done it!), is the hemp seeds. Or maybe the problem is I took food advice from a celebrity. Or maybe the problem is I took food advice from an “unnamed source close to the Jolie-Pitts” when I read a concern-trolly article about Angelina’s new-found devotion to ancient grains (aka the “birdseed diet”).
Don’t get mad at me, the scientists said it. (Plus, you know how I love a good pun!)
Eating animals has been one of the greatest existential problems of my life. Which either means I’ve had a pretty easy life or I’m prone to dramatics. Both? Seriously though, the decision whether or not to eat meat has caused me more agony than childbirth. Hahahaha no. Childbirth was like PTSD-level pain. But it’s definitely worse than watching all 27 (ish) seasons of Friends and being disappointed that Ross and Rachel ended up together. Or even that time I chopped jalapenos and then took my contacts out with my fingers.
Part of the problem is that it never quite seems resolved to me. I was a vegetarian for years, a vegan for a couple of years and then after getting pregnant and completely flunking out of veggie school (I made out with a Big Mac in my car), I gave it up for good. I was happy being vegetarian but I began having health problems (you can read all the gory details here if you like) and this see-sawing was a major cause of my orthorexia. I just decided that if any research said a food was bad then I wouldn’t eat it. Turns out there’s a lot of research. Which is how I ended up with five safe foods and not being able to eat anything else! When I started intuitive eating, I realized that body intuitively wanted to eat dead animal carcasses. There’s no pretty way to put it but there it is.
Snarky salespeople are also a great anti-depressant.
This poststarted out very different than it ended. I was all set to write another slightly heartbroken post about how my sad was making me sad and the sadness was unrelenting but then I realized – in the course of writing this out – that maybe that isn’t quite true anymore.
A month ago a friend (Hi, Angie!) started a 30-day healthy living challenge. Everyone paid $20 up front and then tallied up points over the course of the month for doing things like exercising, not eating sugar, getting at least seven hours of sleep, having dinner as a family etc. At the end of the month whoever has the most points wins the whole pot. You know the drill, I’m sure you’ve all seen a ton of these. And while I’ve done this type of thing in years past I’ve really lost any enthusiasm for them over the past couple of years, mostly because I’m super competitive and so I find food/exercise challenges can be very triggering.
Best kind of diet talk ever. 3-year-old gives himself a toilet pep talk and it is awesome. (click through to see video!)
Seven things you are never supposed to talk about in a social setting, according to a recent episode of This American Life on NPR: How you slept, your period, your health (beyond a quick, general description), your dreams (as in the nighttime variety), money, your route (i.e. how you got to the particular location you are at), and your diet. According to Maria Matthiessen – a rather stiff but nonetheless adorable matriarch of an older generation concerned about us young ‘uns and our atrocious manners – all of these topics are off limits not because they’re gross or inappropriate but rather because they’re boring. Except for money talk, which she specifies as crass, the other six topics are simply verboten because they make the subjects’ eyes glaze over. To make her point, she mentions dreams specifically, saying, “The dreams themselves were incredibly boring, unbearable if you had to listen to that over your breakfast table.”
Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast on an empty stomach and at night before sleeping, drink 1 Tbsp honey and 1 tsp cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. If taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.
Poor T-Rex! I’m so worried about him! Those shorty arms can’t be healthy!
I’m basically the most insecure person I know. That may be partly because I don’t live in other people’s heads and spend too much time in my own. Or it may be because I watched too much “Daria” when I was younger. But still. I’m always wondering if I’m measuring up to people’s expectations. Am I nice enough? Pretty enough? Kind enough? Thin enough? Smart enough? Funny enough? Enough for what, you may ask. Enough to be loved. And I don’t know whether to punctuate that last sentence with a duh or a sigh. You choose.
But! I’m doing a lot better with that than I used to – in the worst of my eating disorder I’d be so paralyzed by my fear of not being “enough” that I simply couldn’t get dressed. I’d have a teary breakdown nearly every morning. Everything I put on made me feel like a failure because it made me look “fat.” And, in my messed up brain, fat = failure. These days, while I still have a really hard time getting dressed, I’m able to see it for what it is and force myself out of my closet anyhow. I’m still insecure but at least I’m insecure and out of the house. And I even have days now where I look at myself and think “I’m awesome!” (My husband, however, still bears the scars from earlier days of being perpetually late to everything – now whenever I ask him how my outfit looks he immediately responds, “You look beautiful. DON’T CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES.” )
I hate diet pill ads. They are the worst of the worst when it comes to advertising. And yet I’ve also tried just about every diet pill on the market. (At one point. I haven’t taken any in over 4 years.) It’s so common sense that the ads are bogus, right? And yet they still sell like Doritos at a Dave Matthews concert. What gives? A) I’m a sucker. I love me a good testimonial from “Sheila E. – Tempe, AZ”! B) These ads are as seductive as they are slimy. Hello person in a doctor-looking lab coat! and C) I love a quick fix as much as the next girl. But over the years I’ve gotten a lot wiser thanks to experiencing every scary side effect possible (except death, by the grace of God) and being in the business long enough to see how the diet-advertising sausage gets made.
Picture a cozy scene, with mom and dad bracketing smiling children all seated neatly around the table, talking about our day and eating broccoli casserole with nary a complaint. Now smash that Rockwellian fantasy to bits because that is definitely not what happened at my house tonight. (Or really any other night). Tonight: My husband was out of town, two of my boys were seated on the floor in separate corners after brawling over an olive (“You’re going to act like animals? Then you can eat like animals.”), the third boy was under the table licking my sock (don’t ask) and Jelly Bean was whining about… well, I don’t really remember because I wasn’t listening to her. Mother of year, that’s me. But those weren’t even the real problems. No the real issue began with – what else? – what to eat.