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.
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.”
Mika Brzezinski did something very brave today. The MSNBC anchor took a picture of her scale and posted her weight – 135.9 – on Twitter. Caption: “My weight. One year ago today I was 118 and felt fat. I feel good about this actually ..#obsessed pic.twitter.com/fHx2mhM0BW” While I don’t normally advocate the sharing of weights in any forum other than a birthing room (and even then, only the baby’s!), this is a really big deal for her. For any of you who don’t know her story, she’s publicly battled eating disorders and has written extensively about her struggle with body dysmorphia, self image and depression – particularly poignant as she’s a public figure whose job arguably relies on her looks. In case you didn’t catch that, girlfriend gained 18 pounds and she feels better about herself now than when she was closer to the “ideal.” (Heavy on the air quotes, there.)
Well, Mika and I have something in common beyond the fact that we both wrote books about our struggles with exercise addiction that should be stocked in the “overshare” section of the bookstore. (What, that’s not a real classification? It should be!) I too have gained 18 pounds over the past year-ish.
Fact: 70-75% of how you experience flavor is due to your sense of smell.
Anecdote: A friend told me about a friend (isn’t this how all good anecdotes start?) who had lost his sense of smell in an accident and consequently lost 20 pounds easy-peasey because, in my friend’s words, “Everything pretty much tasted the same. Brownies tasted like whole wheat bread so why not just eat the bread then?”
At the time my eating disorder – one of several, is there such a thing as multiple personality disorder for EDs? – was in full swing and I fantasized about losing my sense of smell. Wouldn’t that be awesome?! I’d never have to struggle with my weight again! Of course I’d never be able to luxuriate in the smell of my baby’s hair fresh out of a bath or inhale a lilac so hard the petals shoot up my nose. And what’s Christmas without my homemade orange-cinnamon potpourri? Then I realized that while I really wouldn’t miss brownies much – they’re just kind of meh for me – I’d definitely miss being able to appreciate a fragrant curry or an almond sugar cookie.
This is indeed a real cookbook. I hereby invoke awesomesauce.
Advice columnists have a sweet gig. Basically they get to tell strangers how to run their lives without ever having to deal with the consequences. And yet, as I discovered during my senior year of my Psych degree, I am really really bad at giving advice. Seeing as I generally manage to make easy stuff look hard (Person: “How do you do it all?” Me: “Badly.”) I don’t know why I thought advising people would be any different. I can’t even run my own life with any degree of sanity. So I figured it was a cosmic candid camera when I got the following two e-mails from readers within just a couple of days of each other:
Reader Danielle wrote a comment on my Intuitive Eating Meets the Easter Bunny post asking:
“How do you deal with those who don’t understand your deire to choose healthy options and to eat intuitively ?I feel like”well meaning” friends/family put pressure on me to “pig out”. And I can’t tolerate it psychologically or physically. Help! I’m running out of polite ways of explaining my lifestyle!”