Saturday, May 8, 2010

Epiphanys are cool

I've been pretty miffed, sad, confused, defeated, etc since the Whole9 thing. But today as I lay in bed waking up for the weekend (I sure do love to wake up with no scheduled activities - its so freeing), I got it.

I get it Melissa. I get what you are trying to tell me. You want me to break the cycle of mental cravings that are emotionally charged. Just like what you said, stop the cycle of crave sugar get sugar, crave sugar get sugar... I think you mean it is similar for the savory stuff.

Like last night, after a super great (non savory) dinner - pictured and yes I did it on purpose - I wanted a cup of coffee and a coconut lara bar. I'm still not sure if I was craving sugar or coconut - I love coconut. But I didn't eat it. I thought about it and thought about the fact that I wasn't hungry and didn't eat it. Is a lara bar "allowed" or more appropriately labeled "healthy", sure. But did I need to eat? Nope.

I get it.

The thing that brings me down again is the fact that food should taste good too and you should totally enjoy food. Its like that shirt that says God created beer because he loves us and wants us to be happy... or something to that affect. But is the point to try and stop eating the things that I like to eat even if they are insulin limiting and anti-inflammatory in nature? I really hope not, because that is what doesn't make sense to me. That is not something I could do long term.

For example, my lunch just about everyday is a big ass salad from the company caf consisting of greens (a shit-ton), grilled chicken, cukes, bell pepper, grapes, sunflower seeds and olive oil. It is tasty and satisfying and full of insulin limiting anti-inflammatory foods. But do I eliminate the grapes because they are sweet and add flavor to my salad and I WANT the grapes in my salad and the thought of ELIMINATING grapes makes me pretty sad?

I mean, this is really how I feel about all of the things I have created during my Whole30+. I think I have been creative and found things that taste good to me that are health promoting. Shouldn't that be the point? Maybe I'm supposed to balance this - tasty but notice cravings and try to break that pattern.

I know most people don't think about food this much, but most people didn't get to be close to 300lbs either. I just want to find something that is going to work for me long term. This blog kind of helps me flesh out my thoughts. And so I write about what I am feeling and it lets me move on.

Whew - this post is kind of heavy.


  1. Melinda,
    I am mad at those folks for getting in your head. The Whole9 folks have nothing good intentions, I'm sure. Their arguments are impassioned. But I think they are foolish to behave as if they know what is best for everyone. They do not.
    Phil and I were discussing the other day how people who seem the most sure of their opinions are often those who warrant the most skepticism. Folks who are so damn sure are pretending to someone – themselves or otherwise. I think the Whole9 crew, with all their circuit-riding zeal, have compromised some of their integrity in the pursuit of converts. And I understand why they feel their mission is so urgent... but knowledge is such a persnickety thing. In a field like nutrition, it is constantly revising itself. Because of this, Whole9's absolutism worries me.
    Bodies are highly individualized things. They are a history as well as an entity. You are the only expert of your physical being. Trust your assessments. As long as you are being honest (you are), and looking critically at what science has to say (you have), there is no reason that anyone else knows what is best for you any more than you do.
    I have a troubled relationship with food, as well, and I really wanted to believe that Whole9 had my best interests at heart. They sure wanted to seem like it. In reality, it's just about impossible to support my activities of choice using their strict guidelines. (Their response: find a new activity.) I'm pretty sure I sacrificed a race during my Whole30 as a result of piss-poor fueling. People have different needs based on activity, and different tolerances based on genetics and whatall else. So I've found that I can't really handle much dairy, but a few grains here and there are absolutely necessary for my function.
    People also have different stories. I have an awful sweet tooth. Because I know I don't have any problems with salt (i.e. there is no danger of me ever craving potato chips, ever...), I don't worry about waving the shaker over my eggs or having a smidgen of ketchup. I couldn't do the same with sugar. Sweetener in my morning coffee spells imminent fiending for Krispy Kreme.
    I know you are familiar with your own proclivities, as well. It's awesome that you're being so conscious. It's really brave of you to so publicly turn a critical eye inward. But remember that you're the biggest expert on yourself. Take the advice you need to find success and leave the rest behind. Enjoying food is part of the human experience. Just as deriving too much pleasure from food becomes a physical problem, treating it solely as fuel seems like a psychological problem. It may be good to know that such a life is possible, but for most of us, it's not a sustainable or particularly healthy attitude.
    Anyway. I think you're fantastic. In the words of the late, great John Wayne, “Don't let the bastards get you down!”

  2. Erin, thanks so very much for this thoughtful response. I just saw this comment and appreciate it. They did in fact, get in my head. I am sense recovering and finding my own path!