Friday, 21 October 2011

Dieting and me.

In my last post I mentioned that I have issues with reading about someone’s dieting in a place where I wouldn’t have necessarily thought it was related to the usual topic of the blog (such as fat fashion). I made this point because some of us are trying to find another way to live our lives as fat people without reference to the idea that this is something we should be attempting to change in a society where this seen as heresy.

This isn’t to say that I am anti-dieting per se. Some of my best friends are dieters and I spent the first 30 years of my life dieting (well from the age of around 7 onwards).

I just, at the moment, choose not to diet and am enjoying learning about an existence where fat can be a state of being as opposed to a state to be altered.

I come from a scientific background and so like to think that I have a reasonably logical take on things and don’t fall or, or converse in, hack science. When learning about fat and health I read medical papers on the topic. I attempt to weigh up the evidence. It’s not easy. There is the commonly held belief that being fat is bad for your health no matter what, and in all cases. There is growing research to show this is not always the situation. BUT I realise that in some cases there is clear evidence that weight can be related to, and in some cases cause, medical issues.

I also realise that while there can be contributing reasons for being fat such as genetics, underlying metabolic issues etc, for me at least my weight is to do with the amount I eat. If there are emotional reasons behind my reasons that I eat too much, ok, but it still comes down to calories in and out for me.

If I had any health issues that were related to me weight I would do something about it. No question. If there was even a hint that my weight or lifestyle in general would shorten my life I would do something to combat it. I don’t want to live forever, but I do want to spend as much time with my family as I can and see my little girl grow up.

My husband says that I am perhaps wrong in waiting for a health issue to arise before doing something about my weight, but there we disagree. He’s assuming that being fat WILL lead to health problems and I don’t agree. Not all fat people die of being fat alone.

I do agree that eating badly and not exercising is likely to lead to health issues, but I don’t think that means that you can’t eat well, exercise and be fat.

I don’t diet or try and lose weight at the moment because a lifetime of that has led me to being fatter than when I started and bringing only short term results at the cost of a lot of annoyance and pain. I’d rather take dieting out of the equation and instead focus on my health through choosing to take care in what I eat and enjoy moving my body because it makes me feel good as opposed to making me slimmer.

Many assume that if you are fat and you are not dieting then you are getting fatter. The opposite of dieting is often feasting and packing in the food as quick as you can before you have to diet again. This is why so many people get caught in the evil diet feast/famine cycle. I was there for many years.

But there is another way for me. It’s just trying to eat a balanced intake of food. All sorts of food, eaten to satisfy and strengthen. Not eating too little, or too much. Knowing that although you aren’t dieting and therefore could eat the entire king size block of chocolate, and eat another one tomorrow, you don’t want to. Because it won’t make you feel the way you want to feel. It’s about exercising because you like the way you feel during and afterwards, not because of the number of calories it will burn.

This is harder than dieting for me in some ways. My old feaster ways come out often. I order groceries online and add in cakes and snacks. A day later, they (mostly) come off the list again, although some remain for us as a family to enjoy

I’ve slowly stopped secret eating (that’s probably a blog post on its own). And I’ve learnt to love exercising for the joy of it alone.

Do I still eat crap food? Yes. I eat too much sweet stuff I know. The result of this is that for four years my (large) weight has remained constant, even though pregnancy. And normal blood pressure and sugar levels.

I feel good.  Fat, fit and fine even.

In conclusion we all have to do what is best for us.

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