Hello and welcome! First, I’ll update you on workouts and stuff from yesterday, but then I’m going to give you some insight into a really interesting keynote speech given here at Virginia Tech by Dr. Amanda Mellowspring about the body’s relationship with food.
Yesterday was Rip’t Circuit (AGAIN), and Sylvia and I were both like, ‘Dear goodness, I am so sick of this workout.’ I know this is mostly due to the fact that we did it 3 times last week, but we still sucked it up, and decided to add a change by upping the weight in some of the strength workouts. At Bantam Balance‘s suggestion, I upped the weight to 10 lbs weights instead of 8 for the bicep moves and the lunges section. I also upped the weight for the lawnmower section, but I kept it low for everything else because I’m not quite ready yet. I think that I’ll try to up the weights for the other moves next week after a round of upper focus on Friday 🙂 Weights aside, though, I really pushed myself yesterday, and I did great! I’m pretty proud of myself 😀
So, this week is ‘Body Matters’ week here at VT, and they’re offering lots of workshops on health and fitness all week. I saw the lecture, which talked about our relationship with food, and it sounded really interesting, so Sylvia and I went.
Let me just preface this by saying, that I almost completely forgot to go to the lecture at 7, but my calendar on my phone went off at 6:15 to remind me. Sylvia hadn’t started making dinner yet (goat cheese veggie pizza), so she rushed and got the pizza done at 6:36. We were trying the Stonefire pizza crust for the first time, and let me just say, one half of those crusts is a TON of pizza. Now, we both practically inhaled our pizza and were out the door at 6:44. I’ll go back to this later.
Dr. Mellowspring specializes in eating disorders, and helping patients with them to accept their bodies. She talked about how female bodies are portrayed in the media (as well as male). The average woman’s body is a size 12, and plus size models are often somewhere between a size 6 and 12. She went on to describe that whether your skinny or not skinny, there will always be positive and negative adjectives associated with you. For example, if you are thin, you’re associated with beauty, confidence, and aspiration, but you are also associated with vanity, bitchiness, and meanness. On the other side of the coin, larger women are associated with giving, generosity, and niceness, but they’re also associated with laziness and lacking self control. For this reason, YOU have to be the one to accept your body and know that it doesn’t define you.
One interesting topic she described was the concept of food emotions, or why we eat certain things when we eat them. It was something that never really occurred to me as a concept, and she described it brilliantly. Think about Thanksgiving. Why do we eat on Thanksgiving? Are we eating to nourish ourselves, or are we eating to share a meal with loved ones we don’t get to see often?
Another great example is birthday cake. No nutritionist has ever seriously said, “I felt like I needed some more carbs in my diet, so I decided to eat birthday cake.” Birthday cake is simply a feel good food that is associated with happy memories, and THAT is why we eat it!
She then went on to describe something called ‘mindfulness’ which she briefly defined as the awareness of one’s surroundings without judgement or obsession. Then she went on to describe a health scenario: your roommate baked vanilla cupcakes with strawberries in them.
One thing that can happen to you is that you can become obsessive over the cupcake. You can start thinking “how could she bake cupcakes when she KNOWS I’m going to HAVE to eat one and kill my diet. I’m going to have to run harder on the treadmill if I eat this.” The next thing you know, you grab a cupcake, and while your having this inner monologue, you wolf it down and your plate is now empty. Now you think, “I didn’t even enjoy that cupcake! I’m going to have to eat another one now! My diet is ruined!” And then, you’re spiraling, and you’re not happy with yourself.
Now, you could do that, or, as you grab a cupcake and sit down with it, make an experience of it. Think “I really like how my roommate decorated these, they look really nice! The frosting is really great, not too sweet! I really like the texture of this cupcake!” Everything doesn’t have to be positive either, like you can think, “This strawberry is kind of tart and doesn’t taste as good as it could have,” as long as it is fleeting. Sit down, in silence, and EAT while you EAT. If you’re mindful of what you’re eating, you’ll feel much more satisfied and in control of what you eat!
Dr. Mellowspring went on to emphasize that if you’re trying to eat healthy, the key is not cutting foods that you love from your diet entirely (because that leads to binging!), but to allow yourself time to indulge in reasonable portions!
Sylvia and I left the lecture with lots of food for though (oh ho ho, I’m hilarious). Overall, I feel like we’re doing really good, and not obsessing over food other than to make sure that we’re eating ENOUGH. We’ve restricted our diets enough that our stomachs are smaller, and we feel more full with the healthier foods that we eat. We’ve even mastered the indulgence, because one of my favorite things to eat on Saturday morning is whole grain pancakes drenched in syrup. But when we eat pancakes, we really enjoy them, and then I don’t want them all week!
But we also saw a lot of areas that we could improve in. We’re not going to throw out our new healthy eating habits, but we should also try to not sweat indulgences anymore. Sylvia and I had been avoiding food that was ‘bad’ because we didn’t need it, and cutting it out of our diets. We used to go to one another and say something to the effect of ‘I was bad and had a small packet of peanut M&Ms,’ which, in actuality, as far as candy goes, is not that bad at all (nuts!). So, we’re going to try to phrase our indulgences by saying ‘I treated myself to M&Ms today. They were really good!’ I know that they say you should never treat yourself with food while on a diet, but those are diets that are restrictive of your food intake, which would be thrown off entirely by an indulgence in a sweet or fatty food. If you’re just trying to get HEALTHY by eating enough healthy food to meet your needs and exercising regularly, that little packet of M&Ms or that cupcake is really not going to matter in the grand scheme of things, but it will remind you of why you love food and reward you for your hard work 🙂
I found this lecture very interesting, and I’m really glad that I went! Hopefully, it gave you something to think about when it comes to your diet, and, as always, I hope you have a great day! Stay healthy, friends!