Monday, March 22, 2010

My Friend Sindy's Strategy-Become an Expert

I have a friend Sindy and if you took one look at her (all maybe 90 pounds of her) you would never think that food was a big part of her life.  She's one of those women who can hold her entire weight on her two hands while bending in a contortionist kinda way during yoga class.  When I heard that she was particpating in a long-term detox/cleanse I was thinking to myself, "Really, can she even stand to lose an ounce?" 

Well, that was over a year ago and now it all makes perfect sense to me.  She doesn't stay trim and healthy by accident!  She works at it, each and every day in fact.  So much so that one could even consider her an expert in maintaining a healthy weight.  She's an avid reader of this blog, probably because she is always trying to learn even more about this subject and keep herself motivated.  And it has been pointed out to me before that one successful strategy to lose weight is to become an expert at it.  Well, Sindy's story confirms that to be true. Thanks for sharing your story Sindy!

Staying Fit and Healthy

I’ve always been thin; in fact as a kid I was so painfully skinny I sometimes went on “teids” (diet backwards) to try to put some meat on my scrawny bones. So I was quite surprised when in my early-mid 20’s, I developed a pretty significant eating disorder. “Binge eating” is what they call it today. I didn’t know what to call it – I just knew something was wrong with me. My relationship with food became totally unhealthy; I became obsessed with being super skinny; I alternately gorged myself on junk food and then ate incredibly restrictively and exercised like a fiend to undo the damage.

Fast-forward fifteen years or so, and I am really healthy, emotionally and physically. I don’t obsess like I used to (nor do I binge and then restrict/exercise like I used to). But food is a very important part of my life. I taught myself how to cook a few years ago, and view cooking and eating healthy as a way to nourish myself and my family. That is not to say I am issue-free (I mean, who is?). I suspect I will always bear some markings from my disordered eating past, but the psychic scars seem to fade with time and growth.

So what do I do these days? I’m kind of a “life long-learner” about food, diet and health. I love reading about health and nutrition and experimenting with different approaches. It’s been a few years since I ate any chicken or beef (not for weight control reasons), and at the moment I’m on an extended second date with veganism. I’ve flirted with it before, added back fish, taken it back out, played around with dairy. I hesitate to categorize myself, though, because I hope that if I feel like a nice piece of salmon one of these days, I’ll go ahead and indulge. Like Wendy’s friend Winnie, I’ve discovered that absolute rules about what I “should” and “should not” put in my mouth don’t work so well for me.

Exercise is a big part of my life. I run or practice yoga most days, and exerting myself physically does something for me mentally that I find incredibly grounding and soothing. If I miss a few days, I’m definitely off-kilter. So too with my healthy eating. I like a nice, rich dessert as much as the next guy, and every now and then I’ll partake. And as long as I haven’t eaten so much that I’m really, really full, I don’t give it much thought. I just know that come tomorrow, I’ll be back to my usual healthy ways.
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