Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An un-diet revolution

I have been thinking about food a lot lately--or rather, my relationship with food. During my pregnancy, I've had to change my eating habits. I've been a lot more conscious about what I'm eating; trying to eat more protein, less sugar, more fruits and veggies, less "white" stuff. While all these changes have been positive, there is part of me that misses being able to eat what I want.

And the cravings? Out of control! I have had cravings in the past but nothing like this--it feels like PMS cravings every day. All someone has to do is mention the word "chocolate" or "ice cream" and it's all I can think about.

Luckily, I've been pretty moderate in my weight gain throughout my pregnancy. I can see how easy it would be to just say, "Oh forget it!" and gobble down any old thing, but I try hard not to do this. I grew up with a weight problem and I certainly know first hand how very, very hard it is to lose weight.

All of this brings me to a point (don't worry, I DO have a point!). It reminds me about the importance of non-dieting. Several years ago, after many, many failed attempts to get "control" of my weight, and fluctuating between losing and gaining over and over again, I decided that I'd had it. I read a book by Geneen Roth, started eating whatever I wanted whenever I was really hungry, and began to live in a whole new way.

That's not to say that my weight and body issues were cleared up overnight, but I see the reading of that first book as the beginning of a different way of life.

It seems that everywhere I go, every group of women I talk with, all have the same feelings about food. They feel out of control. Or they are very much in control, to the point where it takes over their whole life. Working out for several hours a day and obsessing about calories is just as unhealthy in my opinion, as being overweight.

Where does this obsession with food and our bodies come from? The media definitely plays a role. So did our parents and other family members during our formative years.

A few organizations are determined to put an end to the dieting obsession. Read about the organization Overcoming Overeating here. Find out more about learning to eat more intuitively here. I also came across this interesting looking book here.

Un-dieting or non-dieting should be explored much more in our American culture. Living isn't about deprivation or extravagance, but a fine balance between the two. And the freedom one can enjoy when not controlled by thoughts around food and appearance are just the tip of the ice burg.


Geminita said...

I totally agree with you on the un-dieting stuff! I really experienced a lot of the same feelings during my pregnancies. I didn't gain much weight, thank goodness, but it's been a long and weird road. Oh, and my Achilles heel is snack cakes. Sweet refined cream filled sugary cakes.

ChicChick said...

Yes, a "long, weird road" is a good way to describe it! Yum, snack cakes . . . See what I mean? All I need is to hear food words and it starts me thinking! :)