Tag Archives: diet

“Why are you so skinny?”

“Were you this big before?”

“Did you lose a few pounds?”

“Have you been eating a lot more?”

These types of questions, as harmless as they seem, are actually quite offensive to a lot of people. In fact I find any comment about someone else’s body quite rude. If you’re expressing concern, great. But there’s a much better way to approach the situation.

Body image is a sensitive topic and I’ve been wanting to address it for quite a while now, especially since so many people have such a negative view of their own. No one really likes people commenting on their body. I definitely don’t, even if they’re saying that I lost weight. That awakens my eating disorder and it becomes a downward spiral from there. I don’t like it when others comment on their own or other people’s body negatively. Maybe I’m just overly sensitive to these kinds of things but it makes me feel like the comments are indirectly pointed towards me.

Now that summer’s just around the corner, body shaming is at it’s peak. I constantly have to listen to and read about people degrading themselves because they don’t look “perfect” in a swimsuit. And I’m not just talking about women. But can you blame them? Look at all the headlines for magazines and commercials.

“Get your bikini body with five minute workouts and eating a thousand calories a day.”

“Check out which celebs are prepared for the summer and which… need to lose a bit of tummy.”

“Buy this possibly toxic product that unsourced doctors recommend and you’ll lose five pounds in five days.”

Okay, so they’re not exactly like that but that’s what I get out of them. The media does promote health but also only considers a certain body type as “attractive”, which of course promotes unhealthy body image.

And this brings me to the point of this unnecessarily long blurb: we all have different body types! Shocking, I know. We were born with a “set” weight that is considered “normal” for each and every one of us. If we eat regular, balanced meals, then we will be at the optimum weight we were meant to be in. Believe it or not, we are all actually born with a set amount of fat cells that remain constant throughout our lives.

Some people are naturally smaller than others, have a faster metabolism, or have more muscle. It all just has to do with genetics! But I’m not saying diet and exercise don’t count. If you’re not training to be an Olympic athlete or anything like that, the correct amount of both help you maintain your optimum weight. I know how difficult it is to accept. My dietician for my group at the hospital told us all about this last year but it’s still just sinking it.

We’re always going to face these types of comments, no matter how much we try to avoid them. For instance, it’s normal in my culture to point out someone’s weight so it’s inevitable for me. These days I’m still quite sensitive to any type of comment regarding my body but I’m working on it. So I caution you to choose your words wisely. You don’t know how someone is going to respond to a certain comment.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t allow others to make you feel insecure about yourself. No one has the right to do that to you.

Written by Deirdre. Originally posted on her personal blog.

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Crash Dieting: The Bad and The Worse

Written by Deirdre

If you type in the phrase “lose weight” in any search engine you’ll be presented with millions of articles. The most popular articles are the ones that use words like “fast” or “easy” in the title. By observation I can safely guess that the reason for this is that most people want instant gratification, which is completely normal. But when it comes to dieting, overnight results are nonexistent.

With that said, one of the most popular methods of weight loss is go on a crash diet. Crash diets are extreme in a sense that it involves severe caloric, and therefore nutritional, restriction.  I’m not a dietician but I have spent a considerable amount of time as an outpatient in an Eating Disorder Program. A dietician came in every day to help educate us on the widespread myths of crash dieting.

Simply put: they don’t work.

Yes, you will lose weight with one of these diets but you’ll just end up gaining it back, and sometimes a bit more. Completely depriving yourself of necessary nutrition will cause your body to go into starvation move so it will do everything it can to keep your next meal in your stomach, no matter how small it is. Not only that but you’ll eventually get so hungry that you’ll end up binge eating. And that’s where the weight comes back.

The sole purpose of crash diets are to help you lose weight quickly, in an unhealthy way might I add, but not to maintain it. That’s what you should strive for. Don’t just strive to lose weight; strive to maintain it. I mean what’s the point of losing weight when you’re just going to gain it all back anyway?

The other path to these types of diets leads to an eating disorder. For some, especially ones with obsessive personalities, it’s not just a diet; it becomes a way of life. Soon, the person won’t even know that hunger feels like because their body’s signals are completely off.

So instead of severely restricting your caloric intake for a short period of time make it a habit to eat consistent, balanced meals. Everyone’s body is different so a diet that works for one person may not work for another. Just try to get all of your daily nutrients. It will take a little longer to see results, but health is all about patience.

Compulsive Athleticism

Written by Deirdre

Not too long ago I wrote an article about dieting and the possible consequences of it. Like I mentioned it’s often, if not always, coupled with regular exercise. Well, just like dieting, exercising can get a little out of control. Yes, yes, exercise is wonderful. You feel healthier, happier, and motivated (I hope), but like everything else in this world too much of it can have the exact opposite effects.

Naturally, those who have an obsessive personality (ahem… like me) are more susceptible to exercise addiction. In a way, exercise can be like a drug: once you start, you feel the need to keep doing it.

For athletes, especially professional ones, exercise is a must. They have to build up their cardio, strength, and many other aspects of their body to become almost inhuman. Think of Michael Phelps… you know, some athlete who won a few Olympic medals. Around times of competition, he says he trains for five or six hours six days a week.

But one of his main tips for training is taking an adequate amount of time to rest and recover. The best way to benefit from heavy, intense training sessions is actually to recover from them. In fact, ask any athlete you know; they’ll tell you that recovery is just as important as conditioning. You won’t get anywhere if all you do is push yourself past the limit every single time you work out.

One without compulsive athleticism could work out just as much as one with the addiction, but it all just depends on how exercise is viewed. If you find yourself depending on exercise, making it your main priority, setting unrealistic goals, ignoring injuries and signs of fatigue, then you may have exercise addiction.

If you do find yourself or someone else with these symptoms, please don’t ignore them. Take my usual advice and go talk to someone about it because working out for hours every single day every single month can do quite a lot of damage to you, not just physically but socially and psychologically as well. You could damage your joints, end up neglect your relationships, or even develop depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder.

Shall I remind you of the times when I had the addiction? My depression got even worse, I developed an eating disorder, and I damaged a lot of relationships. I now also have bad knees and a bad back. I’m twenty and I’m basically like an old person… and not even the kind who scales Everest.

So just try to be mindful of yourself. Exercise is supposed to be beneficial and fun, not a detrimental obligation.

When Diets Become Destructive

Written by Deirdre

Along with exercise, diets are vital to losing weight and/or getting fit. I’m no dietician but that’s a bit of a given. However, there’s a fine line that separates healthy dieting and intake restriction. Crossing that line doesn’t seem like a big deal at first but eventually it will lead to unhealthier, or what I like to call self-destructive, habits.

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