For Shame

Can I talk about this for a second?

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This is a bunch of BS. It insinuates that this will fix your problems. The kind of education people receive tells them that 1) eating these is why you’re fat (read “not an ideal body type”) and 2) stopping eating these for less than a month will make you not fat.

I eat these things less than a few times a month and have gone months without eating these things. I enjoy eating chocolate and ice cream, but I don’t do it often. According to this limited view, I should be skinny. I’m not.

Now let’s talk about why I’m not skinny and what this “life hack” is missing in its claims.

While I don’t regularly eat from this list, I do eat and have a bad habit of over-eating. Even when I do track my eating habits, I still tend to over-eat because I enjoy eating and my body produces happy chemicals that lead my body to want to continue eating.

There are other things you can eat that are unhealthy. Too much of ANY food can be unhealthy in one way or another. I remember hearing about a study saying that you can survive off of a diet of potatoes and butter. This is a true statement. However, the quality of life is rarely cited. You can also survive a month on nothing but beer, but that’s not good, either. It’s entirely about finding a dietary balance that promotes a healthy, quality lifestyle.

How many calories you burn is also a driving factor. How much food I eat wouldn’t be as big of an issue if I spent more time exercising and moving. Both cardio and strength training can offset the caloric intake. Depending on the kinds of training, more carbs, fats, and sugars might be useful for performance.

Genetics also play an important role. The way that my body is made up, I have a slower metabolism. I also gain weight faster in certain areas than others (for me, it’s hips and thighs) and I retain weight in certain areas more than others. When I do get a lot of exercise, I see the results in my calves, forearms, and chest first. Everything else is slow progress.

Water intake. I drink a lot more water than the average person, but based on my weight and activity, I should be drinking about 13 cups of water a day. Water helps flush out your system and keeps you healthy. It also replenishes the structural make up of your brain (which can literally shrink if dehydrated).

Environment. Certain environmental factors play a part. I’m not too knowledgeable in this area  but I know that the air quality in my home town was much better and the reduced pollution did make a difference in my body’s chemical reactions.

Stress. This one is huge for me. As someone with depression and anxiety, I often have a lot more stress than I can work through. This affects every other point mentioned, from how much I eat to how often I exercise to what genetics are activated from my stress hormones.

So, in summary, yeah, it’s probably good to eat less candy and cake, but in my experience, that alone won’t make much of a difference in your life. It’s actively changing multiple areas of your life that will. Even then, you’ll notice that there are things that you don’t have control over. At all. Focus on your health, but let yourself be happy, even if that means sometimes eating a burger (just make sure to keep the balance). Take care of you, however that looks.

As for things that I can control. I’ve been super bummed out for not having been able to run for a while. Well, I’m happy to say that I went for a run today! It made me feel a lot better to be able to go do that, since it’s something I enjoy and helps my brain chemistry. here’s a little picture with a sort-of-selfie:

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