Today’s Screw-Up: Unnecessary Food Restriction

(CW: diet)

Your mind can be your worst enemy sometimes.

My sole New Year’s Resolution for 2018 was not to enter restrictive diets solely for weight loss. I’d been having issues with yo-yo dieting for years, triggering vicious cycles triggered whenever I tried to get rid of something in my diet, be it bread, fish, whatever.

(I left the option open for calorie-tracking, since I don’t restrict certain foods when I do that, and my weight has been causing some health issues I need to keep track of.)

While my rational, conscious mind had no trouble keeping this, my subconscious was hard at work, looking for ways to find the One True Diet That Would Make Erik Sexy Again. (OTDTWMESA, if you will.)

Last week, it found a weak spot.

I’m a committed environmentalist. Hell, I majored in Environmental Studies at my awesome college; I recycle; I use silverware and glasses instead of buying disposable ware at home. As someone concerned with climate change, one thing that would make a big impact is if we humans collectively ate fewer animal products.

My subconscious latched onto this. “Modest reductions in meat consumption” became “gotta go vegan now!”

So for three days I ate an entirely plant-based diet, until yesterday when I had an enormous burger at Five Guys (truly the Costco of middle-tier burgers). Not sustainable, and not healthy. It turned an altruistic impulse into a way to punish myself, yet again.

Fuck food restrictions. Eat less meat if you want to reduce animal suffering and stop climate change, but if you want a burger, just eat a fucking burger.

One thought on “Today’s Screw-Up: Unnecessary Food Restriction

  1. Didn’t want to post this on FB, but I’ve had that issue, too. You might consult a nutritionist -a real hospital-affiliated one, not one who advertises. My doctor recommended one (can’t remember her name now) at the Florida Hospital in Wesley Chapel on BBD. Turned out, I had no physical food allergies and my body burns all calories the same regardless of source (some faster than others, sure — hence sugar cravings). But just plain counting calories worked for me and continues to. You can Google for the calorie count of just about any food at any restaurant, especially chains. If your body and mouth WANT a juicy burger and the Five Guys burger contains twice the number of calories you want to spend on it, eat half the burger and take the rest home to heat up the next day or split with Ollie over a few days. Oh, and the 4-oz Kiddie-size cup of Twistee-Treat (SE corner of Fletcher and DMH, among others) is quite satisfying at 220 calories – it’s got protein, so that and a small salad at home can be lunch. For environmental integrity, you can get a cone instead of a plastic cup, but not eating the wasted calories of the cone is hard! I take the cup & spoon home and recycle. I use My Fitness Pal (https://www.myfitnesspal.com/) to calorie-check everything; their app is easy and their database is exhaustive and easily searchable, producing manageable hit-lists. If you want to feel sexy, though, exercise is the key — releases endorphins so you feel soooo good! Oh, and Aspercreme works on achy muscles after a work-out (or, in my case, gardening). Rock on!

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