Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mirror, Mirror on the wall.

I have two 65watt light bulbs that bright up my room and mirror. I realize that everyday I like to strike a brief pose in my underwear in front of my mirror in my room. Sometimes the pose is dependent on what muscle I worked out that day. Flexing my abs, arms lifted in gladiator pose, backside to the mirror... But sometimes I will do a little sexy pose for myself. I do this mostly as a confidence boost, because as I gaze in the mirror and am checking myself out, I make eye contact with myself, and think you're looking pretty good. "How you doin?" from Joey Tribbiani pops into my head.

However, this was not the same feeling I experienced while searching for jeans last week in a Nordstrom department store. As I am sure you have heard... Nordstrom is having their anniversary sale. I haven't gotten myself a new pair of jeans in over six months, and I had a gift card, so I figured nothing feels as good as finding those perfect jeans. And what a good way to reward myself, since I have been challenging my body lately by trying to perfect my eating habits. As I look around, there isn't much on sale for me, so I grab a pair of Joe's jeans, and then grab the next size up, just in case. This has become a new habit of mine to avoid the walk of shame... back to the jean rack to grab more after the first ones don't give.

In the fitting room, I try on the first pair... which is supposed to be my size, and the denim doesn't even make it halfway up my thigh. I rip them off, and grab the larger pair, and give a long sigh. I think, well at least if they fit and look good, the number doesn't matter. Slowly I pull the one pant leg up, this time it makes it 3/4's the way up my thigh... okay, I'll see if I can fit both legs in and pull them up, stops at the same spot. This is the point when I actually look at myself in the fitting room mirror. I hate what I see looking back at me in the blazing fluorescent light. A tight pair of denim squeezing my American thighs, and not even reaching up to my ass. Hastily, the jeans come off. And I stand there looking at myself in the fitting room mirror. Why do I all of the sudden look so pasty, every dimple in my legs are visible, I turn around to get a look at my backside hanging out of my panties... I am not impressed with what I see this time. I stare for a couple of minutes longer, and finally put back on my clothes. Holding the two pairs of jeans in my hand, I think "If only my body would fit into them, I would feel so much better about myself."

Then as I am leaving the store I realize,

its not my body that didn't fit those jeans, those jeans didn't fit my body!

Searching for a good pair of jeans is harder for me than climbing a mountain! It can feel like a such a trek, and halfway through I always want to give up and turn back. I know there are certain brands that are supposed to flatter pear shaped girls, but even so, it's not always a guarantee. Gap's curvy section is always a good bet, Lucky's can have a few cuts, True Religion are reliable, and I thought Joe's jeans as well (but lately, they have been making mostly long and lean or cigarette cuts). I will have to work up the courage to continue my search for a new pair. In reality it's mostly a vanity issue, I don't need new jeans right now, instead I was hoping to find a new pair to make me look as bangin' as I was feeling with my progress lately.

If anything this experience will only keep me on track to reach my health goals and stay in shape. Finding the perfect pair of jeans that fit my legs, ass, and waist will have to stay on the wayside, until jean lines decide to keep up with me!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Get in my belly!

The word Diet has been getting a bad reputation in last couple of decades. The word originally and should still be used as a way to describe one's eating habits and regular food lifestyle. However, now the word is used to describe a deprivation meal plan that one embarks on in order to loose weight, and can cause fear and hate in many. There are so many "Diet" plans out there that guarantee people to loose weight. Atkins, South Beach, Mediterranean, Zone, Jenny Craig, No sugar, 5-day Meal plan, Low-fat, Fat Free, and those are only the diets I can name off the top of my head!

The truth is the longer society engages in these diets, the more obese and unhealthy society becomes. The more processed food becomes to be low-fat or fat free, the more chemicals are put in to still make it flavorful. Recently, I learned a lot of hard facts about Splenda, first, it's an irritant to the human bladder (this one I learned the tough way and from my doctor), which is probably caused by its chemical ingredients which include Chlorine! Finding this out was a shock for me, since I was using it and consuming products with its logo slapped on the front on a daily basis. I can't imagine what the future repercussions would be if I was already facing side effects from consumption.

I think its time to realize that as natural beings we need to get back to eating and drinking natural foods. For hundreds of years food from the Earth was all our body knew how to digest and now in the last 60 years food companies are causing the change. After reading Michael Pollan's book "Food Rules" (his other more indepth books are in my reading list), I know there are easy ways to cut the crap out of my food. The rules are extremely basic, and were actually submitted by some of his readers. One rule I really try to follow is "Don't eat food products that contain more than 5 ingredients." Luckily for me, store-bought tortilla chips barely makes the cut!

I made my own rule that applies to even more food products:

Don't eat anything that has ingredients that you couldn't find in a household kitchen.

This rule makes it easy to go grocery shopping, because if I haven't heard of one of the ingredients on the package, chances are its not NATURAL!

The easiest way to make sure the food I am eating is natural is to cook and eat mostly from home. And a year ago I quit shopping at Supermarkets, because grocery shopping for just myself could take up to an hour, since I was reading all the labels of everything I was buying to make sure it didn't have unwanted ingredients. Now I do my staple shopping at Trader Joe's and local Farmer's Markets, and I hardly have to think about what I put in my basket. I am still a work in progress though, I know I can be getting my diet from better sources, but this fits my budget now.

I think with any diet, like my natural food diet, its easy to slip up, especially in a world of processed foods. Yet now that I have changed my habits, when I slip up I can actually feel how hard it is for my body to process the junk I eat and leaves me laying on my stomach for an hour.

I am not necessarily advocating that organic "USDA" produce and products are the only way to go either, but at least being conscious of the chemicals that are in products that you wouldn't expect will help to be healthy in general.

Nothing is more natural than produce that is dug from the earth or picked off trees or vines.

Natural eating = Healthy Living

Friday, July 9, 2010

You are what you eat!

Those are some sweet buns.

"You are what you eat"
If that saying was really true you think I would be as sweet and dark as the chocolate I like to eat...

The last couple of weeks I have been spending my time trying to develop an in-depth posting based on the metabolism, how it works and how to make it work right for our bodies. Biologically the body is designed to recognize food as an energy source. But after doing research I have come to the understanding that over the last 100 years people have developed a more emotional relationship with food. So I thought I would focus this blog on how to think about food more holistically and to eat according to our bodies needs and not on emotional desires.

About a month ago my sister and I were having a conversation on food and she brought up the idea of comfort food, and how when people are upset, stressed, depressed, and even happy that they will eat a food that they know will bring them satisfaction and well-being. She instantly knew what her comfort foods were, Mac N'Cheese and Pizza, and pressed me to know what mine was. At the time I literally could not think of a single food item that I could consistently turn to for comfort. My sister couldn't believe it, and then finally after a couple weeks of thinking on it I came to the realization that my comfort food was soup. For me soup always has a nostalgic feeling because as kid my mom would always prepare canned soup and grilled cheese after a long, tiring day. Even as I got older it was always a treat when we visited San Francisco to get clam chowder in a bread bowl.

However, people's relationship with food can lead to eating disorders on both sides of the spectrum. For instance someone with anorexia has as much as an emotional relationship with food as a compulsive eater. Both individuals don't eat based on their bodies needs. Furthermore, now in food processing chemicals are added to packaged foods to enhance flavor, yet have side affects that block our bodies natural hormonal system telling us we are full. (Such as high fructose corn syrup, MSG)

Which got me thinking on the question, do we know the true feeling of hunger?
Do we eat based off physical or emotional hunger?

A book by Geneen Roth, "Women Food and God" outlines basic rules to eat by:

1. Eat when you are hungry.
2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment.
3. Eat without distractions.
4. Eat what your body wants.
5. Eat until you're satisfied.
6. Eat in full view of others.
7. Eat with enjoyment.

These are pretty basic rules, but are really the fundamentals to not only eating right, but living healthy.

For me #5 is the hardest rule to live by, Eat until your satisfied, because I secretly like the feeling of being full, but hate being stuffed. I still go to buffets and get one plate too many. Most of the time, when I get hungry, I am already HUNGRY!(panic) and want to eat everything in sight to make that terrible feeling go away. So in order to really think about this rule I eat slow and try to take longer to eat than the time it took prepare that meal. The best way really is to finish a bite and swallow before I even stab my fork into the next one.

I think the best way to eat holistically and healthy is to detach our thoughts about food and instead listen to the body's needs.

I want to hear back! I want to know how other people feel about food. I don't have a strong emotional relationship with it, so tell me which of those guidelines would be the hardest to follow.