The Way We Eat

Interesting article today called The Way We Eat Now. [via kottke]

I don’t know about you, but I know personally that I need to stop bullshitting myself. The western world needs to stop bullshitting itself. Think about how much eating has changed over the past couple of decades.  We have ever-increasing easy access to really crap food and so many of us are just scarfing it up. It’s not the way the human body was designed to live.

I think about how much things have changed even since I was a kid. Now there’s vending machines in the workplace, fast food joints galore, stores are open longer. When I grew up on our farm we did the grocery shop once a week and when that ran out, well, "have a apple, have a glass of water", said my mother. We didn’t run down the shops for a chocolate bar. A chocolate bar was a rare treat, yet I know people here at work who have one every day with their morning coffee, thanks to the handy vending machine. And this is after breakfast of a bacon and egg roll – the Hot Roll Man delivers fresh greasy rolls right to our office every morning. Or they snack on so-called healthy "cereal bars", 93% fat free but full of fructose and hydrogenated vegetable oil. For many people, overeating has become so ingrained in our culture and lifestyles we just think it’s the normal way to be.

But when you get down to it, I have a choice, and so do my colleagues. We’re middle class, reasonably educated folk who know enough and who can afford to eat healthily if we make an effort to make it part of our busy lives. What saddens me about the article is the correlation between income/education and obesity level. It’s far cheaper to feed a family on calorie-dense, highly refined foods, as opposed to fresh vegies, fruit, meat, fish. It’s certainly cheaper in the UK, I imagine it’s the same in the States.

The article goes on to talk about the effects of advertising help to create a bigger market that needs more crappy food to sustain itself. Think of the amount of money spend on food advertising compared to the paltry amount spent on nutrition education. How can it compete?

I think the article is informative and balanced, not the usual sensational bullshit you get on the obesity issue. But it just disturbs me, I am resisting the urge to rant on about it. I worry about the world, coz I only see this problem getting worse until we start tackling the issue in a serious, sensitive and intelligent manner.

. . .

My sister and I have put on a few pounds in the last couple of weeks, it’s that whole cycle I mentioned in my last entry. We received a box of clothes from our Mum last night. She’d done some shopping for us back in Oz. My stuff was all size 16 – the tops fit but the pants were too tight in the stomach area. I took off the pants and threw them to the ground and yelled, "WHY AM I SO BLOODY FAT!"

And my sister smiled replied, "Because you’re just like me. We eat too much crap and our gym attendance is patchy."

I just felt so bloody angry with myself coz I know I’ve been idly buying those bacon rolls and chocolate bars these past two weeks – I’ve been tired and busy and not at home so I didn’t prepare my usual healthy food. Instead I went for the easy-access crap just like in that article.

It just goes to show, it is hard work to be healthy. It a conscious decision that needs constant monitoring. We’re all so freaking busy these days but you have to find time to plan and purchase the right things – to have the fruit on your desk, the almonds in your drawer, the yoghurt in the fridge – so there’s no need to make bad choices.

. . .

When I got home from my two gym classes on Monday I was buzzing. I felt so happy, so motivated, so proud of my body. I felt like I could anything with my life. I wasn’t thinking of food. All I could think of was my next trip to the gym and what I’d do and how I’d push myself further.

It was a feeling of utter contentment and peace. To be honest, the only other time I feel like that is after a good round of bedroom gymnastics, I tell you. If I could hold on to that positive feeling and carry it with me throughout the day, I wouldn’t feel the need for chocolate or cheese sandwiches. I would be invincible.

So the solution is clear. More sex, more exercise.

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21 thoughts on “The Way We Eat

  1. You go girl…sounds like a great plan to me…those are the 2 best ways to be sweaty and dirty and feel great about it! Keep up the good work things will calm down eventually and you’ll start losing again…keep the faith and think those wonderful cloud-9 thoughts….

  2. “So the solution is clear. More sex, more exercise”
    I think that is going to be my motto from now on! It’s perfect! I think now all you have to do is write a weightloss book based on the concept and you’ll be a millionaire!

  3. I have the exact same feeling as I leave the gym, proud of myself, planning my next trip…but something happens overnight and I lose that feeling. I need to figure out a way to retain it! Glad to know others feel the same.

  4. Damn, I need sex! LOL.

    Great post again, we HAVE to make time for ourselves. My motto is if I can’t take 30min for myself daily, then there is definitely something wrong in my life. I got it from the BFL book I believe. Also, food choices aren’t easy…it takes work – something I’m still working at.

  5. As always, you are right. And that article was scaringly correct too! I think about things like this too. I have concluded that the big problem is that we have developed a very close relationship with our heads and brains, and have grown far apart from our bodies. We do not listen to our bodies the way poeple used to decades back. I used to not really remember how it is to be really hungry. Lately I am rediscovering the feeling. On the other side, I so well remember how it feels to be sickening overloaded with food. We all deal too much with our “head” issues and pay less to minimum attention to our bodies. And I don’t mean cleaning them, examining their proportions, hating their cellulite and the likes. I mean really listening to our bodies, being in close contact to them. Yet, they carry us around, even when we treat them with major disrespect. Yet they give us the signals: minor aches, tireness, you name it. I remember my grandmather, a strongly built woman who lived to be 93, saying that one day, our bodies will all decide to leave us, cos we aint worthy of them. “And I wanna see yer smart heads walking around by themselves!” She was referring to the way we destroy nature and the result it will have.
    Since November, I think, my husband and I decided to shop for meat, veggies and fruits in organic shops only. We all know what is happening in the cattle farms. We all know that we have made cows and chickens and pigs from vegeterian to carnivore. We know fruits and veggies are 35% antibiotics and chemicals. And we still buy them. And consume them. My friends tell me organic and bio products are too expensive. I tell them fine. Decide how you want to spend your money. In your food or in your future medication. I get angry with this stuff. I better stop here!

  6. Or, you can post a comment.. 5 calories..
    But sex sounds nice too.
    Your diary really inspires me, my weightloss are going on.. Slow, but steadily. Much thanks to you, and your amazing adventures! When i feel low, I just go back and read my favourite parts, again and again. You’ve come so far! Don’t give up now, girl!
    And as you said; just sex & exercise 🙂

  7. If the machines at the gym were actually men – i’d be riding for at least my 1hr a day no problem. if i could pedal myself to the big O – i’d be …
    neva mind – going to invent something. i’ll be right back.

    -Kim.

  8. Great article. It really is a struggle, when everything is so danged handy. We used to plan ahead for lunches because we’d starve if we didn’t, but now? We know the vend will fill in the gaps. 🙁 I get lazy that way sometimes, and get the “Sweet Mix” that has nuts, sunflowers, and little dark chocolate bits. It’s better than a Snickers bar, but not by much.

    I think that if we are going to change the obesity pandemic, it’s going to have to start with stuff like that, and the truth is — that ain’t never gonna happen. It’s too profitable.

    I’ve heard it said more than once that the discovery of the preservative and glue-like powers of palm oil was the beginning of the end for mankind.

  9. That article is great, the most comprehensive and non-sensationalist take I’ve read on the whole issue so far. I particularly like the emphasis on what our bodies evolved doing, and what we’re doing NOW.

    Was anyone else shocked by the comment about a bowl of cornflakes being just as much of a shock to the glycemic system as a bowl of sugar? Makes me want to live off roots and berries for a while…

    Now where did I leave my spear?

  10. I loved that article so much and in fact forwarded to all of my like-minded friends. Have you ever REALLY studied a food commercial aimed at kids–99% of the time the advertiser claims the item in question is “fun”. Fun food? FUN????
    How can that be? Oh yeah…let’s set these kids up so that they eat for fun, not fuel. Grrrrr.

  11. You rock. It IS all about the planning. At the very core of this eating well and exercising and getting enough sleep and all this health stuff is the simple truth that we must to plan to succeed. I’m trying to do this, but it sure is hard sometimes. The little things like getting to the grocery end up being big things when we don’t and eat junk as a replacement for the good stuff we would have purchased at the grocery.

  12. Are you coming to Helsinki, Finland, on your Scandinavia/Russia tour? If you want a “native” to show you around in Helsinki I’m happy to assist! I’m an active, 29-year old female working in travel business – please send me e-mail if wanna have a tour around my beautiful city 🙂 Let’s just hope the weather gets better until then, at the moment it’s +14 degrees celcius and raining… 😀

  13. I’m trying to eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods these days and I feel so much healthier. I think a lot of the reason more people don’t do that is because it isn’t as convenient. I have to spend more time in the kitchen and have to plan my meals instead of just grabbing something while I’m at work or out for the day. It’s definitely worth the change though!

  14. Dietgirl, dietgirl, where have you gone?
    Our blog-reading days have become a big yawn
    without your witty musings to pull us along.
    “Come back, come back,” your doting readers do fawn.

    (This reader promises the badly rhymed verse will never again be employed to elicit another entry but somehow felt compelled on this particularly slow work day. Apologies for the badly written pleas.)

  15. Hi Diet Girl.
    Am staying with a friend in Germany and not having you on my list here I typed yr name into google and came up with this.
    Crikey Moses, the journey is long but worthwhile, if it means anything ( which it may not) I think you look delicious in the last photo.
    A sweaty and hot Andrew who has just been for an hours early morning run through the streets of Berlin.
    And by the way. This is a wierd city…

  16. I think you are on your trip. Or else we would have heard from you, wouldn’t we? I hope it all goes wonderful, and you are back with stories and posts! I miss reading you you know!

  17. Indeed. Although I might have known you were away if I had had the wit to look at your comments earlier.

    Have fun!

  18. diet girl!
    Congrats on your amazing loss, or great gain.
    I’m very happy to have come to your web site and hope you can further inspire me. Till later!
    thanks! Kathy

  19. hey there

    Have finally finished reading all your archives and just wanted to say you’re a pretty inspiring clued up and funny chick. Well done on your weightloss. I started WW back in January and six months on finding I’m losing a little motivation. but keep flicking back to your journal and that keeps me going. Thanks!!

  20. hey there

    Have finally finished reading all your archives and just wanted to say you’re a pretty inspiring clued up and funny chick. Well done on your weightloss. I started WW back in January and six months on finding I’m losing a little motivation. but keep flicking back to your journal and that keeps me going. Thanks!!