Dress Appropriately

A lot of salad dressings are terrible for you. They are made of processed horribleness that totally kill your whole “I’m healthy because I’m eating a salad” vibe. Dressings, particularly the ones that claim to be “fat free” or “sugar free,” are diet dream crushers, dressed from head to toe in a web of lies.

Like most things, if you can’t explain where it came from or how it was made, then you should probably avoid it. Modified ingredients that cause certain food items such as dressing to be “low fat” “low carb” or “no sugar added” make up for these losses with other items, not natural to your body. Your body reacts to these foreign ingredients in a number of ways, typically with effects the opposite of weight loss. When your body is distressed or confused, it typically likes to play it safe, and hoards sugars and fats, which are useful for survival. But when we are trying to lose weight, we want our bodies to be preppin’ for thriving, not surviving.

I get it though: plain salad can be kind of lame. But its easy to make a basic dressing and get creative with other flavors without having to worry about ingesting the scum of the universe atop your mixed greens.

Make your own dressing!

Mix:
1/4 C Olive Oil
1/4 C Agave
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
Mix with any dried spices (+salt and pepper) or add avocado, juice from berries, etc. to mix it up! You can also look into some Greek yogurt based dressings! Also delicious and with great health benefits!

So easy! Oh yeah!

Let me know what healthy dressing recipes you come up with to stay away from bottled dressings!

Later,

unnamed12.png

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.

And/or follow Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook

Advertisements

For All the H8ers

I’d like to do a quick “real talk” piece.

Picture1.png

For the past 2 years, I have worked immensely hard to undo the amount of weight I managed to put on by being careless with myself and my needs. Recently, I have been able to “normalize” my life for the most part but the first year was hardly an awesome time. I gave up my social life 100%, focusing entirely on my goal. When I wasn’t working, I was working out, planning my meals for the week or getting a healthy nights sleep. I wasn’t going out to eat or for drinks with friends, because that meant taking in calories and wasting valuable workout time which would set me back or delay my progress. For a 27 year old girl, this made me a true lame-ass.

During the course of that lame time, I lost 100 lbs. While I still feel I have a long road ahead of me in terms of toning up and getting in shape, I do commend myself as the loss of general mass is now behind me. I have been committed to working out, trying new exercises and eating right to be the healthiest and fittest version of myself. (Of course, there is now the occasional evening reserved for wine and Chinese food, too.)

Now, I get it, when you look at my before and after pictures (which I will save for another day) you will think: “Wow, she is completely different!” And thats a good thing! Thanks for thinking that! I DO feel completely different: I am mentally and physically improved! Hooray! Right? Yes! BUT! (and there is always a “but-clause” to good things, isn’t there?) I can’t tell you how many people have been throwing madd shade my way in the form of implications and quite obvious accusations that I am a success story because I used some kind of crutch or have developed some kind of eating disorder. Many have asked in an accusing tone: “What did you take or do to lose that? There is NO WAY you did that all THAT FAST through just diet and exercise.”

Now here’s the weird part: I actually did!

I eat when I am hungry, I don’t when I am not. I am thoughtful in what I choose to eat. I developed a healthy relationship with food. We like each other now, and help each other out. I am diligent in being active and challenging/pushing the limits of my body constantly, and therefore, constantly impressed with how strong my body can be if I allow it the opportunity to work for me. YET, in way too many casual chit-chat situations, people have made comments that throw me back to the horrific and awkward days of middle and high school: days I praised the higher powers that be that they were over with: days when peers would make comments, some more pronounced than others, about how I was about to purge my McNuggets. And simply put, purging a ‘nug just ain’t my thing.

I thought in adult life you get past these comments and judgements, but I guess not. I find myself cautiously eating my delightful cobb salad knowing that taking too few bites could lead them to believe I’m anorexic and taking too many bites means I am bulimic and plotting my direct route to the porcelain throne.

This is distressing. We are all adults here.

I remember reading an article about an interview with a Victorias Secret model during the Victorias Secret Fashion show this year. The reporter asked the model what food she is eager to gorge on once the show is over. Insulted, the model pointed out that she doesn’t live by starving herself only to binge eat later when she no longer has to look beautiful for an audience. It was powerful, as the reporter, a beautiful woman herself, probably realized that she also feels the pressure of having to be “on” all the time in her job and how invasive questions about each persons journey to achieve and maintain health and wellness can be pretty negative and, well, judg-ey.

So listen here, folks – here is my story and I am sticking to it: I launched into obesity, just so happened to notice it and ever since have been working my ass off to ensure I never slide into bad habits again. Maybe you feel you are complimenting me when you say I am “too thin” but as a 125 lb, female at 5’6″, I am not in the danger zone and you’re just making me feel weird.

Let’s reel this all in because you are probably now all like, “What the hell is she rambling on and on about?” Here’s the short answer: These comments hurt and they’re just terribly rude. I have far from taken the “easy way out.” And, rather than honor my work, or throw some positive vibes my way, I constantly encounter people who have has just a little too much hater-ade.

Relax everyone! We are all here to support each other and lift each other up – especially us women. Come on, we are better than that!

Lastly, if you do see someone who is actually struggling with an eating disorder, what good do comments do anyway? This is a person who really needs help and support, not comments. Comments is likely what got them to where they are in the first place. Realize that body image issues are real, everyone, even the fittest most beautiful woman in all the land feels self conscious at times. We need to respect each other and ourselves in order to success and promote the success of others.

Be kind everyone,

unnamed.png

PS – If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.

And/or follow Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook

 

Losing weight is hard. Maintaining it should not be.

People say that losing weight is easy, while maintaining weight loss is hard. Well, people say a lot of things. And since I’m a person, I’m going to say a thing also.

Losing weight is hard. Maintaining it should not be.  And if maintaining weight loss is hard, it probably means that you’re eating the wrong things.

Why is losing weight hard?

I can’t imagine how losing weight can be easy. I lost weight slowly over a period of two years. I had a goal in mind, and I never faltered. I’m still not 100% there, but I am closer every day.

And guess what. It was HARD as hell. It remains hard. Because in order to lose weight, no matter how you do it, you are starving in some sense. You need your body to use what it has by not giving it what it wants. And that’s hard.

Before your body starts losing weight, you need to burn through: 1) the glucose in your blood; 2) the glycogen in your muscles; and then and only then will it begin on fat reserves.

Sure, there are harder things than losing weight. And sure, there are things you can do to make it less hard. But it’s hard nonetheless, and I have no doubt that some days you will just want to give up.

Why Maintaining Weight Should Be Easy

How did you get heavy in the first place?

Chances are you ate too much crap. But that doesn’t mean it was entirely your fault. Yes, you made bad choices.  You probably either made:

  • very bad choices over a short period of time, OR
  • slightly bad choices over an extended period of time

But in any event, you were under the influence of the food industry, and also of silly FDA guidelines which don’t make much sense. You were getting unfit in an unfit world. And that’s OK.

Sure – it make sense, from the standpoint of biological fitness, for many of us to overeat when food is abundant. Who knows – you might even be genetically or culturally pre-disposed to this issue. And that sucks.

But pre-dispostion won’t keep a mindful and well-informed person fat. Because your fitness level is based more than anything on:

  • the foods you eat; AND
  • the habits you maintain.

The foods you eat are based on availability and your habits. And if you’ve been overweight, then the chances are the you probably formed some bad eating habits. And that’s OK. It’s hard to form fit habits in an unfit world.

But now that you’ve lost the weight, you’ve had the chance to build good habits! Or one would hope.

If you’ve truly build good habits – you can relax a little. All you need to do is maintain those good habits and you should maintain your loss. Of course old ways can come creeping back. So stay mindful.

But if you haven’t built good habits – you need to keep working. Not at losing weight, but at building those good habits. Because good habits are what you need to maintain your weight without suffering. Eating well needs to be your preference! And it can be.

FAQ’s

Are there factors other than good habits that might make maintenance hard? Sure. You might have sleeping issues, or hormonal issues. Or you might be largely sedentary due to a medical condition. But habits are important. You cannot stay fit without good habits.

Will your metabolism slow with age? Yes. You’ll need to make adjustments for all sorts of reasons: age, varying activity levels, etc. But now all you need to do is fill your body with good stuff, and you will stay at a healthy weight.

Take Notice

Maybe this all seems obvious, or easier said than done.

But it’s important to take notice of the power of habit. And it’s important for you to be able to look at yourself and figure out whether you’ve TRULY formed good habits – or whether, on the other hand, those habits are superficially or weakly engrained.

Because if you think maintaining your weight is hard, then it’s likely that your good habits aren’t strongly engrained in your mind.  In this case, it might be helpful for you to think about ways that you can further strengthen your habits. For more on habits, check out my post Why Emotional Eating is Actually Habitual Eating.

Until you ACTUALLY PREFER eating and living well, your weight might always be a struggle. So learning to hack that preference by delving into habit formation might just make your life awesome.

unspecified-7

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.
(We won’t spam you)

And/or keep in touch with Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook 🙂

Be a Robot/Fail Forward

Fotolia_100939028_XS.jpg

“Failure isn’t a badge of shame. It’s a rite of passage”

– Tony Hseih, co-founder Zappos

One hashtag I check regularly on the WordPress Reader is “diet.” I’ll usually find a variety of posts ranging from informational to motivational to interesting to just plain silly.

There’s one type of post I find EVERY time. I call it the “wah wah failure post.” It goes something like this:

“Dear Internet:

Wah wah wah. I’ve only been on my diet six days, and already I’ve caved and eaten seventeen hamburgers smothered in cheese, marshmallows, and gravy.

I knew from the beginning that I was a fat stupid failure, and now once again I’m reminded of what a stupid fat failure I am.

Well, I figure if I already ruined this diet, might as well enjoy the weekend. It is Easter after all! I guess I’ll  start again Monday.

It’s hard staying motivated with this slow metabolism. So unfair! Especially since my sister eats anything she wants and stays rail thin. #ughhhh”

 

Stop Expecting Not To Fail

Why do people expect that they will declare themselves on a diet, and from that day forward – they will never fail?

In the whole of human history, no person has ever achieved ANYTHING without failing at it first. And no, I’m not talking about large or notable accomplishments. I’m talking about the basics. For example, tying your shoe.

How many times did you mess up tying your shoe before you finally got it right? Three times? Seven times? One hundred and three times?

You failed a lot at first. And then you got a little better. But, although passable, your knot was still probably not great for some time. Finally, you became a shoe tying expert. And once you did – you forgot how hard it was to get there. And then some bastard came along and invented velcro shoes. You become a nihilist. After all, what’s the point?

Basically, we are born with three abilities: suckle, breathe, defecate. Everything else we need to learn.

Our bodies are basically sensors and processors. We act then measure then act then measure until we get an action down decently enough to call it “not a failure.”  And we still probably suck at it. We have to fail more and get even better.

And Yet…

And yet, when you go on a diet – you expect that you’re going to magically summon some untapped reserve of willpower and never fail.

The foolishness is TRIPLE here, because:

  1. If your willpower were excellent, you prrroooobably wouldn’t find yourself in this current predicament (not that I believe in willpower, see my post here); AND
  2. Your body doesn’t WANT to lose weight. It wants sweet sweet homeostasis.

When you tie your shoe, your shoe isn’t fighting you at every step. 

evil-shoe.jpg

Or is it? 

..But when you diet, your body IS fighting you. And it wants to win badly.

That’s because your poor hot body thinks it’s dying. And you’re the sick nut who’s killing it. “Why won’t you feed me?” asks your poor hot body. But it only hears its own echo.

When you fight your body, you’ll win sometimes. But you won’t win every time. No big deal. You don’t have to.

You just need to fail forward.

You ARE going to fail. You will. So you need to fail forward.

Failing forward means taking accountability for your failure. Which is VERY different from making yourself feel guilty about it.

Be an alien robot from another galaxy. Don’t color your failure with emotions that don’t serve you. Instead, examine your failure with the disinterested mind of a curious yet mechanical being, programmed by a wizard lightyears away in a galaxy called “Disintrestrex Four.”

What are the FACTS behind your failure? Separate them out from the story you weaved yourself.

Robots don’t care about stories. They have no idea about your childhood or your mean aunt Mae or your white privilege or all of those terrible things your third grade teacher said to you when you accidentally killed the class pet.

Robots only care about the root cause of  your malfunction. They need to compile an error report to send back to the mothership, and they don’t want your humanoid opinion. They want facts.

Why do you fail?

I never fail, because I’m an exemplary person. Wink wink.

..But if I ever WERE to fail (WINK WINK), it might be because: 

  • I didn’t get enough sleep
  • I ate a carby breakfast
  • I drank a tub full of alcohol
  • I kept tempting foods in the house (ahem…girl scout cookies)

Knowing this list keeps me in the habit of making good decisions. And that’s enough.

You don’t need to be an angel like me to look and feel hot as Satan himself. You just need to make a lot more good choices than bad ones.

So know yourself! And know thyself! Even if those both mean the same exact thing.

Know why you fail, and how you fail.
Know that it’s ALL YOUR FAULT. And yet, know also that you’re not at all to blame. Losing weight is hard! Food is good. And your body is fighting you.

Finally, fail forward!!! 

  • Leverage your failures to learn more about yourself.
  • Use this knowledge to improve and refine your efforts.

How can YOU use YOUR last “failure” to improve your odds of success?

unspecified-7

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.
(We won’t spam you)

We’d love to hear about your progress.
Keep in touch with Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook 🙂

It’s OK to be the Scumbag Friend

I am not much of a morning person. The way Garfield feels about Mondays is how I feel about every. single. morning.

Tragically, the hatred of the beauty of an early dewy morn means that people view you as a worthless, lazy piece of crap. In the eyes of most, I’m not much unlike the good-for-nothing teenage boy who leaves single, random used socks around the house and sleeps till noon. I would like to argue this point, however, because I do happen to hold down a stable job, I work real hard, I work out several times a week, I have an active social life and I, as far as I can tell, have (almost all of) my shit together.

When I do work out, it is always after work. Despite many pleas from my colleagues who far more enjoy the grating sound of an alarm impeding upon their wonderful dream-sesh while they lay around with no pants on in their comfortable-ass bed on a daily basis, I cannot concede to their demands to get up, go to the gym, work out, shower and THEN start my work day. Does it make you feel awesome all day to work out first thing in the morning? Sure. But sleep also makes me feel awesome.

FullSizeRender-2.jpg

Does this make you happier than back sweat in the morning?

 

If you are like me, let the haters hate cause working out post-work has it’s benefits:
  • You are much more likely to be able to use your own shower after you work out
  • If you forgot your deodorant pre-work-workout, your associates may #neverforget that you’re the stinky one
  • Going after work means you are less likely to just go home to sit on your ass, drink wine and watch nature documentaries on Netflix (who does that though?)
  • On that note, it removes idle time from your evening which is primetime for needless snacking
  • The likelihood of taking co-workers up on happy hour is lessened (provided you have awesome self-restraint like me)
  • Your muscles warm up as the day goes on, so you are actually much more flexible and less likely to hurt yourself
  • It’s a much more effective way to release the rage collected throughout your terribly stressful workday than committing heinous crimes such as property damage, libel or identity theft

I read something about accountability being more of a thing if you work out in the evening, as your friends are more likely to join you, pinning you down to the commitment. This is not true in my case, as I am the only scumbag of the people I know that is unwilling to accumulate sweat between my ass cheeks before I even have my morning coffee.

The sleep argument: Some say you are more likely to be something like an actual responsible adult and go to bed earlier if you know you have your work out at the (sweaty) ass-crack of dawn, however, after I work out, I am beat and just want to go home, shower and go to beddy-poo. So, I dunno about that one….

Some also argue that morning people are more consistent, but I have to disagree: when I am tired in the morning (which is usually), I am MUCH more likely to bail on a workout than I would after work when I’m already up, out and living my life.

Basically, as long as you stay committed to working out, whether you are a psycho who likes going in the morning or a normal, grounded person who likes going in the evening, you are doing awesome things!

You do you,

unnamed.png

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.

(We won’t spam you)

And/or follow Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook 🙂

There is No Such Thing as Emotional Eating

movie night

Hear ye! Hear ye!

I come bearing wonderful news.

What we call “emotional eating” – it doesn’t exist.  You actually just have terrible habits.

Who are YOU really?

A lump of clay? An eternal soul?
A child of God?
A descendant of Ancient Aliens????

I say you are a BRAIN. And maybe an alien also. I guess in some sense you’re a lump of clay too.

Whatever. But what you perceive, what you think, what you do – they are the all the same. They all originate in your brain, and they also shape your brain.

13949648

Your neuroses, your hangups. And yes – your eating disorder. These all happen to your brain. The people you love & hate. All of it, all of them – they only APPEAR to live in houses and apartments. Really, they live in neurons that fired together.

As Woody Allen once said, “the brain is my second favorite organ.” If I had a penis, I might agree. But since I have lesser genitals, my brain comes first.

Some small portion of my brain is conscious. That tiny portion wants to be dictator, and I don’t even know why.

But even though my conscious brain wants to be dictator, it can never be. It’s too small, and too powerless. The rest of my brain is less conscious, but quicker. It knows it can do better than “I” can do. It’s been around millions of years longer, long before I was a reptile-fish.

These “reptile-fish” parts, they are my instincts. On top of that, I have a bunch of “mammal parts” – my habits. They are stronger than my human parts. And the only way to control them is to help shape them. 

The Power of Habit

What is your brain?

Is our “life” the current? Or the synapse? Or the things on both sides of the synapse?

I don’t know. It seems though, that whatever it is – it learns.  In the evolutionary past,  we couldn’t survive if we didn’t create shortcuts. We had to learn by making conscious associations, and then, by repetition, our brain made those associations unconscious.

Thus, we became habit machines!
We became so good at it, that we lived to tell the tale.

One of my favorite books is called “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. You should give it a read. If you’re not familiar with this area, empower yourself.

Whatever you are –  you are a bundle of habits. Your brain only leaves precious few things to its limited conscious control.

So when you are eating emotionally, are you really eating emotionally? Or are you eating out of habit? I say, the latter. And I’ll tell you why it matters.

..Why it Matters

Many emotional eaters feel they need to address their emotional issues in order to stop their emotional eating.  But you’ll never address your emotional issues. You’ll always be fucked up. You have less than zero hope.

Does this sound cynical? Because it’s not. Be empowered. To me, this sounds like freedom.

I promise you this. You don’t need to address any issues in order to stop overeating. You need to address your habits.

You can be fucked up beyond belief, and still be a size 6. Or 8. Or 10. Here are just a few examples of people who are fucked up beyond belief:

  • every single size 6 on earth
  • every single size 8 on earth
  • every single size 22 on earth
  • every single nudist, nun, attorney and/or doctor on earth
  • me
  • you

If you’re fucked up, that only means you experience emotions. We all do that.

Of course there are extreme outliers. But 1/3 of the population having depression?? Give me a break.

Is a basic condition of being human really something you want to “fix”? 

Maybe you do. But in any event, you don’t NEED to fix your emotional issues to fix your over-eating.  Believe it or not, skinny people have emotions too.

Do Emotions Have Anything to Do With Your Eating?

Yes! They have everything to do with it.

Emotions trigger your habits, they help form your habits. The emotions you feel while doing an activity make certain habits “stickier” than others.

But you don’t eat because you’re emotional. You eat because of habit. 

Habits are all about triggers. And even if you *THINK* an emotion is the culprit, usually that emotion is brought on by some kind of environmental trigger.

Mindfulness versus Fixing Everything

Maybe you should try to deal with your issues. I don’t know.

I tend to think that things sort themselves out when you focus on them less, not more. The less neurons fire, the more their connections atrophy and die off. That’s just my approach. So go ahead: ignore your problems. Repression is kind of a  bullshit sham anyway.

Instead, be MINDFUL of your issues. Don’t try to fix them, just know what they are, know what your triggers are, and focus on a new behavior you can use to replace an old behavior:

Example:
Issue: I am fat and no one loves me because they are afraid I’ll eat them. When I sit on the couch and watch TV, I am reminded of my overwhelming size and sweatiness, and so I just eat more to cover my sad emotions.

  • Classic solution that is pointless: I’m going to talk to a therapist about how fat and sad I am. She will probably refer me to a psychiatrist who will diagnose me with depression. Instead of recommending exercise or more time outside, they’ll recommend a drug. The drug might work, or on the other hand, it might make me suicidal. I’ll probably end up even fatter.
  • Mindful Solution: I know that I FEEL fat and sad and that no one loves me. But I also know that plenty of fat people are loved, and that losing weight is possible, even if I haven’t done it yet. I know there is nothing INHERENTLY FAT about me. It’s only temporary. Every time I start to feel sad, I’ll go for a 20 minute walk, and see if I feel better. Even if I really really really don’t feel like walking.

What Happens When you Try The Mindful Solution?

You stop trying to fix things, which only reinforces their very existence.

Remember, the things you want to fix live in your brain! A brain that wires itself based solely on past experiences.

Instead, you focus on a concrete behavior that not only begins to REPLACE the prior bad habit,  but is also a small step towards your goal. This kills two fatty birds with one habit-stone.

Because of the power of habit, if you repeat a behavior enough times, you’ll begin to WANT to do the new behavior.

Your new behavior won’t ever completely replace your bad habits. They’re already wired, and may always lie dormant.

But your new behavior will make it MUCH easier. And it will change your brain for the better.

..all it takes is a little bit of repetition.

unspecified-7

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.
(We won’t spam you)

And/or follow Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook 🙂

On the New York Times, Children, & the Cost of Nutrition

Concerned Woman Looking At Pre Packaged Meat

I get very upset when I think about kids with poor nutrition.

Kids don’t make their own food choices, and it’s just not fair. Every child deserves the healthiest body he or she can possibly have. There is absolutely NO reason why we should be suffering an epidemic of excess. It is 100% unacceptable to allow our own idiocy to destroy the lives of children.

Expense is Not the Issue

A healthy diet is NOT necessarily more expensive than an unhealthy diet. Of course, there are many types of healthy diets, and many types of unhealthy diets. My definition of a healthy diet is one consisting of mostly veggies, which at the very least limits processed foods.

But earlier today I came across a NYT opinion piece that made an excellent point. The author raised the issue not only of the direct expenses of a healthy diet – but also of indirect costs which may be too heavy for poor families to bear.

Children are Picky Eaters

The author’s premise is this: many children are picky eaters.

In addition to the direct costs of a healthy diet, poor parents also have to bear the indirect costs of wasted food due to a child’s picky eating habits. If a child will eat chicken nuggets on the first or second time you try, but won’t eat cauliflower until the 10th attempt, then those 9 tries at cauliflower represent a wasted food expense that the family’s budget simply can’t absorb.

Here is a quote directly from the article:

 One mother strove to provide healthy food on a budget. She cooked rice and beans or pasta with bruised vegetables bought at a discount. These meals cost relatively little — if they’re eaten. But when her children rejected them, an affordable dish became a financial burden. Grudgingly, this mother resorted to the frozen burritos and chicken nuggets that her family preferred.

Isn’t there another way?

I appreciate the points the author makes.  In fact, I’m really glad she wrote this piece because it really made me think. But the question remains – do indirect costs associated with waste really prohibit healthy eating?

I don’t think so.

I really enjoyed the article. I read through it a few times. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder three points:

  1. Mom’s Plate. Why not start with highly palatable veggies from mom or dad’s plate? No waste necessary.
  2. The Beginnings. How do processed foods become a default in the home to begin with? Picky eaters at some point start from milk/formula. Why ever introduce anything other than healthy foods?
  3. Why not feed the child first? Anything the child doesn’t eat, mom or sibling can eat.

Mom’s Plate

Here are a few things that are cheap but highly palatable and healthy:

  • eggs
  • sweet potatoes
  • carrots
  • potatoes (prepared the right way)
  • brown rice (prepared the right way)
  • certain fruits (even better if in season)
  • seasonal veggies
  • cauliflower
  • corn
  • beans

All of these things can be eaten by mom or dad. So why not start by buying these foods for themselves, and then begining to offer them to the children?

If the kids don’t bite, no food is wasted.

The Beginnings

Kids start off with milk or formula. They then move on to mashed foods. At this point, food is wasted no matter what you give them. They are 2-3 years old.

When does the transition to processed/fried foods happen?

Why not completely avoid the introduction of processed foods into the children’s diet at a very young age?

Of course – once they try processed foods they will find it difficult to eat anything else. So why are we feeding kids things like processed cereals, which affect their tastebuds?  Why on earth do parents give their kids juice and chemical filled apple sauce? How is THAT not a waste of money?

How did processed foods become society’s default anyway?

Your children are the products of evolution. Sure, there are extreme cases of pickiness that might lead to serious nutritional deficiencies. But it just isn’t feasible that children will regularly starve themselves to death because you didn’t give them chicken nuggets.

We have only had processed foods for less than 100 years. We have had human children for at least 40,000 years.  How could it be that in the greatest time of abundance in all of human history, the only thing your children can survive on is crap?

There are societies that don’t have chicken nuggets. The children have milk when they’re young, and then eat what their parents eat. There isn’t anything else. So just don’t let there be anything else.

Why not feed the child first? 

This, to me, seems like the most obvious solution. Feed the child first, then eat. If the kid won’t eat the food, you eat it. And maybe I’m a future tiger mom, but I might let the child go hungry for a meal or two.

 If they were truly hungry, they could eat the sweet potato.

In Sum

I appreciate the point the author makes. She is reasoned. She makes good suggestions.

And I do think that when we consider big issues affecting society, we should try to consider them  as they truly are. The cost of food waste is a real consideration, and it deserves our attention.

But I don’t think it is prohibitive. It seems clear that there are ways out.

This is not to blame the parents.

It is not their fault. Our society has a messed up notion of health. It’s due in large part to amoral food peddlers, and also to the FDA.  Plus there’s more we can do, like improve the quality of school lunches, and perhaps work to increase SNAP benefits.

But on the other hand – let’s not take the ability to fix this out of parent’s hands. Sure, it may be more difficult for poor parents to provide their children with nutritious foods, but many manage to do it. This isn’t about blame, it’s about correcting the problem.

Let’s not forget what we are talking about here. We are talking about the most important thing in the world: improving health outcomes for children. If it’s doable, then it’s worth doing. Most parents want the best for their children. So let’s not fill the world with unsound notions about the cost of good health. There is no reason why eating healthy foods should cost you any more than eating an unhealthy diet. It just doesn’t. It costs you less.

I don’t have children, so I can only speak from my own experience as a very heavy young picky eater.

I loved food. And I find it highly unlikely that I would have starved myself to death if I didn’t get my sugar laden applesauce. I only wish that the veggies were pushed harder.

Share Your Thoughts?

I think this topic is important.

Give the NYT piece a read, and let me know what you think.

unspecified-7

If you love Fat Girls Fitness, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.
(We won’t spam you)

And/or follow Fat Girls Fitness on Facebook 🙂