I often hear people talking about diet who still have this notion that diet is about being hungry and eating boring foods, but also about deprivation. In a way, it is deprivation; you’re depriving yourself of unhealthy foods. But so many people look at this deprivation as something negative as if restricting the intake of harmful foods is a bad thing and it also suggests that junk food and rewarding ourselves in this way is something we’re entitled to. Well, we’re not entitled to that but this is part of the general public’s mentality.
I’m not saying that I never thought like that at one point, because a long time ago I did. I was of the mindset that treats like cake, pizza, ice cream, french fries, fast food, was ‘good’ and eating healthy was ‘bad’ because it wasn’t any fun. I learnt long ago that i was wrong and that healthy food is good and cutting out bad foods is not deprivation, but doing myself a favour (that’s also not to say that i’ve always followed these principles as I’ve been a yo yo dieter for a long time, off and on). I’m not passing judgement on anyone who thinks this way, because we have been programmed to think that junk food is a right and not a privilege.
We are consuming insane amounts of sugar. Hundreds of years ago, it was not even part of the diet in the Western world and when it was first introduced it was a luxury. I saw an interesting programme called Hidden Killers in the Tudor Home (it’s part of a series, there”s one for Edwardian home and Victorian home as well) which included a bit about sugar. During the Renaissance, sugar consumption became much more widespread and people’s health and teeth began to suffer. In the programme they examined a medieval skull and the teeth were healthy, white and all intact. We often see this comical stereotype of the Medeival peasant who is filthy with nasty teeth. But, it wasn’t until the Renaissance that people’s teeth began to suffer. The skull from the Tudor period that they examined had several teeth missing and several more in terrible states of decay.
Yes, sugary sweet things taste good. I love the taste of sweets. But, by paying attention to my body and my health I have realised that it really affects my health and my body negatively. Cutting refined sugar from my diet is not depriving myself of delicious foods (okay they are delicious) but doing myself a favour. Sugar may taste good, but in excess it’s toxic for me.
A few years ago a friend of a friend visited this city and I was volunteered as a tour guide. One of the women in their group was quite overweight and could not really walk much so she spent most of the afternoon sitting in a cafe instead of sightseeing and waiting for us to come and get her hours later. We went for lunch (she chose hardrock cafe because when you visit a foreign country that’s where you should eat, right? ;)) and I watched her order ice tea after ice tea, and chow down on fried food served in huge portions and listened to her say things like ‘well i don’t want to deprive myself. I want to enjoy my life and eat what i want’. I stayed silent but really wanted to ask her if she was in fact enjoying life when she couldn’t even go sightseeing and spent her vacation sitting in a cafe waiting while the others went off exploring (on her first time out of her native country). I say all of this, not in a malicious or self-righteous way, but that was one of those moments that made me realise just how unhealthy we generally are as a society and we’ve been programmed in such a bad way.
Now i’m not taking a holier-than-thou attitude, don’t get me wrong. People are free to eat however they please and lead the lifestyle that they want. Also, sugar affects people differently and they may not experience the bad effects that I do. But, it’s just crazy how much sugar has become part of our food culture and lifestyle and that we are taught to think that making healthy choices and changes is a form of deprivation.
Went to the gym today for spinning class. I had about half an hour before class so I did some weights. I didn’t have a pen and paper to record it, but i did some cable rows, cable push downs, shoulder press (machine), abductor and adductor and some crunches. I took it easy and didn’t use crazy weight but enough to feel some burn. I haven’t been to spinning in about a month and a half and I found it quite challenging today. I didn’t go home straight away after class, i stopped by a concert then the supermarket and on the way home I started to feel weird. Kind of like that tired after swimming but not good. Maybe it was because i chugged my protein shake after the workout. I just felt so exhausted all of a sudden. After a shower i felt a bit better, and then i ate something and felt even better. I hope this means I”ll sleep well tonight!
I’m still not hitting my macros. My protein and fat is always under and my carbs are over. I’m not really eating starchy carbs, it’s mainly just from vegetables but I’m still going over. So, does that mean I need to cut vegetables? That doesn’t seem right. I don’t know what else to do to get enough fat and protein. I’m eating a lot and I don’t want to eat more than I want to eat to just to make sure i can reach the goals. But, I would like to have the right nutrition so I’m not sure what to do. I guess I need to do more research.
It’s 23:30 and I’m finally done with preparing food for tomorrow and cleaning up the kitchen. Ready for bed…..