Last week a friend went to her hair dresser.  Said friend has always been naturally thin.  She has also spent the last few months travelling around, and subsequently gained a bit of weight.  Honestly, I didn’t really notice, but she’s complained to me about it, and regardless of whether or not I think she “needs” to lose weight, I understand the feeling of being uncomfortable in your skin can come at any weight.

Apparently, while I may not be quite that observant (personally I think she looks great), her hair dresser isn’t so oblivious, and when she went in for a trim last week promptly was greeted with a “Wow, you’ve gained some weight!”  Which she relayed to me via text message.  Now, personally I was pretty peeved on her behalf.  I think it’s just plain rude to comment on peoples bodies, but my friend assured me that this was just the thing she needed to propel her into weight loss.

Okay, if she says so…

She asked if we could help each other lose weight.  I said yes.  I said yes, even though I generally think I have a grasp on my body.  I said yes, even though I absolutely loathe when people tell me I shouldn’t eat something.  I tend to know what works for my body. I remain relatively anti-diet. Regardless of my ebbs and flows with my body, my nutritional convictions remain the same.

I have tried to help this friend when she’s tried to lose weight before, but usually what happens is I have to convince her that she actually needs to eat food.  Food besides lettuce.  I have to explain over and over again that carbs aren’t bad, that olive oil won’t kill her, that just because fruit has sugar does not in fact make it junk food.  I’m not sure how as a society we’ve come to villainize food.  All food.  Sometimes it seems like an uphill battle to try and talk people into eating.  If left to her own devices she would survive solely on yogurt and salad.  And, well, that worries me.  I’ve been there, I’ve done that, I’ve gone off the deep end, and I really don’t want my friends to go through it.  Many have been the  phone calls with her where she’s dictated her daily food intake to me and I’ve had to try to convince her that she can’t survive on 800 calories a day.

Today she called to scold me for not holding up my end of the “helping each other lose weight” bargain.   I told her we could go to the gym together tomorrow, then I told her I had to go, I was mid yoga DVD, which strangely enough meant I was working.  We hung up, but minutes later she texted me “I hate feeling guilty about eating.”

No one should ever feel guilty about eating.  We need to eat!  Food is one of the few joys in life that is so ubiquitously shared by everyone.  The truth is that some foods are better for us than others, but they all have a place in our lives.  It’s just finding out how to juggle those places that’s the hard part.

I’m onward to teach my friend about basic nutrition.  I’ve told her all this before but it hasn’t sunk in, but it’s worth another shot.  A reminder may be in order that one may initially lose weight by severely restricting calories, but one of two things are bound to happen, one being that if it continues your body will enter into starvation mode and all sorts of havoc will be wreaked on your muscles and organs, or most likely, you’ll go off the deep end and binge because continuously restricting oneself seems to have that effect and you will feel all sorts of guilty and a terrible pattern will have been created.

I’ve so long immersed myself in the world of nutrition, in studying it on my free time (because I’m a geek like that), and writing about health and exercise, that I sometimes forget that there’s a whole world out there that really believes that lettuce and yogurt are the only way to slim down, that one must be miserable to be thin and that the gym is a place to punish oneself for daring to have a piece of bread with dinner.  It really does make me sad. I don’t know that I can be the watchdog she needs me to be.  I probably won’t even try.  I can be an ear when she needs to vent, I can give her guest passes to my gym and I can try to impart some sense of knowledge about healthy eating, but deep down I don’t think any of my nutritional advice will sink in.  She’ll most likely figure it out in her own time, as I think, most of us do.

That’s my soap box, now I’ll get off of it.  On to my own adventures in eating:

Today felt good as far as food was concerned.  I even ate a snack.   Often times I forget to eat snacks and just have whatever my closest meal is.  Today I was cogniscent enough of how my body felt to realize that I wasn’t super hungry, and well, my dinner was still in the slow cooker, so a snack it was.  An afternoon snack is awesome!  I must remember that.

I hit the gym for a 45 minute spin class midday, and did a 70 minute Yoga DVD in the evening.  Seventy mintues is too long for a home workout if you ask me. It’s too distracting at home, I kept wanting to break out of warrior pose to check my blackberry, somehow that reads to me as the opposite of Zen.

Breakfast

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Kashi Go Lean Crunch w/Strawberries and 1% Milk
Coffee w/Stevia and 1% Milk

Lunch

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Left over turkey sandwich from yesterday
Salad w/lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, avocado and ranch dressing

Snack

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1% Milk & Banana

Dinner

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Chickpea & Eggplant Stew over Polenta