Hi all,

First of all, thanks for all the thoughts yesterday. I appreciated them a lot. I am still not sure about the things I want to write about or the point even of this blog, but I am just going to play with it for now.

I was thinking this morning about how the blog-network seems to be filled with people at different stages of their lives. There are students, professional workers, girls, boys, artists, people who just want to talk about life, and people who just want to talk about food.

I guess that is why this kind of network is so interesting at best….and addictive at worse. Where else can you find entire pages devoted to the sweet potato. Strange or fascinating? Whatever your opinion, it is interesting to note the variation in taste…

Sweet potato baking in the oven

One thing I have noticed on several blogs is a high prevalence of (usually) young girls chronicling their current struggles with or recovery from eating disorders. Even more frequent is the prevalence “typical” and assumedly healthy girls who make random comments about guilt associated with eating a certain food or certain amount.  While I don’t plan to talk about heavy topics too frequently on this blog — I do think that discussing ideas like these can be enriching and even as interesting as watching a documentary or a book of a completely different nature…so I would like to “dip” into various issues on this blog, particularly to spark discussion and to get your thoughts.

Various sources will provide different statistics on the prevalence of eating disorders. The latest I have found to be consistent are that approximately ten million people in the United States suffer from eating disorders, including about 10 percent of high school and college-age youth. Of these individuals, 90 – 95 percent are said to be female. I have also read estimates that anorexia nervosa affects about one percent and bulimia nervosa affect three percent of high school girls.

Kind of crazy when we consider that the US is facing an obesity epidemic. Obesity is the disease that is more frequently highlighted by the media. And its affects on individual health and on healthcare and the economy are enormous and widely recognized.

However, statistics and facts do little to interest me and I have no intention to educate about disorders or issues on this blog. Rather, I would like to just spark the discussion, particularly since I have seen this issue raised recently on several blogs. Particularly the idea of calorie-counting and feeling guilty for the things eaten/not eaten or the quantity eaten/not eaten…

I recently read that persons who have eating disorders spend 90% of their time thinking about food (Himmel, 2009). That is 90%…

That is 90% of one’s time contributed to counting calories, when instead one could be reading literature…that is 90% of the time possibly stepping on and off scales, when instead one could be dancing.

You might often read about a person underweight (or overweight) who can rhyme off every number of a food….and can tell you the numbers in pounds at each stage of life, the calories to stay there, the numbers to crunch to burn it off….I get dizzy thinking about it….all the numbers associated with food, weight and calories are known,  just like a swimmer might know the exact numbers of his splits in each olympic trial he does from session to session, and from year to year, etc.

What mental energy that takes!

No wonder persons enduring such thoughts become so run-down, exhausted-looking, and gain a weary perspective on life. The ironic thing is that often a person might worry over the number of calories he/she eats that day or worry he/she will weigh more….but then even that is not enough. If he/she arrives at the “right number” or at the “right weight”, then the worry changes to how to possibly maintain that number on that day. Then the next worry is over the food choices that will be the best choices…worry, worry, worry.  Worry over whether eating chocolate is fine…

PB-Turtle Cup

Nothing is ever enough.

This subject can be explored to such great depth by anyone, but its not my intention to write long posts that detail all the aspects. Truthfully, there are a lot of features of weight obsession that I personally do not understand. Weighing scales mean little to me…so I find it difficult to understand why there is such an obsession with them. Most females will admit insecurities at some point during their life….during their day….when they compare themselves to another. Or there are times (rarely for some, occasionally for others, frequently for many) that a female might bemoan a certain body part that is “just not cooperating”….

What craziness, no? The worry over something so trivial…so silly…so unnoticeable and unimportant to others. It will be nice if one day women in general…women and men…can learn their judge their own self-worth and another’s self-worth based on qualities that matter. Like the ability to think, to articulate, and to love.

Any thoughts? This is just a topic to get your cogwheels churning today, and I am sure I will explore it further (as will other blogs) on a continuous basis.

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16 Responses to

  1. Cindy says:

    So true…so true!

    balance is such a hard thing to achieve..and than again…why?

    you make some great points…there is so much pressure to be perfect and fit in and the like…and who determintes what’s “normal” or “healthy” for me?

    I DO!
    great FOOD for thought! 🙂

  2. kbwood says:

    so true! balance is very hard..but so worth it once you finally achieve it..it makes us stronger in the end

  3. Mari says:

    I don’t have an eating disorder but I do think about food quite a lot and write down everything I eat (and the cals) etc but I try to keep it balanced ya know? I want to live a healhy lifestyle but I also want to live life to the fullest.

  4. VeggieGirl says:

    Here’s to keeping in balance!

  5. Abby says:

    AHh balance is sooo important. Ive been there done that with the whole obsession thing.. waste o’ time! Life is too short.

    Enjoy your holiday!!

  6. Katie says:

    Such a truthful post, yet so inspiring! I went through an eating disorder just last year and I now realize that life is too short and precious to worry over counting calories and depleting our bodies of all of the nutrients we need to thrive. I am so thankful that I am living a healthy lifestyle now. 🙂

  7. Great post! I’ve been all over the eating spectrum. The best thing that has happened to me is being around someone who doesn’t think like I do. It is such a fine line to love food and think about it all the time- we need it to survive, yet it can also harm us.

    I have no answer, but loved reading this post!

  8. The Pancake Girl says:

    Very, very thought-provoking post. Life is too short to worry about every crumb that goes in your mouth or an extra pound on your tummy. Must savor the moment and keep the balance! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

    http://www.joelygolightly.wordpress.com

  9. While it can be hard to stop yourself from feeling guilty, sticking to a healthy diet can prevent this. An occasional indulgence should not be looked at with guilt, but fully enjoyed! I agree with VeggieGirl…Life’s all about balance!

  10. I’ll be the first to admit that I think about food a lot. I’m not overweight. Nor am I underweight, but it’s something I can’t turn off…I love to eat. I love cooking. I love good food and sharing it with others. It’s a big part of my life. I think there is a difference between a healthy obsession with food and unhealthy one. I mean my husband is passionate about running and thinks about it all the time, but I would never think of him as having an “unhealthy” obsession with the sport. I don’t know…just thinking out loud and rambling.

  11. candice says:

    I think eating disorders stem off of the U.S.’s general obsession over food, exercise, and “healthy living.” It’s because there is an obesity epidemic that has everyone counting calories and whatnot… which can lead to a downward spiral into an eating disorder for some people. :/

    On a lighter note, I’m guilty of a post (mostly) about a sweet potato I ate… haha…

  12. april says:

    Great post! I think too many women are obsessed with numbers.. and it’s hard not to get caught up in them when it’s all you hear! but I agree. balance is best!

  13. Great post 😉 I have never been one for calorie counting as I think it would stress me out…and I am always hungry, so if I calculated my calories I might freak out! Don’t you think it is strange people freak over calories, so they don’t touch nuts because they have higher calories – these are from nature….but they will eat a bag of low cal oreos because the box says 100 cals. Hmmm?! Our bodies know healthy and unhealthy foods and it knows what to do with them – store them or use them.

    Anywho, there is my long comment for today! I hope people just realize to eat healthier, love their bodies, and balance baby!

    XXOO
    Kris

    ps – thank you for the great comment on my blog. I bet there are some good points on soy 😉 I just know it makes me feel yucky!

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