I know I'm probably not alone in this feeling, but it always looks to me as if people around me have an idea or a plan or some handle on what they're doing where food is concerned, and I am just lost. My weight is out of control and I need to do something, but I honestly don't know what.
I want to be someone who likes tons of vegetables, is not tempted by sugar, and can eat everything in moderation. I am not that someone. I'm frustrated by the fact that in many ways I know what I should do, but that I don't seem capable of actually doing it. Am I broken?
I suspect that in our modern world many of us are sabotaged by our biology and our instincts in the face of comfortable lifestyle options and easy availability of unhealthy things to eat. I'd like to think because I'm smart enough to recognize the problems I should be able to muster the will to deal with them, but I feel overwhelmed. There is too much. Too much temptation and too much information.
The last time I made the attempt to lose weight with any success I did a kind of modified points counting plan borrowed from Weight Watchers in combination with about 90 minutes a day of exercise. It worked, but it was like a full-time job. I don't want to do that again. I don't want to get to the end of my life and have my weight be my only accomplishment because it took up all my time. That's ridiculous. Unless you are a serious cook you should not be obsessed with food.
I had some success not long ago with a paleo sort of plan. The philosophy behind it is rubbish, but I did feel better cutting out grains and dairy and sugar, and it made turning down certain foods simpler. But any plan that looks at oatmeal as evil seems wrong to me. And I was eating more meat and eggs than I was comfortable with.
I've read a lot lately about animal products (particularly dairy) being linked to cancer. I am at insanely high risk for breast cancer and wonder then if I should go vegan. But when I look at any diet that relies on something as unnatural as margarine to cook with, and includes Oreos as an acceptable food choice, I see problems. Vegan doesn't mean healthy, it just means different issues.
Is modern wheat really a danger? Is soy bad or good? One person I know who seems to eat in a healthy way has veggie burgers in her freezer, and another sends out Facebook screeds about how they are evil on a bun. When I was doing my paleo thing I showed my brother what I was eating instead of cereal which was a mix I'd made up of various nuts and dried blueberries, and he seemed concerned that the nuts were high in fat. I looked at him and said, "But, I have to eat something."
And I do have to eat something. I just really don't know what, now. I can't win. There is something wrong with nearly everything. For a while I was keeping track of calories with an online counter, and when it displayed my nutrition chart I kept ending up too high in sodium even though I wasn't adding salt to anything, and when I did a breakdown it turned out to be the celery I was eating. Celery.
I stood in my kitchen yesterday feeling paralyzed before I gave up and skipped breakfast. I've hit this weird impasse where there are too many voices in my head and they are contradicting each other to the point where I don't know what to do. Is it better to pick some plan or other just to get my weight down and then pick a way to eat? Or do I come up with a plan for the long term and hope I actually stick with it long enough to see results? I have no idea. I feel like a food failure.
So what did I eat yesterday? I had some almonds, a big salad with very little dressing, a can of tuna, and a pear. That seems stupid to me, but the idea of anything else made me tired.
The big problem is that whatever I decide to do, I will bump up against the social aspects of eating somewhere. To not eat with others sets you apart, takes you out of the loop. We celebrate with food, we console with food, we befriend with food.... When you decline to partake it feels rude. My kids are noticeably sad if I don't share in the Christmas cookies or don't join them when they eat pizza. It makes me sad, too. Food choices shouldn't make anyone sad, but mine seem to, no matter which ones I make.
What sounds most reasonable to me would be a mostly plant based diet and everything available in moderation. I'm just not good at that. I don't want the one cookie, I want all the cookies, so it's almost easier to just not have any than be unhappy about the one I got.
I will figure something out soon. I'll have to. In the meantime I'm in an ugly food quandary and I hate it. (Which is making me want my grandma's rice pudding. Which is making me feel both guilty and dumb. And a little like I want to cry.)