sometimes i can cook.
when i do, i cook a lot
and eat it for days.
sometimes i can cook.
sometimes i can cook.
when i do, i cook a lot
and eat it for days.
This Friday marks one year since I became a mom.
That’s right — my baby boy is turning one.
But something else turns one on Friday — my freakish paranoia about the food industry.
Something about becoming a mom made me extremely fearful of the food that’s available out there; as it stands right now, if I can’t pinpoint exactly where it came from and how it came to be, I don’t want to feed it to my kid.
Because of this, I’m choosing Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and the Green Wise organic section of Publix instead of my used-to-be go-to WalMart. And it’s getting expensive.
Like, really expensive. (Here’s a figure for you — I spent $42 at Publix today on TWO dinners for my family. TWO. Either I’m doing something wrong or healthy, organic, clean food is just that much more pricey.)
A couple weeks ago, Dan and I were out running errands. While out, I remembered that I was out of sandwich-makings, so I asked if we could stop by the nearest grocery store so I could grab some spinach, tomatoes, meat, and hummus.
The neighborhood we were in was a poorer one, but there was a WalMart nearby. So we stopped and went in.
I was so saddened by what I saw.
There was nothing — I repeat — nothing in the grocery section of this lower-income store that wasn’t processed. Nothing. Not a single piece of fruit. Not one vegetable. Nothing. Only boxes and boxes of fatty, sodium-rich, nutrient-free garbage.
And we wonder why America looks the way it does.
This video by Academic Earth illustrates just how much money we, as a country, are putting toward healthy food versus junk food. It was eye-opening but after this trip to WalMart, it also makes a whole lot of sense.
Happy Thursday, friends! Time to scribble down your list of gratitude. Here’s mine!
THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:
What do you love this week?
I really love this graphic. I’d seen it before, but a friend posted it on my Facebook this week and reminded me of its existence. It says so much while saying so little — look at all these delicious fruits, whose shapes hold no bearing on how nutritious and yummy they are!
When I first saw this, that’s as far as my brain took it. But after seeing it again this week, I’ve since gotten a new perspective. Even food isn’t safe from being scrutinized for its appearance.
Much of the world’s food is thrown away for not “looking” appetizing enough. Grocery stores are chock full of genetically modified fruits that are designed to be bigger and better looking than their natural counterparts. We’re conditioned to think that because a fruit looks smaller or different from the “perfect”, blemish-free genetically modified foods, that they must be less fresh, less tasty, or less nutritious, while the reality is that the organic ones are actually better for you.
I don’t really need to draw the connection for you. I’m pretty sure you’re smart enough to do it yourself.
BRB, gonna go catch up with the tomato in my kitchen about how my mid-section is too squishy and ask it how it got so taut, while simultaneously offering it advice on how to reduce skin redness.
The other day I was putting on make up in front of my husband. Usually I don’t do that because Dan hates when I wear makeup, so I like to keep up the guise that I don’t actually wear it by waiting until I’m alone to put on just a tad of concealer to cover my blemishes. But this time, we were both getting ready for an event we were going to together, so I had to lift the veil.
As I was taking the eyelash curler to my lids, I had some interesting thoughts to myself:
This kind of looks like a torture device. I wonder if Dan, or any other male who is unfamiliar with such an apparatus, thinks I’m torturing myself?
Wait. As a matter of fact, curling my eyelashes IS pretty bizarre, whether it looks so or not. These little hairs aren’t even an inch long. Does anyone notice whether I use the curler or not? Come to think of it, if I catch my eyelid at just the WRONG angle, it absolutely IS torture! I’m torturing myself! Ah!
Why do we do such strange things to ourselves in the name of beauty?
Today I stumbled across something on the Internet that takes the torture-for-beauty cake (and doesn’t eat it, apparently):
Image via The Daily What
(From TDW) Disturbing Trend of the Day: In a last-gasp attempt to fit into the THE DRESS, desperate brides-to-be in the U.S. (like Jessica Schnaider, pictured) can now have a feeding tube inserted into their nose that provides a drip of liquid protein and fat (with no carbohydrates) through the esophagus into the stomach. The $1,500, 10-day treatment is effective: The tube delivers just 800 calories a day, and generally results in the loss of at least 10 percent of body weight — and perfect wedding pictures. But… ew?
This makes me so sad. And hurt. And angry. Mostly, though, it makes me want to put my two weeks’ notice in on life on this earth.
I think about all my close friends whom have gotten married recently. I think about my close friends who are talking about getting married soon. I think about my wedding almost three years ago. And my heart breaks into a thousand pieces just imagining any of them literally torturing themselves like this before the happiest day of their lives.
I never watch the show Mike & Molly, but last night it was on while Dan and I were doing chores. The subject matter of last night’s episode was Molly being on an unhealthy juice fast in order to drop several pounds in three weeks to fit into her wedding dress. Sigh. Granted, the moral of the episode was that what Molly was doing was turning her into a crazy person, not at all the person that Mike wanted to marry, but still — the mere fact that this was portrayed on television at all puts the idea into girls’ heads that you can’t possibly wear a wedding dress without obsessing over your weight first. And oh, ha ha ha, it’s a comedy, so let’s all laugh at how silly it is instead of talking about how serious and disturbing it is. Oh ha ha ha, CBS, you’re hilarious.
So how did we get here? How did we get from ha ha ha, silly sit coms about overweight people, to bloody feeding tubes?! Are you kidding me? When will the insanity stop?
Why, oh why, are we perpetuating this? Why are we continually sending out messages that this type of behavior is acceptable and normal? WAKE UP, WORLD. THIS ISN’T OKAY.
I have no more words to offer. Instead, here’s Internet phenom Jenna Marbles on diets, F words and all. Enjoy.
Hello there, my lovely readers. I know what you’re thinking: “It’s Friday! Where’s my Diet Coke 12-Pack? I have a super awesome Friday night ahead of me which I plan to devote entirely to wasting on the internet. Where are those links?”
I apologize, friends. But there aren’t any this week. Well, there are, but a conversation my husband and I had last night over coffee (pumpkin spice lattes to be exact!) prompted me to post something different today. Something honest.
Last night Dan and I were chatting about the future of our marriage and what’s next for us and all that good junk, and we talked about the possibility of doing ministry together. Like, grown up ministry. Sure, we minister to junior high kids every week. But let’s be honest — it’s a lot easier to look like you have your crap together when you minister to people at least a decade your junior whose biggest problems in life are passing their vocab tests and not getting grounded for pummeling their siblings. If we feel called to someday minister to adults, we obviously need to make sure we’re healthy enough spiritually and emotionally to tackle that kind of calling.
“Alright then, what’s wrong with me?” Dan asked.
“What’s wrong with me? Diagnose me! Tell me what I have to work on so that I can get better!”
We chatted about him and his upbringing a bit and finally decided that he needs to work on his cynicism and his laziness. He’s a guy who, as he put it, “has never had to know what it is to work hard — success has always come easily.” This, naturally, is Miracle-Gro for a lazy disposition.
“Okay then,” I turned. “What about me? What do I need to work on?”
“Easy,” he said. “You don’t know how pretty you are. You’re confident, but not enough — not as much as you should be, considering how pretty you are.”
“Really?” I was laughing pretty hard at this one. “THAT’S my biggest issue?”
“Maybe not,” he conceded, “but it is an issue.”
He’s adorable, right? I’m not worthy.
At any rate, I continued to listen to him gush over my beauty while sipping my latte and nibbling at our (free!) pumpkin spice scone. With each compliment about my beauty, I shifted more and more uncomfortably in my seat, fidgeting with my tell-tale knee brace, until finally I couldn’t take it anymore.
“No,” I stopped him. “Listen, the truth is, I’ve gained weight. Like, a lot. I know, because they weighed me right before surgery. My lack of physical activity and the fact that I haven’t been avoiding carbs like the plague is really getting to me. More than I let on, actually.”
He quietly looked at me with concern in his eyes. “Wow. Really?”
“Yes. Yes really. And I feel like a complete fraud and failure with each self-love blog I write knowing that deep down at this very moment, I hardly believe what I’m writing. To be honest, I’m terrified of food at the moment. And I can’t write that.”
“Lindsay, you’re human.” His words were kind, but firm. “It’s your blog. Write what you are feeling. Honestly, people might be able to relate to that even more.”
I’m going to assume he’s right.
The truth is, this knee surgery clustertruck (PG-13!) has really been difficult for me to stomach. For the past two weeks, our dinners have been delivered to us by members of the church. This is a HUGE blessing — with my aggravating immobility, my physical therapy appointments, and the boatloads of money we’ve been shelling out throughout this entire process I have never felt more blessed by something as simple as dinner. But last night, my ED-wired brain turned against me.
You’re really going to eat that? Remember the number you saw on the scale two weeks ago before your surgery? Do you really want to add to that? You know you can’t work off the calories, so why are you even eating them you fat piece of crap? Even if you start working out when you’re fully healed, it will take you forever to work all of this off, if ever. You’re worthless.
I guess this is what it means when I hear someone say, “You’re always recovering from an eating disorder.” You win some (and in my case, a lot!) but you do lose some. If I am to be completely transparent with you (and I fully intend to be) at the moment, I feel like I’m losing, and considering the fact that I won’t be able to exercise like a normal person until 2012 I have a sneaking suspicion the losing isn’t over yet.
And so. I ask for grace. I ask for prayer. I ask for support and love and things of that nature from you, my readers. You all mean so much to me, so much so that I fear writing what I’m truly feeling because I don’t want to hurt you.
But right now, I hurt a little inside (and a LOT on the inside of my knee, LORD.) And I hope you can forgive me for being honest.
I stumbled across the term “liarexia” while perusing (what else?) a celebrity gossip magazine. The term was used to describe the eating habits of celebrities photographed eating fatty foods. Cheeseburgers, fries, bagels, milkshakes, you know, the stuff normal people eat every freaking day. So, why is it such a big deal when celebrities do it?
Well, quite frankly, it’s because they’re usually stick thin, and if they were eating that way every meal of every day, they wouldn’t look like that. Ergo, the idea is that they’re “lying” about what they eat throughout the day.
Um, duh. They also all probably have personal trainers that work out with them at their homes 7 days a week. But that’s another blog post entirely.
“Liarexia” is something that I find to be a bit of a redundancy; people who struggle with eating disorders tend to lie a lot because, hello, their eating habits are not normal. Even ED sufferers know this. It’s really rare to find someone placing an order at Starbucks saying, “Please give me a small cup of black coffee. Yes, that’s it. No cream or sugar, please. I’m trying to keep my daily caloric intake under 300 because I’m irrationally fearful of weight gain. Thanks.”
No. That’s not normal, and when people do things like that, it raises red flags. Red flags, by the way, are the eternal enemy of all eating disorders. Red flags demand explanations, which can sometimes lead to something awful. Like therapy or (gasp!) recovery.
I’m a pretty terrible liar. I’ve always known that. But I didn’t know just how bad of a liar I was until a group of my sorority sisters showed me that I wasn’t fooling anyone concerning my eating disorder.
Back in 2006, a group of my sorority sisters and I got together for some sort of event. I don’t remember the specifics of the event, but I do remember that we all went to Village Inn afterward.
(See? This is the real tragedy of the eating disordered individual. Food runs their life. So much so, that they can’t even focus on the great, happy, fun times they experience. Living turns into merely existing in a world where the only thing that matters to them is food, whether or not they’re going to eat it, where they’re going to eat it, how much of it they’re going to eat, etc.)
So. We went to Village Inn. When the waitress came around and asked for our drink orders, I went with water. This isn’t suspicious, I thought, because I’m a poor college kid and water is free. But while the waitress was gone, my mind was racing a million miles a second trying to come up with a logical explanation for why I wasn’t going to order any food. Normally I’d go with my staple, “Oh, I already ate dinner, I’m still full.” However, since I’d been spending time with my sisters all afternoon, I knew that wasn’t going to fly.
When the waitress came back to our table, in a last ditch effort to come up with an out, I told her to come to me last. As each girl ordered their food, my time dwindled away, and I was still without a reasonable excuse. So I panicked. When the waitress got to me, I just closed the menu and said, “Oh, I’m not eating, but thanks.”
For a split second, I thought it worked. But then, the silence surrounding me was shattered by my sisters erupting in a burst of exasperated protestation.
“What? Why aren’t you eating?”
“Lindsay, this is getting ridiculous.”
“You are skinny enough, stop doing this!”
And an assortment of other exclamations about my strange eating habits and surprisingly evident obsession with my weight.
My face burst aflame with embarrassment and horror. They knew. All of them knew. I didn’t know what to say, so I said the first thing that came to my mind:
“But I’ve already eaten too much today.”
A big, fat, stinking lie. A lie so obvious, it might as well have been tap dancing on the table. A lie so big, it could only be conjured up in an effort to cover up another palpable fallacy.
They didn’t fall for it.
I can’t tell you how revolted that conversation left me. I felt attacked, exposed, raw, and hopeless. But those feelings were only (relatively) temporary, as they were the product of a conversation that would be the catalyst to me eventually seeking help for my disorder.
So thank you, sisters. Thanks for not buying my crap. Thanks for being brave enough to call me out on a lie.
And here is my message to anyone who currently knows they’re being lied to about something like this: I know it’s scary, but please. Speak up. Yes, it will hurt. Yes, it will be uncomfortable. But you may save someone’s life.
Heads up: this is one of those blog posts that is more for me than it is for you. If it helps you, great. But honestly, I just need to blog because, like I’ve said a thousand times, I blog because I can’t afford therapy.
Three weeks ago I tore my ACL at my dance class. I landed wrong after a jump and, well, my knee decided to rip in half or something. I’m going to see an orthopedist on Thursday and I’ll most likely have to undergo surgery at some point in the coming weeks. Ha. Wow. I just typed that, flippantly, as if it’s something that people just do. Just like that.
“Oh hey, what’d you do today?” — “Nothing really, just had some knee surgery and then swung by Starbucks, whatevs.”
At any rate, the past three weeks have been challenging for several legitimate reasons (I can’t move my knee certain ways, I have to wear a brace every waking hour, I have to let people wait on me, etc.) But, they’ve also been challenging for a big, stupid, dumb, not-legitimate-at-all reason: I can’t exercise and it’s giving me anxiety.
You see, the thing about those affected by eating disorders is that they are constantly plagued by both the need to control everything and the desire to attain perfection. So, strict diets and unreasonable exercise routines win out to quell both cravings.
While I’m “recovered” from my eating disorder (some would argue that an eating disorder isn’t something you can ever fully recover from and that you can only merely learn to struggle with) I’ve found myself in a situation where my body and what it looks like are beyond my control. AND I HATE IT. The fact that I can’t burn off the calories I consume is tormenting me. I freak out about each food item I eat because I know that, if I’m not careful, I could gain a butt-ton (pun intended) of weight in the coming months. The mentality of it all is breaking me down.
But that’s the thing — the mentality is breaking me down. Not the reality.
I bring this up because I know I’m not alone in this. Maybe it’s not a knee injury for you. Maybe you’ve gotten behind on your housework and you just haven’t had time to exercise. Maybe, because it’s wedding season, you’ve had to attend a thousand hitchings in the past few months and have eaten dinner after delectable, catered dinner and you feel as though they are taking up a permanent residence in your fat cells. Maybe, because it’s summer and the entire country is experiencing an out-of-control heatwave, you just haven’t gone for a jog in a while for fear of dying of heat stroke.
Whatever uncontrollable circumstances are arising in your life at the moment, breathe in, and remember that the reality is that you are wonderfully made and oh, so very loved.
Your mentality cannot change that, no matter how negative it might be at any given time.