I am of two mindsets about posted calorie content in the food/beverage industry.

The mindset that dominates my thinking is the one that makes smarter choices about what I am consuming when away from home, having access to calorie content.

The mindset that sometimes just gets pissed off is the byproduct of the first mind — it is the one that OBSESSES over what goes into my body and cannot justify 700 calories even if said product is “low-fat,” because those calories are being made up for in carbohydrates and processed sugars and then suddenly the mind just implodes and can’t stand the thought of eating anything, no matter how hungry I was to begin with.

However, as the secondary mindset is related to mild body dysphoria and FFK (former fat kid) syndrome, I realize that food is necessary for survival and if I am in an establishment that does not offer anything remotely “healthy,” then I probably just shouldn’t be eating there in the first place.  Which is why I generally stay away from fast food restaurants and those megachain restaurants (Chili’s, Red Robin, Outback, etc.), because the food there is produced for quantity — more bang for your buck, more fried chicken on your salad, lots of hidden fats/sugars in sauces and marinades to amplify the flavor of the mid-grade meats.

I do wish that calorie content postings were mandatory.  Everywhere, except for small business (like your local coffee/cafe, the family-owned bakery, etc.).  And the posted caloric content MUST be consistent with their portion sizes.  It doesn’t help anyone if you say something’s “200 cal (per serving)” but then the restaurant portions out 3 servings onto your plate.  I think too many business, especially large-scale ones like the afore-mentioned, are able to keep the calorie-conscious crowd coming to them by offering healthful salads and lean-meat meals — but as I said, so often those “healthy choices” are covered in fat/sugar laden sauces or dressings, or piles of cheese are added to salads, or they are joined by butter-dripping starchy sides.  And many of these are in double, triple serving quantities — how often have you been at an Outback or Red Robin and thought “wow, this is so much food!”

I think it is a disservice to not let people know what they are eating.  If we expect to make any strides to overcoming what is so often touted as a nationwide obesity crises, yelling at people to eat less or workout more isn’t going to solve anything.  It’s about helping people be aware of what a healthy lifestyle is — about how to make informed choices about what you eat, and letting you know that starvation and denying yourself is not the road to health.

(In my head this was 100% connected to Weighty’s post, and it was a lot less “all-over-the-map” when I started thinking about it, but I’m just going to post as-is and if ye don’t like it, kiss my tuchus.)weighty:

Worst Mall Drink Jamba Juice Peanut  Butter Moo’d (22 oz)770 calories20 g fat (4.5 g  saturated)108 g sugarsThe scary  thing about this 22-ounce shake is that you can consume nearly half a  day’s worth of calories in 3 minutes of spirited sipping, all under the  pseudohealthy banner of the sacred smoothie. What’s even scarier is  you’ll be slurping up the sugar equivalent of 6 packs of peanut  M&M’s, all while thinking you’re doing your body a favor. While at  Jamba, stick to their impressive list of smoothies in the All Fruit and  Light categories.
http://health.yahoo.com/experts/eatthis/48983/unhealthiest-foods-at-the-mall/
I am of two mindsets about posted calorie content in the food/beverage industry.

The mindset that dominates my thinking is the one that makes smarter choices about what I am consuming when away from home, having access to calorie content.

The mindset that sometimes just gets pissed off is the byproduct of the first mind — it is the one that OBSESSES over what goes into my body and cannot justify 700 calories even if said product is “low-fat,” because those calories are being made up for in carbohydrates and processed sugars and then suddenly the mind just implodes and can’t stand the thought of eating anything, no matter how hungry I was to begin with.

However, as the secondary mindset is related to mild body dysphoria and FFK (former fat kid) syndrome, I realize that food is necessary for survival and if I am in an establishment that does not offer anything remotely “healthy,” then I probably just shouldn’t be eating there in the first place. Which is why I generally stay away from fast food restaurants and those megachain restaurants (Chili’s, Red Robin, Outback, etc.), because the food there is produced for quantity — more bang for your buck, more fried chicken on your salad, lots of hidden fats/sugars in sauces and marinades to amplify the flavor of the mid-grade meats.

I do wish that calorie content postings were mandatory. Everywhere, except for small business (like your local coffee/cafe, the family-owned bakery, etc.). And the posted caloric content MUST be consistent with their portion sizes. It doesn’t help anyone if you say something’s “200 cal (per serving)” but then the restaurant portions out 3 servings onto your plate. I think too many business, especially large-scale ones like the afore-mentioned, are able to keep the calorie-conscious crowd coming to them by offering healthful salads and lean-meat meals — but as I said, so often those “healthy choices” are covered in fat/sugar laden sauces or dressings, or piles of cheese are added to salads, or they are joined by butter-dripping starchy sides. And many of these are in double, triple serving quantities — how often have you been at an Outback or Red Robin and thought “wow, this is so much food!”

I think it is a disservice to not let people know what they are eating. If we expect to make any strides to overcoming what is so often touted as a nationwide obesity crises, yelling at people to eat less or workout more isn’t going to solve anything. It’s about helping people be aware of what a healthy lifestyle is — about how to make informed choices about what you eat, and letting you know that starvation and denying yourself is not the road to health.

(In my head this was 100% connected to Weighty’s post, and it was a lot less “all-over-the-map” when I started thinking about it, but I’m just going to post as-is and if ye don’t like it, kiss my tuchus.)

weighty:

Worst Mall Drink Jamba Juice Peanut Butter Moo’d (22 oz)770 calories20 g fat (4.5 g saturated)108 g sugars
The scary thing about this 22-ounce shake is that you can consume nearly half a day’s worth of calories in 3 minutes of spirited sipping, all under the pseudohealthy banner of the sacred smoothie. What’s even scarier is you’ll be slurping up the sugar equivalent of 6 packs of peanut M&M’s, all while thinking you’re doing your body a favor. While at Jamba, stick to their impressive list of smoothies in the All Fruit and Light categories.

http://health.yahoo.com/experts/eatthis/48983/unhealthiest-foods-at-the-mall/

About Food, or: How I Joined a Gym Today.

Joined a gym today.

Depression & addictive behavior run in my family. The Dickinson women, especially, have a tendency to low self-esteem & setting-the-bar-high-for-oneself standards. Which results in a lot of internalized conflict and self-doubt, which begins to develop into depression which is numbed with fillers — like alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, food, etc.

Food has always been a self-destruct tool for me. I have, since I was at least 12, struggled with my body image. I was much sturdier and stockier than kids my age growing up, and somewhere between 8-10, the baby fat started to just stay and as I grew up, I also grew around. I wasn’t obese, or terribly overweight, but I wasn’t willowy or lean like a good deal of the kids I knew — or like the models, actresses & public figures. I have no idea when I became a compulsive eater — hoarding food, sneaking candy, pouring 1/4 sugar onto dry Rice Krispies so I could let the sugar sink to the bottom & eat it at the end of the bowl — but somewhere along the line, I did. Food was an escape, it was an out — if I was left home alone, the only real “bad thing” I wanted to do was to eat up all the food in the house, especially fatty/sugary treats.

I still find myself doing this 18 years later, as an adult who is cognizant of nutrition & a healthy lifestyle. I go on uncontrollable food binges, and have more than once in the past three years been guilty of devouring an entire 1/2 gallon of ice cream in 45 minutes, or a cake (frosted) in one night, or a 6-piece fried chicken with french fries. I have to end up throwing things away or else there are times when I know it will be nearly impossible for me to stop myself.

My overall daily eating habits are not bad — much healthier than many, I would think. I try not to eat meats with too much fat content more than twice a week, I make a conscious effort to get vegetables in me, I stay away from sodas, processed foods, etc. But there are these moments of weakness.

And my metabolism is none too high.

So, when I belonged to NY Sports Clubs for nearly two years, I was ecstatic. It was so great to have long stretches of feeling healthy and truly comfortable in my own body. I know there will always be “jiggly bits” to me, but the leanness and tone I had gained was a first for me — literally the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE that I had been fit. It was such a blessing and gave me a new perspective on my own confidence.

When I moved back to CA, I couldn’t afford a gym membership & I wasn’t particularly strict with food intake (it’s hard to be with the one you love during a beautiful CA summer and not feast on BBQ’s, hamburgers, steak dinners, grilled cheeses…). Although I am still a smaller version of myself — if you didn’t already know, I was 185lbs when graduating high school…and about 150 when I left college…after moving to NYC, I dropped another 10 just from all the walking around the city — I have lost a lot of tone and can definitely say I am out of shape. If it wasn’t for needing to bicycle places, I’d be even worse for the wear.

The “moment of truth” day was a couple of weeks ago when I noticed that my face was really starting to fill out. It sent little panic shivers through me and I had a mental flash of having an extra 15lbs on — and how uncomfortable in my own skin I had been when I was at that weight. My circulation was different when I was 150, my panic attacks were more frequent, and I felt a lot more tired a lot more often.

So, after depositing the check for services rendered for my directing work, I went to InShape City this morning to find out about their package. I signed up for a three year deal—and it was a special, no enrollment fee, month of Nov. free deal — I only paid $109 for the startup processing and key card, and starting Dec., I only pay $40 a month for an all-inclusive membership.

I can’t wait — and I’m excited that I got the chance to start this before rehearsals start for “Beyond Therapy.” My hope when I was cast in that play was that I would use that wonderful opportunity to force myself to get into better physical shape — because I know from my training that when the body is tuned/fit/ready, the mind can utilize it all the better for acting — the first read-through of the show isn’t until Dec. 16, so I’ll have a month headstart on it.

I could go on for paragraphs more about all my food issues and weight issues and body image issues. I won’t — I’ll just say again how glad I am to have a gym membership again. I know I’ll never be a bony runway model — but I also don’t want to be one. Working out gave me appreciation for the curves and the angles — my clavicles became my favorite thing, but I also loved how I had stopped seeing my child-bearing hips as a curse — instead they were incredibly womanly and the contrast of my curves to my angles was sexy to me…bring on the elliptical!!