10 Nov 💡 Tuesday Tips,11.10.2020
I’ve been catching up on my reading lately. We’ve almost reached the point where it’s dark at 5pm, so it’s a perfect time for any bookworm to curl up with a good read and a fuzzy blanket. The other day I re-watched Mildred Pierce on TCM and was re-reminded of what a terrible, entitled hag Veda is. Which naturally led me to buy the novel with the classic English major thought, “If the movie is this good, I bet the book is excellent.”
I’ve also been reading Why Diets Make Us Fat: The Unintended Consequences of Our Obsession with Weight Loss by Sandra Aamodt. You may have seen her TED Talk about why diets don’t work. I found the book at a secondhand shop last year and thought, “One day, I’ll read this.” And it’s a funny juxtaposition because as I’m also browsing autumnal and holiday-themed recipes, I’m reading this book about diets.
But maybe it’s not so ironic. We’re headed into a very odd cycle: eat a lot of rich foods over the holidays, gain weight, vow to lose it, and then begin some crazy, highly restrictive diet to take it off. One of Aamodt’s key points is: if this dieting cycle worked, wouldn’t everyone have a much higher success rate? I’ll be recording a podcast episode about this topic soon to discuss stories I’ve heard as well as my own experiences with this cycle myself. I know I don’t want to spend the rest of my life on this bizarre, self-defeating roller coaster of “eat, drink, and be merry” followed by months of eating rabbit food and doing cardio ’til you drop… only to barely see the scale move at all. One of my best friends once went on a grapefruit diet. He lost weight temporarily, but also damaged his tooth enamel from all the acid. I mean… we all know there has to be a better way.
THERE’S GOTTA BE A BETTER WAY!
The older I get, the more I see the value in the Buddhist teaching about The Middle Way– avoiding extremes and seeking moderation. It’s clear to see how this would help with eating habits: not binging and stuffing yourself while also not avoiding any type of pleasure either. It seems to me that the more we try to categorize foods as “good” or “bad” and the more restrictive we attempt to be (“I’ll never eat another donut again for the rest of my life”), the more we set ourselves up to fail.
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