I wish I had more mental space these days to write posts for this blog. The truth is that, one of my accomplishments in my relationship with food is that I don't think as much about food and weight. That means that all of the deep issues and thoughts that plagued me earlier in this process have done their dance and moved along.
Occasionally, however, something will spark a thought, and I'm afraid that these days I'm too preoccupied with other mental and emotional battles to take the time to entertain them here. However, a comment on my previous post has been, from time to time, spending a little time doing the soft shoe on my mind. An anonymous commenter said "no one gets to be 380 lbs by eating 1500 calories of grilled chicken and green vegetables and doing meaningful exercise for 30 minutes a day."
The statement is presented to be factual, I'm sure, but the critical subtext is clear. You did not get very fat living a life of eating virtue. You must have eaten like a pig and sat on your lazy ass. The story of how I came to weigh that much is detailed throughout this blog for anyone who cares to really know the details, but few care to know. They prefer to judge and point a level finger in accusation.
It is true that I didn't get to 380 lbs. by eating 1500 calories of grilled chicken and green vegetables and meaningfully exercising for 30 minutes a day, but the truth is that a lot of women who weigh 120 lbs. don't maintain or achieve that weight on a similar routine. I also didn't get to 380 lbs. by eating candy and sitting on my ass, as anyone who has paid attention knows. I got to that weight through eating refined carbs, uncontrolled portions of healthy food, compulsive eating due to psychological problems and a very damaged food relationship, and excruciating back pain which made all exercise, including walking more than a minute impossible. But, hey, if I had just eaten more virtuously I wouldn't have been in that situation.
But, wait, I didn't get to 380 lbs. by eating 1500 calories of grilled chicken and green vegetables and meaningfully exercising 30 minutes a day, but I also did not lose 200 lbs. by doing that either. I lost 200 lbs. by examining the way in which I was using food to cope with the difficulties in my life and managing those issues psychologically. I did it by eating chocolate, cake, and cookies everyday. I did it by walking for about 5 minutes a day and building that up. I did it by forgiving myself and slowly making a series of tiny little changes which never included extreme restriction in my eating or anything that smacked of "deprivation".
So, I didn't get to 185 lbs. from 380 lbs. by eating 1500 calories of grilled chicken and green vegetables and meaningfully exercising 30 minutes a day. I am a woman of low virtue when it comes to eating and weight loss, but I'm not nearly as angry as the woman who made that comment nor is my relationship with food likely as dysfunctional. I don't judge people's characters by what they weigh or how they eat, and I exclude myself from that judgment as well.
Incidentally, for those who'd like to open their minds to the possibility that it's not all about eating like a hog or eating like a bird, there's a good piece in the New York Times about a study with two rats in which one is exposed to an endocrine altering chemical and gets fat while eating the same number of calories as a skinnier rat that was not exposed. It's not all about calories in/calories out. That's a part of it, but it's not all of it.