Monday, October 12, 2009

Valerie Bertinelli and me

i've been reading Valerie Bertinelli's new book, Finding It: And Satisfying My Hunger for Life without Opening the Fridge. (before i go further, the book is rather unsatisfying. blah. i wouldn't waste the same amount of money i did on it.)

but i digress.

while boring, the book does rev up my usual questions and confusions. there's that assumption that -- life, natch, is much more that weight loss, but weight loss is still great. over-eating isn't just about food, it goes a whole lot deeper, but food is practically the kama sutra, but we really shouldn't eat it, unless, of course, it's a fruit or vegetable, in which case, we should eat it in unlimited quantities to squealth our bottomless hunger, which isn't really hunger for food, anyway, but isn't food great. ditto to weight loss? drum roll and/or linda blair head spin.

i ask you -- if we are thin because we healthfully follow weight watchers (as opposed to say, some of our less than zesty anorexic plans), is it then great to be thin? is it preferred to be thin? do most of us, really, want to be thin? what is thin?

i have more questions.

what is a foodie and is this an interesting thing or is it someone with a weird obsession? how much interest in food is healthy?

what's with the whole restaurant craze? who eats at these restaurants? are they thin? do they say, "i really shouldn't have", after tucking into creme brulee chocolat?

i love the show, top chef, (not sooo much since i stopped drinking. they drink an awful lot of fine vino out of gorgeous glasses, once one of my top three ways to spend my day. okay, top fave. i used to pop open some nice grape and pull up a chair.)

yet, i don't eat any of that stuff. here's y i watch. how does padma lakshmi stay so ridiculously thin? how do the other judges stay the normal, average weights they are? apparently, they eat all the time. sometimes, padma eats more in five minutes than i spread over a few day. what about the nights when they taste test TWO restaurants? even with little bites, that's a lot o' food. and wine is fattenting too.

i sound weight obsessed. maybe. i do wish i could figure out how to eat to maintain some nice medium weight without using 95% of my time and then... TO STOP THINKING ABOUT IT!!!

i was at a big anniversary dinner last saturday. i'll say i did great. no alcohol and that was fine. that's really the big coup. i ate healthfully and tasted small-ish amounts of anything i really wanted and had a little cake. then, d. and i hit the floor and danced the night away, which we both love. how great is that -- ate moderately AND thru in some exercise.

but geez, isn't that an awful lot of over-thinking for one little evening? how much work is it to settle on one little meal? and then what about joyfully dancing with your new fiance -- the whole time considering it...exercise? "calorie burning" kind of takes the romance out of it, no? (see also "sex".)

overall, the more i know, somehow the more confused i get. once, i KNEW for sure that it was best to be thin at all costs. arguing was futile. once, i KNEW i knew best for me and my savaged body.

now, i know a lot better. but often feel i know nothing.


  1. Hmm, thats alot to think about.
    But I do agree with you that these sort of weight loss celebs are talking out of both sides of their mouths. As in, you should love yourself and there is so much more to life than food and weight and by the way I have lost 40 pounds, read my book about how you can do it too!
    Good job on giving up the wine! I still get a little wistful every time I put on some hand sanitizer. It's a tough thing to kick.

  2. To find peace and not think about everything you eat, before durring and after. That is one of the goals I'm going for too. If you find out how write a book and I'll read it.

  3. I know. Me too. I seriously wish i had no appetite, no taste buds. just get exact measured nutrients in a pill form or something. Really that is how tired and confused I am about all of this over-thinking about food. i just want it to go away. My metabolism and stomach are so messed up now, that im not even sure what hunger feels like. I wonder how much of this is chemical haywired-ness and how much is evolution and genetics and society. I guess it is just all bundled up in one big cluster of pain.
    and aging is something else i have been wanting to blog about but can't sort it out. I can feel it and i want to deal with it in a healthy way soooooo bad. Puberty (when my e.d. started) nearly killed me and i do not want the second half of my life to be miserable bc i can not exert control over my body and its changes. and change is terrifying to me. I am so glad you posted this. Most of the women i know in everyday life act as if they never freak about food.
    Also - good for you on skipping the drinks. I know that can be a struggle.

  4. yup this overthinking stuff really gets us. I have questions all the time too. Sometimes I swear my brain gets hot b/c it's thinking and wondering and justifying and rationalizing so much. I think if I decide to be okay not knowing the answers, everything will end up okay maybe. I don't know but I'm sick of wondering too.

  5. Not just the judges, but what about the chefs themselves? Some of them are thin as sticks. Of course, they all drink and smoke so their metabolisms are probably a lot faster than mine.

    I was thinking about this today. I spend so much time thinking about food, but when it actually comes time to eat I'm not eating for enjoyment. I don't like any of the food I eat. It's healthy and it sustains my body and allows me to exercise, but it doesn't particularly taste good. What does that say about me?

    Good job at the anniversary dinner! That sounds like a really healthy mindset.

  6. I consider myself a foodie in a weight obsessed kind of way. I have a lot of thought patterns similar to yours (dancing/sex = exercise), but it's fun, and some of it is fading as I learn to chill a bit, but also I'm getting some trust in this intuitive eating stuff. I've not watched top chef (I'm a picky eater and find too much food nasty). I can't afford those restaurants you mention these days, though I do buy some expensive ingredients. I'll eat chocolate creme brulee if I come across it, and sometimes I eat some huge meals (though not like I used to). I find that if I eat a huge lunch (like today-tempura, miso soup, sushi buffet, I won't have any appetite for dinner, and may just have a grapefruit and a glass of chocolate milk. I realize the idea of skipping meals isn't popular, but the idea of forcing myself to eat is laughable and likely a dumb idea, unless I'm headed for a hike or similar, and if I'm that unhungry, I'd have to carry it with me. I think it evens out, maybe works out to favor weight loss just a tiny bit. It's more of a convenience/cost effectiveness thing.

    Anyway, point being I think my obsessions are moving farther into the background, though sometimes I have to push it a bit.

  7. It is not just that food tastes great, but is seems to offer so many panaceas to so many physical and mental conditions.

    If you feel sad, a bit of chocolate perks you up. If you feel happy, a tasty treat adds to the feeling. If it is a sunny day an icecream heightens the warmth of it all. If it is cold, a hot meat pie with flaky pastry infuses one with warmth. If you are anxious, a glass of wine settles it. A crispy salad makes one feel disciplined. I could go on and on. You can bet that most people can attach some sort of emotion to food.

    The trouble is, for many people, all of these emotions are often too big for one piece of chocolate, one glass of wine or one other treat to appease the soul.

    When you get past that emotion driven over eating or food deprivation, the justification for poor eating and drinking habits become harder to be accept. But even with the newfound knowledge, food and physical movement will always have a number value.