Besides, one could partake of the same food and simply ask for smaller portions. It's very easily done.
Also true, though out of the question for some diet fanatics.
I know it's not exactly Fine Dining, but one of the things that throws me as I read reviews of restaurants to plan our Disney trip is people saying "You can spend TWO and a half HOURS at DINNER! Why would I want to eat there when there's other things to do?" and to me, sitting and enjoying a nicer-than-usual dinner with my family IS part of vacation.
I keep saying that instead of a new years resolution to lose weight, it should be to never put anything in my mouth that I don't absolutely love, in an attempt to re-align my thinking about food. (It helps that I enjoy healthy food, though. Heh.)
Some of Disney is actually pretty fine dining, and it's sad that people can't even relate to it anymore.
And I think that's a fine resolution.
sounds like an eating disorder to me.
prime rib? sure have a slice.. a small slice
make up skinnier versions of the side dishes to share.. bring a BIG salad with walnuts and a vinaigrette dressing...
and some fresh fruit...
and roasted turkey (removed skin) is within a calorie or two of steamed turkey and tastes so much better that the ONLY reason to have steamed turkey breast is in order to make food a punishment.
but i would expect that the poor child only knows how to cook that bad hospital food, and has no idea how to make GOOD food that is less fatty than her family makes..
I agree that it sounds like, at the very least, a very unhealthy relationship with food. But I've seen other people do the same thing, and it makes me very sad.
For me, at least, one of the keys to retaining weight loss is recognizing that food is both fuel and pleasure/social. And, just as importantly, recognizing which is which.
Lunch at work? Fuel. Dinner with family? Pleasure/social. The former, I can leave out the extras (with their extra calories) because I'm not missing anything. The latter, I can enjoy properly in part because I've been smart about my fuel-only meals.
Yes, this time of year is tough, because the "special" occasions pile one upon the other. But still, if the only solution is taking six (not seven!) raisins and calling it dessert, why are you even in the room?
There are definitely times when food is pretty much just fuel, but being able to distinguish when it's more is vital to a healthy relationship with it.
Well said. I believe that this type of thinking and behavior is firmly rooted in control, or more accurately, a feeling of a lack of control. I tend to suspect that a good portion of the emotional ills that plague us first worlders come out off our feeling of a lack of control of our environments.
I could blathe4r on but I see I'm already beginning to veer off topic so I'll just stop procrastinating and go back to work....
I think you're onto something, but I think the pace of our world and the need for continual external stimulation is heavily contributing.
we've several diabetics in the family, so we're creative when we cook special occasion dinners. food is about FLAVOR and not QUANTITY. no-sugar-added deserts are wondermous, loads of veggies are good stuffs (especially seasoned and steamed till they're just begining to wilt a tiny bit and still crunchy), and YES we leave That Idiot Movie playing in the background, but we also do things like playing Apples to Apples or looking at picture books, and sharing memories.
this holiday will be TheEngineer, my parents, my exhusband, my son, and me all at table. and we'll have a GOOD time of it, too. :)
Certainly actual health issues call for some adaptation of recipes, and there are healthier versions of family favorites that can be made. But you have the heart of it, which is the sharing.
I'd rather be fat than to have to eat like that.
Me too. Then I had a heart attack Thanksgiving eve. I'll try to let you know when I've figured this one out.
My dear Steve had one and majorly changed the way he eats, losing weight and getting considerably healthier. Health is important, and taking care of it is vital. But this is not mutually exclusive to sharing meals.
Just the thought of steamed turkey makes my skin crawl.
It makes me very sad for that blogger.
It's incredibly embedded in parenting right now. I'll admit I lean (or at least leaned with my eldest) towards the avoid-refined-and-processed-foods-with-tots crowd. But I had my moment when one of my friends who truly loved my son offered him some god-awful Gerber strawberry-flavoured puffs.
I took a deep breath and let him have them. Because when he grows up and travels the world and people offer him local delicacies I want for him to say "yes" not "oh my god no, I only eat seaweed."
Oh, yeah, I went through my kids loving to go stay the night at friends' homes because they could eat sugar cereal there. It's something we have to endure.
Yeesh. That meal sounds like penance: "I am a bad person for needing to lose weight, so I will torture myself by sitting with a bland meal while others around me feast." Possibly with a bit of guilt-tripping involved... but that's my first reaction.
I have discovered that the weeks in which Soren, Jane and I have a few dinners sitting at the table, taking our time and talking, are the ones in which my weight drops ever so slightly, and I feel better emotionally. Food as fuel is good at times, but food as a social activity, and, as you say, dining as sharing, seems to be better for body and soul.
(My mind has footnoted M.F.K.Fisher: memory says that she wrote about eating, even when alone, as an act which should be savored, a deliberate, mindful act.. I'm often bad at it, but it does make a difference when I do.)
I love M.F.K. Fisher so much. And she is right.
The first thing that popped into my head when I read this person's Christmas "menu" was "She's never going to be able to sustain her weight loss for the long term."
As a lifelong yo-yo dieter, I've gone this route many times: deprive myself until I feel like I look "acceptable", strut around full of pride and vanity, lose control and start eating everything that isn't nailed down because I can't stand the deprivation and isolation any more. Lather, rinse repeat.
I'm currently doing Weight Watchers and I feel like it may actually stick this time. They emphasize learning to live with food, making better choices and planning ahead for Special Occasions.
Food is not the enemy.
Yeah, I thought that, too.
Weight Watchers always makes me hyper-obsess over the point system. It's just not the best deal for me.
Yeah, one of my resolutions this year was to lose 25 lbs. I've been successful. I have more to lose, but i did meet that goal.
I eat, more or less, what I want, making exceptions for meals that are more "fuel" oriented (work week breakfasts and lunches).
I get a lot of "how are you losing weight eating Chick Fil A breakfast every Saturday morning." (as an example). I sigh and roll my eyes a little, because I made a promise to myself this time that trying to lose weight was no going to be full of punishment and self-loathing. I wasn't going to do anything to lose the weight that I was not willing to do to keep it off forever, and I refuse to go through life without Chick Fil A for breakfast (for example). I could never indulge in my occasional buffalo wings and pizza Friday nights again, but I don't want to. :))
It's hard, and it's meant my weight loss is slower (or, right now, nonexistent), but yeah, I cannot eat steamed turkey for the long haul. I try not to be super critical of how other people manage their bodies, because people are going to do what they want no matter what, but the idea of counting out raisins makes me sad for her. :(
Congratulations on your weight loss, and on doing it the right way. You're absolutely right that a plan that is all punishment is doomed. I do feel badly for her, but most of the time when people are in that headspace, there is no getting through to them.
You're right, of course, that there's nothing preventing one from enjoying company and conviviality while eating something different. And yet, that's not what I sense is going on, here.
If you're going to enjoy a holiday party and just happen to be eating something different, you shouldn't be walking into it with an attitude of "dreading the ordeal." Sure, the ordeal could be about the family's unreasonable insistence on what one is eating, but in that case the blog entry would be about the unreasonable family, and not contain a punctilious recitation of the minutiae of what one is planning to eat. ("Look at me! I can stop after six raisins!")
So yeah, it could be like you say. But I think I'm playing the odds.
i saw a new primary care doctor this afternoon, and her team was wonderful. they asked me what my main concerns today were, and we discussed those. nobody said a damned thing about my weight.
Okay, just to get the disclosures out of the way: I'm vegan. I'm a vegan who does terminal animal experiments, but still. It was kind of accidental - I stopped eating meat on purpose, but the milk allergy wasn't by choice. (And eggs have just seemed less and less like food, though for a long time I had poached duck eggs from time to time.)
I'm also a good cook, former food writer, and am generally fond of the social experience of eating.
Oh, and I never have done the diet to lose weight thing. (Though, in fact, once upon a time I was almost half again my current weight.)
So, were I eating meat and all of that, I'd personally be most likely to try and have small portions if I felt strongly about that. (As it happens, I figure, if I'm hungry, I should eat, if I'm not, I should do something else.) And otherwise, participate in and enjoy the occasion.
But... I guess I just want to put a word in about how much more than love that lovingly made food can carry. Dear gods, people can be so weird about what they think you should eat, what they think they should eat, and how they think what you are eating has something to do with them. I've had friends into the fat acceptance thing try to pressure me into eating desserts that I did not want because I shouldn't be trying to deprive myself - and bitch about how unhealthy other friends diets were. I've had friends into various diets insist on telling me at length about how food that bore a great resemblance to the food that was on my plate at that moment was horrible, fattening, and bad for one's character. My sister and her then-partner once came to Thanksgiving at my house* - which involved meat - and insisted on showing everyone a video about the horrors of the meat industry. I've had more people try to press their lovingly made treats on me, regardless of whether these were things I could safely eat.
The blogger's proposed dinner sounds pretty vile. And I tend to be of the opinion that damages to mental health people inflict on themselves by insisting on a deprivation mentality can't possibly be outweighed by physical benefits... and I'm iffy about the physical benefits in many cases.
However... There are people who will declare that my diet is definitionally unhealthy. (*grin* Though I've yet to run into anyone with as strong a background in nutrition or biochemistry.) And there are a lot of people who will assert in one way or another that your obligation to eat their food is strong that your own right to choose what you put in your body. So my heart goes out to her.
* There would be a lot more family horror stories, except for a long stretch there all holidays were at my house, and if anyone tried anything too icky I'd throw them out.
That's pretty appalling. I certainly do not excuse in any way ANY of those behaviors. People really should keep their noses in their own plates. I didn't think it was my place to be directly confrontational with the blogger about her choices, because it's not really my place.
I just come back home to my own blog and write up my observations there instead.