For the last three weeks or so, I've been eating healthier and exercising between 5-7 time a week. I am begrudgingly admitting that I feel better and that I can feel parts of my body getting stronger. I'm trying to not get caught up in results, I've given my scale to my friend Amanda. I also have a tendency to get frustrated when the scale or the measuring tape doesn't change their numbers and give up in a fit of self loathing.
I spent some time today reading excerpts from various books about what to eat, how to eat it, when to eat it, what's evil today and all that stuff.
Well, it would appear being vegan for health and well being is big right now and detoxing is still popular. One book's introduction tells me that the author began his journey to wellness with three days of colon cleansing.
Colon cleansing is another phrase for "I shit for three days." I don't want to shit for three days, I don't like shitting for three minutes let alone three days. Do people take vacation days to do this? You'd have to, if you were going to colon cleanse for three days.
Did you know there's a man who believes Elvis died of a heart attack brought on by chronic constipation?
Anyway, this one author big into the vegan thing, with most of one's meals being raw foods. Yes, the raw food movement. Fruits, roots, shoots, leaves, nuts and seeds, that's all they eat. Oh, and it's got to be all organic because big food is evil, in bed with the medical industry and is trying to make everyone sick so doctors can make more money.
The Skinny Bitch basically says go vegan or go fuck yourself. She also insists you can afford to eat an organic vegan diet you just choose not to make it work in your budget.
Then there's Susan Powter, who says I'm not eating enough, I need at least 2200 calories a day, compared to the 1100 calories sparkpeople.com has calculated for me.
Recently, Susan has also jumped on the organic vegan wagon, eat vegetables and fruits, legumes and rice, anything that grows from the ground is fine.
The ghost of Atkins is still floating around, telling me I need to ditch the carbs found in rice, beans and fruits in favor of lean proteins, dark greens and nuts. Suzanne Somers does a version of the high protein thing including blue cheese dressing, cheeses, lean meats and eggs, meaning cobb salad is a go. Of course, she also puts a dose of hormones into her vagina every morning so I'm not sure I should take all of her advice.
So, blue cheese burgers on lettuce on one plate and just lettuce on the other. Am I the only one who thinks this is weird and confusing?
Watching the Biggest Loser doesn't help, what with 20, 30 and in one case, 40 pounds lost in a week. I am not of the opinion that a loss of that much is healthy. I'm also not of the opinion that a trainer pushing a person to exercise until they puke, pass out or both is a good thing. I understand proving to someone that they can do a lot more than they think they can is a powerful motivator, but when the person in question literally runs until they drop and needs medical attention, I'll probably look elsewhere for advice. But seeing the big numbers is discouraging.
I went to look at the food pyramid on the Department of Agriculture's site, but I can't make heads or tails of that thing. The message appears to be, eat more vegetables. Okay, I need to eat more vegetables. Got it.
But then there is the recommendation of what kind of vegetables. Any vegetables? Yes, says one! Oh no, says another! Only dark leafy greens. No no, you need non-starchy vegetables and carrots should be the only root vegetable you eat. No no, squash is a must! All organic! Any vegetable is okay, even frozen or canned just eat more vegetables! For god's sake, juice it! Only the juice is what you need! Use the pulp to make veggie breads!
The rest of it is all conflicting information making me so confused I'm ready to toss the whole idea and come up with my own plan involving more vegetables. And I could probably write a book about my experience of eating more vegetables and how it Changed My Life.
I have found a promising book by a woman named Marion Nestle Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at New York University. She has written several books about foods, what a person should eat, how food works in your body and such. What she presents are facts and the philosophies of other scholars she admires who all said pretty much the same thing: Move more, try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
She's very aware of the issues families are dealing with regarding finances and food costs. She knows there are families who sometimes have to make choices between medication and more nutritious foods. She knows that people don't have a huge amount of time. That's why I like her.
I have some other books I need to read before I commit to her publication, but I'm putting on my wish list.
I'm not even going to go into the various ideas about exercise, because my scalp already hurts from where I've been pulling at it.
Amanda's beauty tip of the day: If, like me, you have a tendency to pick at your skin, keep something on hand to put on whatever blemish you are wanting to pick at. I use an anti-blemish treatment gel.