Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Wednesday Factoid: Dieting

Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Have you ever chosen to go on a diet or regimented eating program?

Some would say being a vegetarian is automatically "being on a diet," though that's largely based on the (incorrect) assumption that people who are vegetarian or vegan are necessarily doing it for health reasons. I've been vegetarian for more than half my life and I don't really think of it as  "diet."

I have on occasion done small things to lose small amounts of weight, though I've never had a real problem with my weight and have never had any medical professionals recommend that I do so. Sometimes I want to fit in clothes that I can't fit in and might decide to drop a few pounds. It's never anything drastic and usually the lifestyle changes I've made to achieve it aren't drastic either. 

For a long time, I think 2006 to the end of 2014, I used to use a fitness website to record my food intake. I initially joined it after I got sick for a long time because I wanted to use the charts and info associated with it to figure out what nutrients I needed to focus on getting. Monitoring my eating necessarily leads to eating less food, for me, I found out. Even if I was not actively attempting to eat less, recording it subconsciously made me think about whether I wanted to really eat that because then I'd have to write it down. Sometimes I'd also arbitrarily decide not to eat more than X calories a day, even though if you'd asked me at the time I would deny that I was "counting calories." (I guess a machine was counting them, and then if I looked at them, it would affect my behavior.)

I stopped recording my intake at the end of 2014 for no particular reason except that I just was sick of it. It's not too much of a pain to record such things if you're eating foods you eat often (so they're in the drop-down of recent foods) or foods that are easy to record, but it's very difficult to get accurate records for restaurant foods, and even harder to get accurate records for homemade concoctions (of which I made a lot!). So I figured eh, I'll just stop, and probably it's just not necessary, even though the nutrition reads did help me figure out that I wasn't getting enough Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium.

Turns out recording my food actually did a lot. Surprise.

Me at the beginning of 2015
Me nowadays

It's no big deal but I've definitely gained at least 20 pounds and can't fit in a lot of my clothes anymore. :P

I have mixed feelings about "dieting" because you can be healthy at any size and I'm not a fan at all of the messages we send people about the consequences of being fat and the awful attitudes people have toward fat people (especially fat women)--so even though I'm not really in an area of body weight where most people would start calling me fat, I'm worried about whether I'd be interested in weight loss just because of negative messages and expected social consequences. But of course, there's also the straight-up practical aspect of it: If I don't lose some weight or at least avoid gaining any more, yeah, I'm going to have to get a lot of new clothes, and that's not cheap.

So yeah. I should probably lose about 15 pounds.

Maybe I should start plugging stuff into that site again. :P

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