Sunday, October 2, 2011

Why This Blog?

I've spent the better part of the last 15 years reading about every diet, fad, healthy lifestyle, whatever the current buzzword.  I read, I study, and I'm fascinated by the amount of information provided about health and nutrition. 

What fascinates me more is that more than half of Americans are obese.  Fast food, fast lives, easy-to-grab processed foods.  Our country has made them part of the lifestyle. 

I don't really remember which diet or book or magazine or documentary or TV show clicked on this obsession I have.  I think I've read and done them all.

I used to be a stick person.  Age, lifestyle, hormones, and a love of food have moved me out of stick person mode into what I consider fat.  I recognize it in the size clothes I wear and the periodic glimpses I catch of a reflection in a window or mirror.  I often don't see it day to day when I look in a mirror.  That's a challenge for me, because I forget I'm "fat".

I've tried (and failed) at almost every diet trend out there - for the last 20 years!  That's a lot of failure.  I do well for a few weeks or a few months, and then slide back into old habits.  Sound familiar?

I've continued to read and study.  A couple years ago I decided to hell with it.  I'm going to figure out what works for me.  I'm going to become in tune to what my body requires, and find a balance between that and what my brain wants.  Because want to be healthy, and I want to enjoy my favorite things from time to time.

My parents health is precarious.  Between the two of them, my brother and I have seen the results of being overweight, high blood pressure, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, stroke, migraines, blindness, high cholesterol, over-prescribed pain meds, and a strange little blood clotting disorder that creates lots of clots that clogs the arteries and causes blockages.  That's a hell of a lot for us to wrap our heads around.

We already struggle with our weight.  We have migraines (I've had them since I was 8 years old).  I have high blood pressure (since I was 25 years old).  Personally, I'm terrified of the next 20 years with our family history. 

In my research and self-experimentation, I have discovered that:
  • processed foods make me have cravings for more processed foods, and never fill me up. 
  • dairy makes me congested, is a headache trigger, make me bloat up like a blow fish, and cause my tummy to be unhappy. 
  • a whole foods diet, with an emphasis on veggies, makes my body happy.
  • it's not as hard to cut back on meat as I thought it would be.
  • GMO's scare the daylights out of me (who wants to eat food created in a petry dish?)
  • eating foods that come from places close to home is good for me and our local economy.
I am currently obsessed with documentaries about food in this country.  I recommend them to everyone I know.  I recommend books I've read (I have three books going right now, all food related).  I sometimes jump on a soap box and lecture, and my friends aren't always appreciative.

So not long ago, one of my friends who has the same concerns as I suggested, in jest, that I write a book.  We laughed about how it would be called The Armchair Nutritionist, the rants and ramblings of a girl obsessed by food and good health.  About a week later, I started this blog. 

Now I can rant without upsetting anyone (no one has to read it!)

So that's my story.  And this follows my ups, downs, results of experimentations gone awry, and maybe someday it will help one person find a path to better health.

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