Saturday, February 11, 2006

Fearless After 40

That's the heading on MORE magazine's February 2006 issue. I sent in one of those introductory offer cards with a 2-years-for-the-price-of-1 option. It is, after all, celebrating my age group. From the Table of contents:
  • On the Cover
  • MORE Now
  • MORE Style
  • Work & Money
  • People & Places
  • Body & Mind
  • Attitude
Except for the blazing BOTOX ads, I found a lot interesting in it's pages. A piece called "Making Peace with Food" hit home. By Lily Collett and Laura Fraser, it's about Lilly Collett and Laura Fraser's struggles with weight and finally finding solutions, though radically different from each other's, to their own eating issues.

(I've actually read Laura Fraser's book
"An Italian Affair", described as both travelogue and memoir, and I loved it. I recognized her face from the article in MORE so I pulled the book from my shelf to confirm it was her.)Laura's story: "I Eat for Pleasure". Struggling with her weight throughout her childhood and into adulthood, Laura has "done it by completely abandoning all diets, scales and calculations about calories or carbohydrates in favor of internal control". She says "Sure I'd be 15 pound thinner if I forbade myself red wine and chocolate, but life is too short." Her eating habits are "the result of a long studied process of learning to feed myself in a way that nurtures my body and soul."

She used a book meant for parents to teach their kids how to eat - How to Get Your Kid to Eat...but Not Too Much - Create a healthy food environment and schedule regular meals, and within that framework make decisions.

"I no longer binge on handfuls of granola, hunks of cheese and Hostess Fruit Pies, there's no urgency to finish something now before I go on a diet - I'll have another opportunity for a piece of dark-chocolate tomorrow".

"It turns out that my sense of what I should eat has led me to a diet that is mainly composed of fresh fruit and vegetables, high-quality proteins, whole grains and olive oil - simple and delicious."

Lily's Story" "I eat by the rules". Also struggling with her weight throughout her childhood and into adulthood. At school kids "laughed at my funny clothes and my funny accent. Food was the nest I made, the place I hid."

"Like so many American women, adept at periodic self-deprivation as well, I lost the initiative ability to simply nourish this human body, giving it just enough - no more, no less." After the weight came off she'd "get a new boyfriend...and go back to eating whenever I was hungry, or bored, or anxious, or angry, or shy, or lonely, or at loose ends, or couldn't find the cap to the soy sauce."

"I don't trust my spontaneity and intuition. Even when I don't feel hungry, and even when I feel ravenous, I eat everything in those three weighed and measured meals....As I weigh and measure my food, I learn to weigh and measure my life...Because I no longer worry that I'll eat too much, I'm no longer afraid to savor what I do eat."

I see both of these women's stories in me, because I love to cook and know what I need to do, I can trust my instincts and nourish my body and soul with the meals I'm now preparing. I also know that I need structure in my life, so I use as a tool to help keep me on track, and I bought a kitchen scale to make sure I'm eating and recording my food accurately.

My tendency is to eat when I can't find the cap to the soy sauce. I recognize that. Now my therapy comes in the preparation, not from mindlessly eating that 5 slices of full-fat cheese. I will be most content if I'm healthy and normal and can indulge in chocolate and cheese in moderation.

Now it's time I go out and put in 15 minutes on the Glider, take a shower, and get ready to go on a date with my husband. I'm only up to 547 calories today, and I'm about to go burn off about 130 of those, so there's room for some luxury at dinner tonight. Yay!

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