Quote of the Day: Hunger, Food, and Self-acceptance

[Discusses calorie counts, reference to dieting/WLS]

I work with Michelle, The Fat Nutritionist, and she’s changed my entire life and my entire relationship with food. I was talking to her about hating myself for eating more often than I “should” [...] She said my body requires more calories than I’m able to consume in one sitting . That my 350 pound body requires more calories to function than someone who is, say, 200 pounds. That’s why I eat more often…I need more nutrients and calories than my stomach is capable of holding at any one time. Blew. My. Mind. I just thought, well I’m clearly eating too much [...]

We’re told so often that we’re supposed to eat 1,200 calories a day. The end. No flexibility. No matter how much you weigh, no matter how hard you work. 1,200 calories. That’s what I learned as a child and I’ve held on to that – even when I know, logically, that it’s complete and utter bullshit. Even dieting sites tell me I should be eating 2,500+ calories just to function. When you’ve believed your entire life that 1,200 calories is your goal, giving yourself permission to eat twice that amount is terrifying. I don’t trust my body. I don’t trust my hunger. How can I? Look where that left me.

What Michelle teaches me is to learn to accept that my body knows best. My body knows what it needs from me. And even after ignoring and disbelieving that for 30 years, I can teach myself to slowly start listening to the things my body tells me. I can permit my body to eat what it needs and wants, whether that’s a candy bar or a bucket of greens. I can give myself permission to eat. I can eat without judgment or fear or shame.

The food mantra I’ve come up with and repeat to myself when I eat: My food choices are valid. I’m allowed to eat this.

— From Heidi at Attack of the Sugar Monster, in discussing learning to eat more intuitively.   (Warning: Linked page includes discussion of weight loss surgery, eating disorders, and purging.)

I don’t try to count the calories in my food;I know the human body isn’t a bomb calorimeter. But I learned, young, that I “eat too much” (because otherwise I wouldn’t be fat) and was urged to diet (even though dieting isn’t necessarily about being healthy).  Heidi’s framing of this, of learning to trust her body, is really helpful to me.

I am also a fan of The Fat Nutritionist, though I haven’t worked with Michelle one-on-one myself.


Mod note: I keep this a space to discuss life & fat acceptance without focus on weight loss. I realize that quoting from this post of Heidi’s  may seem to open up the door to discuss weight loss here. NOPE. If you want to talk about it, please take it elsewhere.

Yes, I have done some reading on weight loss surgery and am not interested.  I believe in body autonomy and letting each person make their own choices about their own body — including weight loss — even though choosing not to diet is considered wrong by society.

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