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Monday, February 22, 2016

Unsocial Media

So, I've given up Facebook, at least for now.  I was on for a few minutes each day on 2/8 & 2/9 and not at all since 2/10.  It wasn't hard to give up, actually, but I do miss it (sort of).

I sit at a desk 90% of my work day so I would typically have Facebook open for perusing all day long.  Then in the evening and on weekends, I would check in periodically to see what people were up to.  I have a couple hundred friends, mostly relatives and people that I know irl.  I have lots of cousins and I really enjoy seeing their pictures and hearing about their lives.  We don't really speak on the phone so this is our main connection.  I see them once a year or once every few years. 

A few months ago I began feeling really stressed out about politics and social issues that mean a lot to me, but leave me feeling helpless.  In December I started unfollowing all of the political sites and many of the pages.  Going back several years, I have unfollowed friends and facebook friends who post nasty political things or other things I found offensive.  But as the presidential campaign season heats up, I began feeling irritated and stressed out by people whose opinions I generally agree with.  They would say nasty, critical things or disparage a candidate in a way I found very offensive, even if I didn't support that particular candidate.  Memes went around with nasty images and I just thought ENOUGH!  I'm tired of the sexism thinly veiled as political support.  I'm tired of the end-of-the-world thinking.  Things aren't actually going to hell in a hand basket, and they probably won't, no matter who wins or loses.

Remember when politics were taboo and practically no one talked about them?  I miss those days and I miss my Facebook friends (sort of), but I'm not planning to go back until after the election, if then.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

You're doing it wrong

My local newspaper runs a weekly syndicated health column written by a famous TV doctor.  I'm not going to name him because I do not wish to give him any publicity.  I'm also not going to link the article, but reading it really got me fired up.

The gist of the article was that the USDA has new dietary guidelines and the author doesn't think they go far enough.  Now I don't really have a big opinion on the USDA and its guidelines, but I am tired of reading and hearing ridiculous things about health and fitness.  Spoiler alert: whatever you're currently doing and eating, you're doing it wrong.

Then at the gym, I was thumbing through People magazine while elipticaling and I came across an article where some celebrity I'd never heard of listed everything she ate in a day and then two experts came in and described everything that was wrong with all of the things she was eating.  Spoiler alert: all her choices were wrong ("The tofu for lunch?  A great choice, unless it's fried." FUCK OFF!).

The newspaper article by the famous TV doctor said the USDA says we're supposed to eat 2 1/2 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruits, but famous doc says we should actually cover half of each plate full of food we eat with fruit or vegetables.  Not to be nit-picky, but I don't think "half a plate" is a standard unit of measurement.  Also, who the hell is doing THAT?  Um, nobody.  Even the USDA recommendation of NINE servings of fruits and vegetables (I think that's how the 2 1/2 cups + one cup formula works out).  Seriously people.  Quit suggesting stupid things.  No one is consistently eating NINE servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  That's ridiculous.

The article goes on to say that the USDA says eggs are okay, but the TV doc says NOPE!  He says we can eat egg whites and egg substitutes, but no yolks and no eggs at all when you also eat pork or read meat that week..  I say TV doc can kiss my ass!  Oh. My. God.  Didn't we settle this whole good egg/bad egg controversy years ago?  

Next TV doc says that even though the USDA says up to 2,000 mg per day of sodium is okay, HE knows best!  He also doesn't say how much he thinks is okay, but if we only eat fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid processed foods, we won't get that much sodium.

I read the USDA research on this subject recently and apparently there is no upward limit of sodium for most people that causes problems, unless they have high blood pressure or other health issues known to be caused or affected by an excess of sodium.  Also, too little sodium can be a real problem for some people (my grandfather was hospitalized for low sodium).  Now, I certainly agree that avoiding processed foods is a good thing to do, but why does TV doc feel he needs to arbitrarily create a food rule here? 

Next TV doc takes on the USDA recommendation to limit sugar to 10% or less of a person's daily caloric intake.  This is probably the food issue that I have the hardest time with.  I love sugar.  I eat it every day.  I probably eat 20% of my daily calories in various sugars.  But let's keep that in perspective.  I eat about 1,400 calories a day.  10% of that is only 140 calories. 

I have beat myself up about the sugar issue for a long time, which might be why I got so pissed off about this article.  I have come to grips with my diet and here's why:

* I am not overweight.

* I am very healthy (all of my numbers are PERFECT - cholesterol, blood sugar, EVERYTHING).

* I have no medical problems.  

Clearly what I am doing is working for me!  So why would I change?

As long as I can remember, I have doubted myself about practically everything, but especially my food choices.  I am beyond tired of living that life!  I have internalized so much criticism over my life, but I've also had a few people comment on my food choices in real life.  I've had more than one boyfriend say things.  I've also heard it from medical professionals.

But things are different now.  Six years ago, I took control of my life.  I rejected the messages that I couldn't trust myself with my food choices.  I rejected the messages that I couldn't eat whatever I wanted and still be thin.  And it is working!  So I won't be letting TV doc OR the USDA in my head.  I will continue to enjoy my diet of all foods in moderation.