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Me and Meme Roth on the same page!?

Posted by on May 4, 2010 in Blog Posts | 4 comments

Meme and I present two very different approaches to dealing with the pediatric “obesity epidemic.”

Current paradigm of control, restriction, avoidance, external cues for eating…
Trust Model of eating with balance, following internal cues, feeding with structure and permission…
What do you think? Have you tried one or the other? What have the results been?
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  1. familyfeedingdynamics

    I am so sorry, but your story is so poignant and timely. Your experience is exactly what I am hoping to help prevent. Please feel free to email me directly. I would like to publish your comment as a post if I may. I would also love to see if there are any resources that can help you on your journey to feeling better. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Kate

    I have been dieting off and on since I was very young, 3, 4, or 5, maybe longer, so 35ish years. My mom is very proud of how little weight she gained during pregnancy when she was already very thin, so maybe I was hungry in the womb, who knows.

    I do know that I was sneaking food at a very young age and I do know that since my parents rejected my body as being too fat, I've seen pictures, I wasn't fat, I was happy when anyone would treat me like I wasn't disgusting and I don't think I have to draw a picture of how that might get a little girl or boy in a bad situation.

    I have years and years of notebooks and Excel spreadsheets recording every bite of food and every second of exercise. I have spent many, many nights lying awake calculating the calories spent and the calories taken in and wondering why the "calories in, calories out" math isn't working. More hours spent contemplating how little food I need to actually survive and how many hours of exercise I can tolerate before I collapse. Hours spent wondering what I did wrong in my life to deserve my body.

    I have tried so many diets, some seemingly sensible, some absolutely crazy, all ending with me gaining all the weight back and then some. I think about food all of the time, what I'm going to make for dinner, today, tomorrow, a week from now. I worry about how "bad" the food is that I want to eat and how much I can get away with eating before the pounds come.

    I don't have any "obesity related" disease. I have severe, chronic psoriasis and mild to moderate psoriatic arthritis, so I'm on some fairly intense drugs, at least they are intense to me.

    So, Katja, your method seems much more pleasant and less punishing to my psyche than dieting. I've done that, it hasn't made me thin, it hasn't made me happy, it has only made me very, very unhappy and very, very fat. I'm tired of the scale controlling my life and I'm tired of thinking about food all of the time. So I'm not going to be thin, that's okay. It's definitely time to stop punishing my body.

    As for eating more on the weekend, I don't tend to eat more on the weekend, and I have the spreadsheets to prove it, however, we like to sleep in, we do tend to have more of a brunch than a separate breakfast/lunch. I'm not naturally a grazer and I don't tend to eat outside of meal time, but I often don't eat until late in the day. Sometimes I forget, sometimes I can't decide what I want, sometimes I just can't be bothered, sometimes I think my subconscious is trying to give me permission to binge, you know, since I haven't eaten all day.

    Based on other things I've read from Meme Roth, I think her message is very dangerous. I think she tries to pass herself off as an expert with medical training and until she admits she doesn't have medical training, I have a hard time believing anything she says.

  3. familyfeedingdynamics

    This brings up some great posts! I wonder what you mean by "moderation?" That can mean different things to different people. Most people hear that as "I don't get to eat as much as I would like" of something, which triggers the feeling of deprivation and often rebound eating, or not eating in a way that listens to the body. Great points! Commercials work, studies show that we (kids too) ear more when exposed to food ads. I totally agree. When my kid sees one she asks for food. I explain it's not snack time and that's that. (Structure, good feeding…) I don't eat more on the weekend, I'd love to hear from other readers, do you eat more on the weekend?
    Most Americans have lost the ability to really listen to their bodies. They have largely lost the ability through years of dieting, bingeing, "clean your plate," eat your dinner before dessert etc feeding and eating practices. We are born with the ability to know how much to eat, but lose it due to the ways we are fed and the ways we eat. One can learn to tune in again, but it's hard. I totally hear you about many Americans stopping at stuffed. But, I have also finished a meal unsatisfied, and ordered or gotten more, or a dessert, eat literally one or two bites and be satisfied. It is knowing you can have more if you want, structure, learning to tune-in (relaxation, exercises in mindful eating…) giving permission to eat all foods, taking some time and effort to plan balanced, tasty and satisfying meals that can help folks tune in. Giving arbitrary calorie counts, keeping an arbitrary weight, not eating until a workout (even if it's 4 pm) sounds like a lot of work, pretty miserable. I would have liked to write down what I do to maintain my weight and health. Instead of a small bowl of steel cut oats, I got to eat a scrambled egg, two pieces of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and jam, strawberries and milk. I walked on my treadmill at 1 mph while running through my next lecture. I ate leftover stir-fry with brown rice for lunch with an apple and water, I will soon have coffee and a cookie (or two!) Then I will get on my bike and pick up my daughter after day-care. Swing by the park where she can play for an hour and a half, (with snack there of apples, crackers and whipped cream cheese with water…) Come home for family dinner. Go to bed at a good hour. I weigh myself once a year at the doctor. (I actually have lost weight since becoming more competent with eating and enjoying more of my former "forbidden foods." Though weight loss is not always the result of competent eating, better health usually is…) I don't measure portions or deny myself foods. I eat regularly, foods that taste good and enough of them and I move my body in fun ways. I weigh 160 lbs (basically since high school which is the mig-high end of "normal" BMI), my parents are well in their 70s on no medications (I got lucky with my genes) my lab work is great, I am happy, and I don't worry about food or my weight. Does that sound more appealing, or Meme's description of her day? Just curious…


    I think there is a balance between the two. I do not believe there is a such thing as "bad foods" or foods that should be off limits completely. I believe people should eat whatever produce they want, but moderation is key. People should listen to their bodies, but if they are going to do that, then *really* listen to your *body.* Not your brain, and not your feelings, but your body. Are you eating because your body is truly hungry or are you just bored? How long ago did you eat? Was it 7 hours ago or three hours ago? Are you only suddenly hungry because you saw a yummy commercial? Are you hungry for whatever or are you craving something specific? These kind of questions help in determining if you are truly hungry or if you just think you are hungry.

    It's true that people eat more on their days off from work or when they are sitting around the house with not much to do. They are at home, where their refrigerator is stocked, and it's convenient, so we grab food more often than we do when we are busy. I do it, my boyfriend does it, my roommate does it…every person that I know does it as a matter of fact.

    Also, people don't listen to their bodies when it's full. People eat until they think, "Oh I'm stuffed!" That's too much. Maybe they should have stopped five bites ago. It's so not dire to eat those five extra bites. I have tried this and I have walked away from my plate just as satisfied, actually even more so because I didn't feel like my belly was going to explode. The problem is, the eye is often bigger than the stomach. People fix portion sizes for themselves that is often a little too much, and they mentally figure, "Well if it's on my plate, I have to eat it all." Most of us have been brought up to not waste food and eat everything on our plate until it is all gone, but most of the time, doing that requires us going past our hunger level.