>I’ve gotten some questions lately…thought I’d answer them here.

Why “What’s Eating You?”

I started this website for a couple of reasons…I wanted to foster community for women who feel stuck and are frustrated with their weight loss efforts. I wanted to create a space where women who are a lot like me could find support and encouragement to reach their health goals. And, I wanted to share my journey on this path.

I have been dieting since I was about 13 years old. For the most part, I’ve only ever struggled with 20-50 extra pounds. No, I do not have a degree in nutrition or phsy. ed. No, I am not a certified personal trainer or a health practitioner. I am not a doctor of any kind. All I have is experience on this path. I can only talk about the things I’ve done and the books I’ve read. Any advice I have to give on weight loss is based purely on my own experience. Do I know a lot about the human body? Sure but not nearly as much as a doctor, nurse, nutritionist, personal trainer, etc. Do I know a lot about food and nutrition? Absolutely…but again, I’m not a doctor, nurse, nutritionist, etc. All this to say, when it comes to anything I write here, your mileage may vary.

One thing I know for sure…our relationship with food is fucked up. If you are anything like me, then you are an “emotional eater” and you eat for so many reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with nutrition/health. Understanding this has taken me many years. And like so many people, I have spent thousands of dollars trying to fix my relationship with food.

Guess what? Not fixed yet. I’m not even sure this is possible. I am hopeful, though, to find a path that will help me get to where I want to be.

Above all, I guess, I’ve learned that our weight/health issues aren’t about what we are eating, it’s all about what is bothering us…this is why so many of us engage in emotinal eating behavior. This blog is my way of figuring out what is bugging me so much that I put myself last and abuse my body with food.

What’s with the flying pig?

It’s just a symbol of the Flying Pig Marathon here in Cincinnati. It has come to represent a lot of things for me. Every year, I set a goal to do the Flying Pig half marathon…I did it one year…walked it…ended up with plantar faciitis for a year afterwards. I plan to do it again this year…and, of course, want to do it without ending up hurting myself!

The pig is also a symbol for taking back all those names I called myself all my life (“you’re such a fat pig!”)…years ago, I became aware of how often we call ourselves names and say hurtful things to ourselves. I have tried to stop that kind of behavior…it’s insidious though…one has to be vigilant.

Would you get the lapband?

No. Absolutely not. I mean, I have never been overweight enough to warrant lapband or gastric bypass surgery. So I can only speak from the perspective of someone who would like to lose a small amount of weight (for me, reaching optimal health isn’t about losing weight – or not losing weight – it’s about a lifestyle that works on many levels – body, soul, and spirit). But, no, I don’t think that lapband, gastric bypass, liquid diets, starvation diets, etc…are really good for anyone with an emotional eating issue (though I’m sure there are exceptions, there always are!).

If you are considering it, I would urge you to try something less invasive first…like eating clean and getting on a doable/sustainable exercise program.

You don’t have much to lose compared to me, so you must really think I’m a fat pig!?

No. First, let me be clear…the only one I have ever called a fat pig was myself. ;> But, second…I don’t believe that just because someone is overweight that they are deserving of being called a degrogatory name (they’d have to be an jerk or mean before I’d do that!). I have loved many people of size…and I’ve known many people who are overweight that I would consider to be beautiful and/or sexy.

In fact, I fully believe that part of the problem for emotional eaters, is that we don’t love ourselves enough. We don’t believe in ourselves enough (I know that’s corny!). And, for me, it gets really tricky because on my journey, I’ve assigned a number to know when I’ll reach my goal (47 before 47). That said, reaching my goal is more than just about seeing that number on the scale…it’s about being able to ride my bike, run up the stairs, and take an ashtanga class without feeling like I’m going to die.

It’s about feeling sexy and beautiful. Let me be clear here…my goal weight is not going to leave me ‘celebrity skinny’…my goal weight is a very healthy 150…for a 5’3″ woman that is not eating-disordered thinking. And I’m not saying that feeling sexy and beautiful should be tied to a number on the scale…sexy is so complex…there’s just no accounting for what turns anyone on…it rarely has to do with the number on the scale or the size jeans someone is wearing.

I feel that a lot of my symptoms…weight gain, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, exhaustion…are due to my unhealthy lifestyle. For years and years I ate crap…poison…highly processed, chemical laden “foods” that, I believe, have contributed to these symptoms. Changing my diet and exercising to make my body strong doesn’t mean that I don’t love and accept my body at any size…it means, just the opposite…I do love myself and I believe that I deserve optimal health.

If I could stay the way I am right now…the same size jeans…and eat cake and drink wine…and feel energetic and happy and at peace…I would. But eating like that and not moving is not doing me any favors…in fact, it’s killing me.

All this to say…I have compassion for myself at this weight and I have compassion for you at your weight.

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Okay, that’s all the questions answered. I hope that I haven’t offended anyone…but you ask and I will say what I think. Keep ’em coming, folks. As I said, I’m here to create community…this kind of give and take is what it’s about.

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