So I’m currently making my way through Marilyn Wann’s Fat!So? (the book) and I really love it, but it’s raising some questions for me. Since I did this thing sorta backwards (self acceptance first, then reading all the Fat!So?s, etc.) a lot of it is a repeat of what I already know, but I just got through her section on health (and how being fat doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy) and here’s what I wonder: what does eating right mean exactly? Maybe Marilyn talks about it later in the book, but as of now, she says a lot about eating right and exercising regularly, but never specifies what eating right means.
Now, I must admit something. I’m asking this question because, though I don’t plan on dieting, I know I need to get my health under control. I am a fattie, but I’m a fattie who hasn’t really been exercising regularly (about to change), and a fattie who has high cholesterol, and a history of heart disease in the family. It’s a pretty serious thing for my dad that I eat well, and exercise, but his idea of eating right is very particular. He himself eats majority meat, and veggies. I, on the other hand, looooooovvvveee carbs, and never plan on giving them up. Give me a good plate of spaghetti any day!
So my question is, what does it mean to eat right? I hate meat. Really don’t like it. I eat chicken sometimes because supposedly I need more protein in my diet, but I think I’d rather be vegetarian, if I can be. Problem is, if I go veggie, I eat, seriously, ALL carbs. Now, my cardiologist, and everyone tells me this is bad. And my dad would agree. He has read about ten thousand books that tell him all about food and what to eat. For instance, he’s figured out, through all these books, that it’s CARBS and SUGARS, not fat, that cause fat, and bad health. I don’t know that much about it, but he’s pretty convinced. The Atkins, in theory, he says, is pretty good. Now, he doesn’t eat really fatty meats. He eats lean meats–turkey, chicken. He also eats entirely organic if he can (he’s actually ordering his chickens from a farm, and he just ordered a quarter of a steer from an organic farm for next month). But I don’t like meat. So what’s “eating right” for me?
And I have another question, an opinion question for all of you, where do you draw the line between going on a diet and eating right? Is it a diet for me to say, “hey, I eat too many carbohydrates. Let’s see if I can cut down on those a bit?” Is dieting only when you limit something? Or take something away from yourself that you know you want?
I want to be clear that I want to change my diet to get healthy, but I don’t want to cut out things I love. I love cake, noodles, cookies, Doritos, Cheetos, everything that tastes so good. I don’t eat all of that stuff too often, but I love it. And I intend to continuing loving and enjoying those foods. How does that fit into “eating right?” I don’t know. But I do know that I watch my dad every day restricting things I know he loves to eat. He won’t really eat mashed potatoes, or pasta, when my mom makes it. And it makes me sad because I’m afraid that’s what I’m going to have to become to get my cholesterol under control.
So I guess you could say I need help. I have a conflict between what the medical field (and my father) are telling me, and what I want to do and eat. I have a conflict between the way I think about this stuff, and my health. My mind is telling me “don’t change everything because they tell you to,” but then, I know that I have to make changes for my health. It will help once I’m exercising regularly, and really, that might tell me whether I’m eating right better than anything else.
But I want to know, what is “eating right” for you? And where do you personally draw the line between diet and right?