Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Food Obsession - Diet? Lifestyle? Philosophy?

I read once in some British chick lit novel, probably Jane Green, that Americans are food-obsessed. I thought to myself, "Of course we are!". And, what's wrong with that? Absolutely nothing, in my opinion; live what you love. However, as my brother, employed here, might tell you, there can be too much of a good thing. True, true! I would argue though that food obsession does not necessarily lead to obesity. Rather, one can love food without abusing one's body as a result.

In full disclosure, I should admit that I'm a lifetime member of Weight Watchers. WW's shtick is to promote a "lifestyle," not a diet. Call it what you want, but the point plan (which concentrates on calories, fat, and dietary fiber intake, as well as calories burned through exercise) simply works. It's basically eating with discipline, but some may call it obsession. Perhaps obsession is what we need though to fight the epidemic that is obesity in this country. Obsession is remembering little things like treats in moderation to avoid inevitable overindulgence, or eating until you are full AND THEN STOPPING, or remembering that drinking is eating too.

While on Weight Watchers, I've also incorporated so-called diets when I need a weight loss boost, have an impending bikini function, or just am feeling a bit rotund. The Glycemic Index promoted by the South Beach Diet, the vegan lifestyle promoted in Skinny Bitch, and seasonal produce embraced by Mireille Guiliano in French Women Don't Get Fat. All of these programs include some fundamentals upon which we can improve our health via smart culinary choices. We really do need to eat less sugar, less meat, and less processed foods. And yes, mea culpa, there have been times I've been a bit obsessed with each of these programs.

Food obsession has also meant keeping myself informed and educated. Thus, the blogging and subscribing to others' blogs. Also, whenever I find myself eating too much fast food, I rewatch Super Size Me (Fast Food Nation is really too disturbing to watch more than once). There is no burger delicious enough to fight the nausea that overcomes me when I watch Morgan Spurlock quite literally swell as the movie progresses. Recently, I also purchased Food, Inc. on DVD. Hence, my newest kick is to eat locally-sourced organic choices - not so much because of a heightened sense of morality (I like foie gras and veal just as much as the next girl), but really, because I don't want to eat chicken that sat in its own poo. In all seriousness though, when doing right by our bodies coincides with doing right by the environment and small businesses, it's an easy choice to make.

In summation, I guess my food philosophy is to embrace the culinary deliciousness and information that surrounds us, but that all things are best in moderation. The only thing I refuse keep in moderation, however, is my love of food.

1 comment:

iEatDC said...

Moderation is key. I eat all kinds of gluttonous meals (as you can tell from the blog) but that's mostly on the weekend and special occasions. During the week it's Greek yogurt, salad with grilled chicken, and lots of fruit. And I run about 25 miles a week.