Days 18 and 19
Let me start by saying thank you to all of you who took the time to watch my video blog and to comment, email, text and fb me about it. It did my extremely self conscious heart a lot of good.
Today we talk Diets vs diet. Diets are orchestrated efforts with certain foods, points or shakes to take weight off. A diet is what you eat....good or bad. If your diet is bad, then chances are.....a Diet is in your future.
I have talked before about how amazing it is that years ago when a good percentage of the nation lived on family farms that the diets were likely pretty high in fat, calories and carbohydrates and yet you seldom saw an overweight person. My mother talked about when they were young and breakfast was oatmeal, fried eggs, bacon and homemade bread washed down by fresh whole milk. Lunch was garden fare in the summer such as tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and some form of sandwich. In the winter it was usually some kind of canned meat and vegetables. Supper was always meat, gravy, potatoes and a vegetable. Sunday dinner was usually the only time they had a proper dessert but the rest of the week there were homemade cinnamon rolls and cookies to serve as an after school and after supper snack. That was a lot of calories for a day. The difference between then and now though....where the food was concerned, there were no chemicals, no additives and everything was fresh or home canned. Where the people were concerned, they were up before dawn working both inside and out. They stopped for breakfast and then went to school or worked again. They stopped for lunch and resumed the work. If they were in school they came home from school and worked. They stopped for supper and then went back out to finish the work. Most of these people burned the entire days calories by noon....compared to today where if most of us wanted to burn those kind of calories we would have to spend a couple of hours in the gym.
Today most of try to at least part of the time avoid the "fried," the white bread, whole milk, gravies and sugar and yet we are twice the size of our ancestors. Why? Well in my opinion.....inactivity is our first issue. Back then even a homemaker worked hard. There were no conveniences. To do laundry you hand to scrub the clothes by hand and hand crank the water out. Then you had to bend and stretch over and over to hang clothes on the line. If you baked you didn't have an electric mixer....you hand beat every batter and you kneaded not one batch of bread dough but several. You didn't have vacuums and fancy mops to clean....you broom swept and got down on your hands and knees to scrub the floors and you put rugs on the clothes line and beat the dirt out of them. Add to this gardening, chasing around a house full of kids and cooking and cleaning up after three meals a day (without a dishwasher) and it was no wonder women never gained weight.
Men worked hard too. Seldom did men work behind a desk. Most worked their own farms and most did it without the benefit of machinery. Their farms, crops and animals were full time, back breaking jobs and most only rested on Sunday. It was a tough life by today's standards but one that most of them remember fondly. Today though, technology and convenience has turned a once healthy, robust nation into a lazy, overweight, disease ridden and generally unhealthy country of people.
When looking at the food intake of people back in the 30's and 40's, most of us cannot imagine eating three huge meals a day. However....they were for the most part healthy. Instead today we choose to buy and consume foods that say "fat free," "lite" and "diet" and we can't figure out why we are increasingly growing larger. It hasn't sunk in that for everything they take out of a food.....they put something else in (usually a chemical or additive that our bodies cannot digest or absorb) that turns to sugar and then deposits as fat. On the other end of the spectrum......if we aren't buying lite then we are consuming fast food as if it was our last meal. If we actually knew what we were eating we would likely lose our minds.....but ignorance is bliss so we order 20 mcnuggets, a double whopper and a 1/2 pound burrito and then get frustrated as our weight doubles in a year. And this is where our diet then requires us to go on a Diet.
Not all Diets are created equally. Some Diets push processed packaged foods on us that are just as unhealthy for our bodies in the long run as the foods that got us fat and unhealthy in the first place. Other diets give you shakes that again are full of additives and chemicals and are unhealthy because even a couch potato needs more to survive on than a shake. The Diets I am more aligned with are the ones that push nutrition, health and sakes alive.....cooking and preparing your own healthy foods. My favorite Diet of all time was the old school Weight Watchers pre points. Back in the day WW pushed healthy foods in their "legal" and "not legal" food lists. People weighed and measured themselves into a healthy weight while learning what a portion size was and what foods were and were not good for you. It was a pretty simply black and white method and best of all.....it worked! When weight loss became a big money game though.....WW had to amp up their image with points and books for eating out, eating in, no meat, some meat and any other food phaze that was currently popular. The simplicity was gone along with a lot of peoples patients. Sigh!
Okay......so has your diet caused you to need a Diet? Are you overweight, unhealthy or both? Well here is another challenge. Take the rest of this week and write down everything you eat. Don't change what you are eating, just simply document what you are eating. On Sunday.....go over what you have eaten. How much of what you are eating is lite or fat free? How much is prepackaged? How much is fast food? And how much of it is fresh and homemade? If less than half of what you are consuming is fresh and homemade then here is a good place to start making changes. The fact is....if you make small changes in your diet here and there.....soon you may no longer be in search of a Diet.
I am going to leave you with the above challenge. Feel free to comment here, on the Lisa Blogs or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing what you learn about your diet...and we will later be discussing small changes that make a huge difference. Until then.....lets all go eat a stalk of celery!