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jaylaka


Jun 6, 2003, 7:26 AM
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food - pleasure or pain?
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hey all,

while i have a healthy and happy relationship with food, i recently had a male friend confide that he has an eating disorder and eats for "fuel, not for fun" and a female friend tell me that she abuses laxatives and occasionally binges and purges. (these individuals are both runners and/or climbers, too).

issues of food (and related issues like weight) are really loaded in our society, and i know far too many people who equate their weight to their self worth. i don't know if there's anything i can do for my friends to get them to change their perspectives or their habits - ultimately, that has to come from within, you know?

so, what are your takes on food? love it or hate it? fuel or fun? healthy or unhealthy?

how do you deal with friends (who are athletes nonetheless!) who have issues with food?

jen


Partner missedyno


Jun 6, 2003, 7:51 AM
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good topic. can't believe we haven't hit this one yet!


in my teen years, like many teenagers, i looked in the mirror one day and saw a woman looking back at me. i still felt like a girl but here were these hips, this butt.... i also had a friend that was built like a stick. she had no shape, long skinny legs, and other people would say "oh don't you wish you looked like her?" (can you believe that? funny thing is, she and i were about the same weight, just different shapes)

this was, of course, very destructive and being a bit of an extremist myself, i basically stopped eating. i found that if i ignored the hunger pains, i could go until about 3pm without eating. i even tried throwing up after eating but couldn't bring myself to do it.

in retrospect, a lot of it was for attention. i will admit completely to reading up on anorexia and then trying to imitate the symptoms. strange what you can do to yourself.
so that's my backround.

now the fuel or fun question? can't say i am one or the other. it's great to eat after climbing... it's great to eat when i'm hungry. but now the "fun" lies in eating healthy.

talk to your friends - encourage healthy eating habits all the time. i found that after a few months of eating healthy, eating the crappy stuff just isn't worth it for how you feel afterwards. (my body feels like "what have you done to me? i want an apple. bad girl.")


mwbtle


Jun 6, 2003, 11:56 AM
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I vary greatly depending on my mood.

Sometimes food is so much fun, trying new things and just pigging out sometimes on ice cream or whatever. Other times I just eat because I have to.

I never went full on anorexic, but I've not eaten much in one sitting ever in my life until I hit college. I gained a lot of weight, which fortunately I've lost most of now. I tend to eat healthy now just because its cheaper, but still, sometimes, I just want to eat a huge really tasty meal. So then I exercise a bit more and all is well.

I've never eaten like a normal person though, I eat 7 or 8 times a day, but never as much as most other people with the same activity level and such eat in one sitting. I've actually heard my way is healthier, but I can't vouch for the truth of that.

So, I enjoy food, but I try not to take that enjoyment to excess, and often I don't enjoy it, but I figure thats my body just telling me its not hungry. I don't eat unless I'm hungry.

I think thats what everyone needs to learn, is to listen to your body, and what it wants (thats what cravings are for, to get you things you are maybe deficient in) and only eat when your body wants you to eat. So if you aren't hungry, wait until you are, and if you are hungry, eat something, but don't try for full, just try for not hungry.


grigriese


Jun 6, 2003, 12:29 PM
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I love food!

But I definately went through a very long period of my life when I felt like food was destructive to my goals. It's a shame how we get so caught up with our size and lose sight of our shape (physical condition).

I eat whatever I want now - don't worry about gaining or losing weight. I cursed my boyfriend for buying a scale. I hadn't stepped on one for about 3 years, and now I catch myself checking about once a week.


katydid


Jun 6, 2003, 12:30 PM
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I was anorexic in high school. I am not anorexic now.

I love to eat. Love food, have to be really careful about sweets because I'll eat tons of them at a sitting if they're available.

When I was younger I was controlling my weight because I felt like I had no control over the rest of my life. Once I got the underlying problem shaped around (severe clinical depression), I didn't have that need any more, and got up to a normal weight (and sometimes a little more than normal :roll:).

I do eat for comfort (mmmm, Cheetos and M&Ms ... food of the gods), and have been known on occasion to eat when I'm bored. But if I don't keep crap around, I don't eat it. And I'm not ashamed to eat a big meal if I eat out. So I guess I look at food as fuel, comfort, and sometimes a crutch (eating to relieve boredom, bad day, etc). But I think you can fuel yourself in an epicurean fashion; you just have to know how to cook healthy and tasty. :)

k.


granite_grrl


Jun 6, 2003, 2:23 PM
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Food is fantastic. It's pretty important theame in my family life, going home for supper is the main excuse for heading home. I find now that the way my family eats isn't the way I want to eat anymore (all my family, I'm in a different city now, and my uncle here is the same). We'll have these big ass meals, usually supper being the biggest. I don't like to eat that much at a time now, and I like to eat more during the day. But the best place for a conversation is in the kitchen with the kettle on and some little things to peck at.

But food is fantastic, when I'm studying I'll eat the chips and the junk, but right now I'm working and have been avoinding the junk. It makes you feel gross if you eat too much, and it's so much more satisfying to eat something like humus and pita for a snack than chips.

I also love to eat out, I love different foods, and I love food with flavor. Make it so I can't kiss anyone for a week, give me the stinkiest food you can find, and then put some more garlic on top. Things like garlic, onions, cheeses, portabello mushrooms.

Oh goodness I'm starting to get a little hungry, you'll have to excuse me... I have to head to the kitchen.


smiley


Jun 6, 2003, 11:31 PM
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It depends on the way I look at it. I've never been particularly fond of eating, but if I look at it right and remember to remind myself that it can be a good thing, it's cool. I do like chocolate. That's not a struggle. I like very simple foods. Mayo on bread. Or soft pretzels with cheese melted on them is probably my favorite. And that can be dinner for me. I'm not against elaborate foods; I'll eat them. And there is a very nice restaurant I like that serves excellent food. But it's too pricey to really go there much. But I do know the chef there and he has a great signature dish...if you like pineapples.


jipstyle


Jun 7, 2003, 8:17 AM
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I *love* food! :)

Actually, I love to cook ... eating is just a nice reward when I'm done. Making a delicious meal that is also healthy and nutricious is a challenge ... which just makes it more fun for me.

Despite that, self-image is a problem for me ... as it is with most people in our society, unfortunately. In my case, I have had trouble balancing the desire to be 'light', the desire to be 'attractive', and the need to be healthy. At one point, I was 20 lbs. lighter than I am now, and looked positively skeletal. It took a very brave and strong friend to take me aside and point out that not only was I killing myself, but I was NOT attractive and I was climbing like shit.

Now, I realise that eating is not the way to lose weight or be more 'attractive' ... only exercise can do that. So .. I run, and I climb, and I'm now a healthy 170 lbs., I look good, and I'm climbing harder than ever. :D


gretchino


Jun 9, 2003, 3:49 PM
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Food can be both for me...I get the guilty feeling sometimes, but for the most part I was blessed with pretty fast metabolism. I definitely feel it slowing down though...

I CANNOT turn down a snack (ever)....


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Jun 9, 2003, 9:00 PM
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i am most definitely a "food is fuel" type. i eat to perform. i watch WHAT i eat, HOW MUCH i eat, and WHEN i eat it. i don't necessarily count calories except to make sure i get ENOUGH.

that's not to say i'm so regimented i don't enjoy eating. one day a week (sunday) i let myself off the hook and eat whatever i want. and that means ANYTHING (with the exception of red meat). i'll eat a pint of ben & jerry's frozen yogurt, cookies ... whatever.

the way it works for me is, if i have a craving for some trashy greasy spoon frenchfries, i'll tell myself, "nope, not today. eat them on sunday instead." the craving passes, and by sunday i've forgotten about them. which is good because that leaves more room for a pint of cherries garcia. :lol:

oh, and ... sushi ... i'll gorge on sushi ANYTIME!


smiley


Jun 9, 2003, 9:27 PM
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I envy people who can do that. Right now it's after midnight and I haven't eaten lunch yet. I just forget. I feel weak, I'm crabby, I can't concentrate...you'd think I would put two and two together after a while but what I'm doing always absorbs me, especially when I have to double my concentration to make up for the fact that I can't concentrate properly. Maybe I need to buy a timer. :roll:


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Jun 9, 2003, 9:39 PM
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smiley --

yu know ... if the medical world can develop the intravenous morphine pump, i say it's high time we get the ben & jerry's pump.

NURSE! TWO PINTS OF PHISH FOOD, STAT!


smiley


Jun 9, 2003, 9:47 PM
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:lol: :lol: :lol:
Amen to that!


iamthewallress


Jun 10, 2003, 4:50 PM
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I don't think I've ever forgotten to eat in my life!

Here's the short version of my long story...

Ages 2-18...Ballet made the earth spin.
Age 14...Puberty and associated weight gain. Begin dieting. Stay normal weight which was way too heavy for an aspiring dancer. Start throwing up very occasionally when I screw up on my diet.
Age 18...Move to Belgium. Quit ballet. In spite of numerous short lived diets, go from 125 to 165 in 4 months. Go on very serious diet so I don't return to the states 40lbs heavier.
Ages 18-20...Totally addicted to dieting. I wasn't even so worried about how I looked as I was whether or not I had the self control to not eat. It was like a personal high, a point of pride to say to myself at the end of the day, "Good job! You had the amazing self-control to limit your calories to 400 today!" Weighed 105 at 19. I obsessed about food (because I was friggin' hungry!) I ran 5-10 miles a day. When I got stress fractures in both feet, I couldn't deal and started purging again.
Ages 20-24...Tried to eat normally on a low-fat diet. Still paid enourmous attention to what went in my mouth. Still suffered from a lot of guilt around food. Gradually gained weight...up to 135, but I wasn't as obsessed with weight and food as I used to be.
Age 25...The great food in the Bay Area inpired me to start eating whatever I felt hungry for no matter how caloric or fatty it was. I lost 10 lbs in the process and quit feeling hungry so often.
Age 29...Present...I'm ~120. I lost a little more weight without trying once I started climbing. I eat like a pig.

My analysys...I just had to go through all of this to get where I'm at now. I didn't do anything deliberate to bring about my change in attitude or my physical change. I just think that as I got older, I got more comfortable with myself. I also really think that my metabolism sort of needed to just stablize after puberty.

As for your friends...I don't think that there is much that you can say or do. Any comment on my weight when I was at my low point was taken as the highest compliment. "You look emaciated" was music to my ill ears back then. I would suggest that you not go there unless you are wanting to do a full-on intervention where you try and get your friend into a treatment center or some such thing.


smiley


Jun 10, 2003, 10:12 PM
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So you understand how it feels, too. I'm sorry you had to go through all that. What is it that makes something so essential to life, the thing that can be such a struggle?


gblauer
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Jun 11, 2003, 2:17 PM
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Complicated subject. I was a gymnast in junior high and high school, constantly watching everything I ate. In college I pigged out and stayed "heavier" (5'3", 117 pounds) until I finished having kids. Once my last one was born, I lost weight and have maintained my weight somewhere between 105-110 for the last 12 years. That being said, food is a constant struggle for me. I have created a rigid set of rules around eating; vegan, 50% calories from fat (I eat a lot of nuts), very limited carbs (no bread, pasta, rice or potatoes), some protein (vegetable). And I "sneak" m&ms or really good homemade oatmeal cookies. I think food will be a struggle for me until the day I die. Seems like a waste doesn't it? I doubt anyone will remember me for what I weighed while I was on earth.


smiley


Jun 11, 2003, 2:39 PM
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In reply to:
Seems like a waste doesn't it? I doubt anyone will remember me for what I weighed while I was on earth.

I think that sometimes, too. I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth it. I don't know.


smiley


Jun 11, 2003, 4:47 PM
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Uh oh...warning for high-protein dieters [In reply to]
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I saw an article in the June 2, 2003 US News & World Report that high protein diets can cause gout, kidney stones, calcium loss from the bones, and for those not eating enough vegetables, it can increase risk of cancer.

Requiring the heart to use more fat may impair its function.

It also says that the brain uses more energy pound for pound than any organ in the body, and it specifically requires glucose. (For those not getting enough carbs, this is a problem.) This part might be bad news if you're climbing because it leads to a loss of concentration.

Youchers! :shock:


ecocliffchick


Jun 13, 2003, 8:01 AM
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gblauer - I applaud you for your strength to break societal standards and opt for an animal free diet. Just be careful about throwing around the term "vegan" if you are eating m&m's!

I've had a love/hate relationship with food since my early teenage years. I was a really skinny kid and when puberty hit I gained some weight. I hated that body but loved the taste of food - which lead to some serious binging and purging. By the end of highschool I'd decided that a vegetarian dietary lifestyle was right for me both ethically and in terms of weight management. I've tried to be vegan off and on for the past nine years (my longest stretch without any animal products was eight months)but some craving (usually cheese or chocolate) always weakened my will power!

Anyhow, now I try to really enjoy my food. I eat what I feel like, but just in smaller portions. Portion sizes have gotten so rediculously huge lately that it's no wonder that there's so much obesity. Try actually eating the recommended serving size and getting a variety of foods in your diet.


estherator


Jun 19, 2003, 2:12 PM
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When I was a teen, I had a lot of food issues. I also went into undergrad with a musical theatre/dance major, so there was a lot of pressure to keep your weight really low-that didn't help. I have gone through the whole binge/purge, laxative abuse, and starving myself routine.

Now I try to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, but I have to enjoy my food. So I cook alot. When I am training hard I can tend to get a little obsessive-I can tell you exactly how many grams of protien, carbs, and fat I've consumed in a given meal of day and the percentages by calorie broken down. I try not to let it run away with me though...


maculated


Jun 20, 2003, 10:01 AM
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My take, if anyone cares:

I hate food. I hate dealing with it, I hate eating, I hate the whole process. If I could run on taking some kind of pill to sustain me, I would.

Why? My whole life I've been a bit overweight. It wasn't until the last four or five years that I did anything that didn't involve TV watching and computers. Which of course would lead to that sort of thing.

But then I get into lacrosse and climbing and hiking and all things outdoors and I run every day, do yoga, climb, etc . . . but I am still mildly above ideal weight. So then I changed my diet to whole foods, non-processed, and limited the calories. Still nothing. But now I worry about what goes into my mouth all the time.

I go out to eat a lot compared to most as for me it is social, but its a hassle to think about, prepare, and eat food. I would make an excellent anorexic if I didn't get extremely weak.

I recently went to the doctor to try to figure out why I can't get down to ideal weight. His opinon? I'm one of those people that needs to eat 1000-1500 calories a day. Not a possibility for my activity level. So he put me on the Atkins diet.

5 days into it, I got weak, weepy, and shaky. I eventually got so messed up I had to sleep it all off. No energy, nothing. I gave up after that.

As a result, I still hate having to eat, but I have decided that NOTHING is worth feeling like that again. As a result, I thank my body for being as good as it is. I hate when guys tell me I will love this crimpy overhanging roof because I am a girl. I am built as solidly as any guy I've ever met and I am not going to eat two bagels a day the rest of my life to change that.

The end.


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maculated --

i would say to you that it is not so important HOW you look, but rather that you are fit, able to do what it is you love, and (most importantly) healthy.

i think women have been given an unfair shake in this whole "appearance" thing. women have been made to believe for far too long that they have to be stick thin model types with perfect hair, perfect nails, and perfect makeup. and WHO has made them believe this? men.

personally, i prefer a REAL woman who is happy and secure inside her own body. after all, it's truly what's inside that counts. everyone is different, and diversity is what keeps the spice in life.

from your profile pictures i have determined that you don't have a horn growing out of the top of your head, or a third eye. you appear to be an attractive woman. even more so because you climb!


slcathena


Jun 24, 2003, 11:08 AM
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In reply to:
I don't think I've ever forgotten to eat in my life!

Here's the short version of my long story...

Ages 2-18...Ballet made the earth spin.
Age 14...Puberty and associated weight gain. Begin dieting. Stay normal weight which was way too heavy for an aspiring dancer. Start throwing up very occasionally when I screw up on my diet.
Age 18...Move to Belgium. Quit ballet. In spite of numerous short lived diets, go from 125 to 165 in 4 months. Go on very serious diet so I don't return to the states 40lbs heavier.
Ages 18-20...Totally addicted to dieting. I wasn't even so worried about how I looked as I was whether or not I had the self control to not eat. It was like a personal high, a point of pride to say to myself at the end of the day, "Good job! You had the amazing self-control to limit your calories to 400 today!" Weighed 105 at 19. I obsessed about food (because I was friggin' hungry!) I ran 5-10 miles a day. When I got stress fractures in both feet, I couldn't deal and started purging again.
Ages 20-24...Tried to eat normally on a low-fat diet. Still paid enourmous attention to what went in my mouth. Still suffered from a lot of guilt around food. Gradually gained weight...up to 135, but I wasn't as obsessed with weight and food as I used to be.
Age 25...The great food in the Bay Area inpired me to start eating whatever I felt hungry for no matter how caloric or fatty it was. I lost 10 lbs in the process and quit feeling hungry so often.
Age 29...Present...I'm ~120. I lost a little more weight without trying once I started climbing. I eat like a pig.

My analysys...I just had to go through all of this to get where I'm at now. I didn't do anything deliberate to bring about my change in attitude or my physical change. I just think that as I got older, I got more comfortable with myself. I also really think that my metabolism sort of needed to just stablize after puberty.

As for your friends...I don't think that there is much that you can say or do. Any comment on my weight when I was at my low point was taken as the highest compliment. "You look emaciated" was music to my ill ears back then. I would suggest that you not go there unless you are wanting to do a full-on intervention where you try and get your friend into a treatment center or some such thing.

I would post a whole reply to this topic, but I could have written this, so it seems pretty pointless. All I would need to do is alter the high/low weights to 85-135, add that I am currently 24 and chillin' (sort of comfortably sort of not at 100--don't panic, I'm only 5'1") and minus that whole Belgium thing. I was never lucky enough to spend a significant amount of time in Europe.

Food is definately fuel at the moment, and climbing is one of my main motivations for consitently using it--but I am working on learning to love it again. I really am.


neeterock


Jul 14, 2003, 6:03 AM
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I have been a mia (bulimic) for about three yrs. I have done things to my body to capture the "perfect" image that would make most people cry. I have passed out, ripped the skin off my knuckles, developed ulcers, popped blood vessels, etc... Why? because I thought I wasn't worth "it".
My rant:
I was offered modeling work, runway work. Work you'd kill for...with top designers. My dilemma? My height. In order to work with these shows I HAD to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks. At the point to being offered this I had already been a mia for about 2 and a half yrs. I was down to 82 pounds...what they wanted I couldn't do. I tried it, went climbing nearly died on the wall. I hand nothing in my system, I was skinny...bone.....and I couldn't climb. I had to make a choice....I took climbing. I'm now a hefty 97-99lbs....(my constant weight before I became mia) and I'm a little freaked out. I'm "big", no longer attractive (since I can't model) but that's OK with me....I can climb and have fun....I can walk around for more 20minutes AND not pass out!!!!
I had to make a choice about who I wanted to be, strong or weak....who wants to be weak? I wanna kick ass with class ergo I need to be healthy. The trick is to choose what you love and need to survive as a HAPPY being.


maculated


Jul 14, 2003, 10:40 AM
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Neeter,

Have you looked into counselling? I have heard of these supportive website for people who say they are "mia" or "annie" or something like that, and I hope that you will NOT find the support of maintaining your unhealthy self-image here. Unless you are 5' tall, 97 lbs is still insanely thin.

I'm something close to fifty pounds heavier than you and folks still seem to find me attractive. It would be worth your while to seek out some people who can tell you why.

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