Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Diets made me fat

Some dietitians admit that they were attracted to the study of nutrition because they were living with an eating disorder. My obsession with dieting began way after I started studying nutrition. Perhaps I can blame my nutrition knowledge for my weight gain?
Of course I dieted when I was younger. There was the Stillman diet (I think it was also called the Drinking Man's Diet or maybe that was another one popular at the time) and Weight Watcher's was "invented" sometime in the 1960s when I was a young adolescent/adult. Interestingly, I wasn't fat then. I think I probably weighed about 50 pounds less than I do now. But I did diet and eat erratically but not with an obsession about it. I also made up my own diets like the time I ate only pistachio nuts and drank Pepsi (yes, with sugar). I seem to recall losing weight on that diet. Don't remember how I felt, though. I think I went on WW early on because my aunt, who lived next door, was on the diet. All I remember from those days is that you weren't allowed to have plain bread....it had to be toasted. We all thought that toasting the bread decreased the calories. It was only after studying nutrition that I learned that the "act" of toasting was just a behavioral technique. Oh, well. It was fun to think that toasted bread had less calories. That you could "cook out" the calories.
I don't even recall if we owned a scale when I was growing up. I grew up drinking full fat milk, eating regular butter, french fries every night for dinner, fried chicken as often as I could coax my mother to make it for me, cheesecake, ice cream, pizza...the list of now forbidden foods. Isn't that weird? I grew up on a diet of foods that we all now think are "unhealthy" but I wasn't fat at the time nor were my parents. My father had a "belly" but that came and went with his alcohol consumption not diet.
And I know I was not obsessed with what I was eating the way I am now.
Vegetables. My parents were obsessed with vegetables. We had to eat our veggies or we couldn't leave the table. But they didn't know or care about calories and fat. At least they never talked about it.
So it seems that the study of nutrition has helped to make me fat. No. I'm not kidding. Of course, I'm totally responsible for my weight. But learning about what to eat and what not to eat has made me super-vigilant and obsessed. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

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