Fat and Happy

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messy harryI gave in and bought new jeans. I’m notoriously cheap (and possibly a bit stubborn), so the fact that I bought new jeans is saying a lot. One of the things it says is that I can breathe freely. Good grief, my old jeans were tighter than I realized.

I “only” went up one size, to go along with the extra 10-15 pounds that are hanging on so persistently. I found myself wondering if I should go back to my super-low-carb diet. I still eat fewer carbs than most people do, but I had been eating them for breakfast and sometimes in mid-afternoon. But I know that the issue is probably tied in some way to the antianxiety drug I’m taking, Celexa. I wrote about why I needed this drug in a previous blog. Basically, I was having severe panic attacks and needed relief. And it really does help me. So I find it hard to be too mad at the little pink pill that has returned me to me.

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This whole food and diet thing is pretty crazy-making, really. So I was down to a healthy weight, and now I’m still okay, but a little heavier. I’m happier, too, but a little hungrier, it seems. It hits me in mid-afternoon. My “good” breakfast and “good” salad for lunch are great, and then… I crave carbs in the afternoon. Ignoring my feelings of hunger makes me feel anxious, which is what the little pink pill is for. So I try something healthy:  an apple. My body says, “Dude, that is not what I wanted.”

I like to understand things, so I Google. And I find that some people say that you should eat carbohydrates to boost your serotonin levels (apparently that’s just what carbs do naturally), and then you’ll eat less and lose weight. (I’m sure that will work… except when it doesn’t.) And I found some great explanations for why your body chemistry makes you eat what you do, which is great to know, but still really confusing, and doesn’t translate into a regimen that I can follow.

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And then I find an article that says:

“There are people we call carbohydrate cravers who need to eat a certain amount of carbohydrates to keep their moods steady,” said, [Judith] Wurtman, co-founder of Adara, a weight-management company whose programs are based on her research. “Carbohydrate cravers experience a change in their mood, usually in the late afternoon or mid-evening. And with this mood change comes a yearning to eat something sweet or starchy.”

Well, holy cow, if that isn’t me in a nutshell. I know many things about myself, and one of them is that I am a sweet carb junkie. This is why I’m the baker in the family. I LOVE baked goods. It is the thing I have to moderate the most. And in the afternoon! That explains why my diet falls apart about then. Fantastic! I need to fill our cookie jar…

When I started eating whole fats again, I remember that my body was doing a happy dance just to get what it needed. Avocados, bacon, cheese! Happy happy joy joy! In moderation, yes, but my body had been really missing it. Reading all of this information about carbs and serotonin, I wonder if I screwed my mood by eating such a small amount for a long time. I am certainly aware that what we eat has a huge impact on our mood, and perhaps I did myself a disservice. It’s worth considering.

That being said, I know that I can definitely eat too many carbs, and I still need to keep an eye on that. But maybe I need to factor in a mid-afternoon carb snack as a matter of course. Maybe if I consciously scratch that itch, everything will come into a better balance? Or maybe I’ll still be 10-15 pounds above my ideal weight but happier about it.

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Considering how often I’ve written about my health, my weight, and my diet, it could just be that I’m overthinking everything. But as I said, I like to understand things. And what I understand today is that there is no silver bullet, no golden rule, no ideal anything. What worked yesterday may not work today, and probably won’t work tomorrow, either. I’m going to buy some nice hippie clothes that aren’t constrictive, get a haircut, pray for my hair to go gray sooner rather than later, because I like that idea, and continue to eat as well as I can, work out, and have a cocktail or two in the evening. And cake. I’m going to enjoy my cake.

Asha Hawkesworth

Asha is passionate about enjoying life and making the most of what she has. She is a writer and painter and enjoys being with her family. She has written children's books and a book about the inner child (www.imaginalovemedia.com), as well as other blogs at brighthill.net and ashahawkesworth.com.

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