I started this blog for two reasons. One is to celebrate all the awesome things I’ve been cooking and eating since visiting Paris and reading great books that tell me to Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Not Too Much. More on that here. The other reason is the title of this post: I am a fat person, and I’d like to start documenting what I eat. First, because I think it’s pretty different from what people assume I eat – see the story below for an example. Second, because I’m a visual person and I’d like to see what happens when I accumulate a visual representation of my diet – will I start changing what I eat to make prettier pictures?
A Story about Assumptions
I recently visited my gynecologist. She is a fantastic doctor, but we had a very uncomfortable discussion at the end of the visit, the discussion that all fat people know is coming when they visit the doctor, the discussion called “What are we going to do about your weight?”
I’m up 20 lbs from my last visit 18 months ago, an increase from “OMG, DEATH FAT!” to “OMG, DEATH FAT, HOW ARE YOU EVEN ABLE TO WALK AROUND?” on the scale. And yet. Here I am. Walking around and working and making art and having sex. Just like a real person!
Doctor: What are you eating?
Me: I eat very healthy food.
Doctor: Well, it’s possible to eat too much healthy food.
Me: I’m pretty confident that I’m making good choices.
Doctor: Ok…have you considered Weight Watchers?
Doctor: And how did it work out for you?
Me: I followed it for two months, documenting everything I ate without changing any habits, and figured out that what I eat normally was well within their points system, I’ve since started following Health At Every Size – are you familiar with it?
Me: Um, ok, to sum up: Eat good food when you are hungry, don’t diet or hate yourself, increase physical activity for the health benefits, stop focusing on losing weight and focus on overall health. So that’s what I’m doing. (Makes mental note to send Dr. a copy of the book) I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, some meat, some yogurt & cheese, cut way down on pasta/bread/sweets, don’t drink a lot of alcohol, mostly cook at home, occasionally splurge on a cheeseburger, and I’m feeling pretty great about things.
Doctor: So no binging on potato chips and ice cream in the middle of the night? (fake, weird laughter)
Me: (fake, weird laughter) No.
Doctor: And how are your portion sizes?
Me: Not out of control.
She referred me to an endocrinologist, which is cool – I wouldn’t mind getting my thyroid and my blood sugar checked out – and she said the endocrinologist has a great nutritionist on staff who could help me out. So here’s my plan, I think: A month or so from now, I will make an appointment with the endocrinologist and the nutritionist, and I will bring my photo diary of food, and then we will talk about what’s going on, and we won’t work from assumptions.