What fat people eat.

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?

Me:  Yep.

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?

Doctor: No.

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.


13 responses to “What fat people eat.

  1. LOVE the concept of this blog, and will be very interested in following you and learning what you learn (and learning about new recipes).

    I know that my eating habits are cause for my being overweight. WW worked very well for me-just fell off the wagon and can’t find my way to get back on. While I do eat healthy food, I eat too much, and too much junk on top of the healthy stuff.

    Love ya!


    • Thanks for the welcome, D.! The author & famous gourmand Jim Harrison says that if you don’t have an hour every day to make yourself a great dinner, you should quit your job. I’m in a very lucky place in life where I have time to experiment. It’s been a pretty lovely summer, foodwise.

  2. I *love* food blogs, and I’m just tickled that you’ve started one. Yey!

  3. Just love it – did you take the photos of the food you cooked or are these from cookbooks?
    If these are your photos, you’re an excellent photographer too.
    I’m going back to copy some of the recipes. Like you, I love to cook and experiment and mix up and combine recipes. Or at least use them for some basic ideas for what I have in the frig.
    I was single for many years and always took the time to make myself a nice dinner. It was my way of relaxing and using my creativity after a long day.
    Not single anymore but I still follow the same pattern. As a matter of fact, I’ve got the oven going right now.
    I’m looking forward to checking back on a regular basis.
    Happy New Year!

    • I’m glad you like it! All the photography is mine – it’s become something of a hobby over the past few years as my filmmaking gets more complex and requires bigger crews and budgets it’s good to have an art form that can be done solo on a daily basis. Here’s some of the best work: http://www.flickr.com/photos/captaincinema/sets/72157604333631615/

      Send me good recipes! I always like new things, vegetarian food, etc. So glad you stopped by.

  4. I love what you wrote. I recently was diagnosed with cancer for a second time. I will say that having it come back for a second round in a short period of time has made me realize the need for more nutritious foods. I bought a book specifically tailored to cancer fighting foods and have found that the author portrays an interesting view point that is very similar to yours. The detox immunity building 5 day diet allows me to eat as much fruits and veggies, brown rice and fruit juice that I want for 5-10 days. Since I am a meatlover at heart, this has been a tough task. However, I have found pleasure in trying new vegetables and meat substitutes within the last couple of days. My primary physician’s first question is always centered around my weight issue (overweight issue). I, like you, eat pretty healthy or so I thought until I attempted this 5 day cleansing diet. I never realized how much crap I actually ate until I was no longer allowed to eat it. Eventhough this is a brief “diet” I feel better and have more energy to do mundane tasks. I have really enjoyed creating new dishes with unfamiliar foods that I typically would never have thought twice about trying. It is a great new experience and cannot only help during cancer treatments but also help prevent a typical person from ever getting cancer. Immunity is key. I wish you luck in your endeavor for a healthier lifestyle! Best wishes!!

  5. Recipe to try. It is one that I created the other night.
    1/2 head of red cabbage cleaned and chopped
    1 clove of fresh garlic minced
    1 sprig of green onion diced
    1/2 a handful (10 sprigs) of fresh cilantro cleaned and diced
    2 tablespoons of olive oil
    23tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
    1/4 cup chopped raw brazil nuts
    dash of salt

    First clean all vegetables (cabbage, onion and cilantro), dice veggies into a bowl and stir.
    Then chop brazil nuts and toast in the oven for about 8-10 minutes at 300 degrees F or until golden brown.
    Let nuts cool before stirring into vegetable mix
    While nuts are cooling, mince garlic into vegetable mixture.
    When nuts have cooled toss them into your veggie mixture.
    Add the amounts of olive oil and balsamic vinegar described above and a dash of salt.
    Stir it up and enjoy a delicious new treat.
    (Brazil nuts can be substituted with almonds, pecans or walnuts)
    (Add other fruits if desired i.e. raisins, cranberries, apples, etc.)

  6. Madhavi Gupta

    Oh Jen , I love you so much! I miss your humor and laughter and wit and I consider myself very lucky today that after years of searching for you, I found your blog.

  7. I like this blog too, because for the longest time, I’ve been cringing at the perception of what “fat people eat.” I’ve never binged on potato chips and icecream in the middle of the night. If my doctor said that, I would have laughed and said, “Oh my gosh! That’s funny, because a doctor would know it’s not necessary to do that to be fat! ha ha ha You’re cool. No, I just eat healthy food when I’m hungry.”

    I watched a UK show called “What’s Making me Fat?” The hostess interviewed a guy who said something along the lines, “All it takes is getting up and going for a walk for 15 minutes a day. What’s so hard about that?” I do that, and I garden, and I exercise, and I tote 30 lb kids around and chase them at the park, and I’m still fat. I do eat too much. I’ll be a butternut squash if I’m not so hungry, though! I woke up at 3 am feeling like I haven’t eaten in days! I gobbled two corn cobs and an apple, gulped a bunch of water and went back to bed! So much for crisps and ice cream. Since I’m fat, that’s what I should be eating, then, huh?

  8. Reblogged this on More Than Enough and commented:
    Hum interesting…I am going to look into: Health at Every Size

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