Food and Weight: “What Do You Eat?”

For most of my adult life, I’ve weight around same weight: 115-125 lbs., with “extremes” of about 105 (due to illness or injury) to about 130 (due to “the pill”). I am about 5 feet, four inches tall.

I hear you quietly judging me. Yeah you. You’re thinking “she’s too _____” This part is for you. The rest of you may move on to the next section.

According to everything I’ve read, that is suppose to be a normal healthy weight. Yet when I was in my twenties 110 lbs was “a little chunky” to be a dancer. It seems that nowadays, 120lbs is too slight to be an athlete.

Objectively, I kind of laugh at both ways of thinking. At least now I do. There was a time when what others thought of me and my body influenced me and the way I ate, but as I got older I realized something important. Generally, if someone is bringing up my weight, either too heavy or too light, it usually is a reflection about how they are feeling about themselves. I used to think this was more of a female thing, but I have found that both sexes can behave in this manner. The FACT is, I’m normal. I’m exactly within all normal limits. I even have 25% body fat, which is normal for a woman who exercises regularly.

But I find how people react to normal female body size, to be  a VERY interesting thing. I think it probably has something to do with American culture, but I’m no Anthropologist.


Life is an Experiment, and My Body is the Laboratory

I play around with nutrition and food. I admit that I’m always trying to get my best nutritional bang for my caloric buck, so occasionally I’ll try something new, to see how that works. For example:

I was a strict vegan for about 1 1/2 years.

I avoided wheat and rice for one year.

I even gave up coffee (and all other caffeine) for one year. Boy, I’ll never do that one again.

Through these experiments (et al.), I was able to glean a few things about myself.

This is the answer to the question ” what do you eat?”, which is a question I get a lot. No, I’m mean,  A LOT.

I’m a foodie. Food must taste good. I mean it. There is NO excuse for bad tasting food, except in super duper caloric emergencies.

Garbage in, Garbage out, meaning, if I eat a lot of bad food, I just don’t feel as well. Conversely, The more nutritiously I eat, the better I feel.

Coffee is the water of life. Ok, maybe not quite that, but I have found that not drinking it does not make me sleep better, however drinking this delicious beverage does make me feel good. And it tastes good. And, to be quite honest, it connects me with my New Yorkerness (it’s a cultural thing). Studies go back and forth about coffee; some showing benefits, others show the dangers of overuse of caffeine.  I don’t think it’s all that bad for me as an athlete, as I have found that it helps me in recovery, but that’s just what works for me. Then again I treat coffee with the respect it deserves; after all, it is a food, and a precious one at that.

I should NOT eat anything with (cow) dairy, as I seem to be lactose intolerant. I’m OK with goat cheese.

Fast food makes me really ill.( Remember “Supersize Me?” )

Eggs are easy to digest. (Omega-3 eggs are a good way for me to get Omega-3 in my diet without pills)

Organic and/or Kosher can taste much better.

Generally, a sandwich isn’t a sandwich without tomatoes.

I will sometimes throw on extra calories with lime ice pops and vinegar & salt potato chips; I’m not recommending it, it’s more of a rebellion against all things nutritious, which I sometimes need.

I feel more alive and even keeled when I eat lots of leafy greens and fruit.

Potatoes, turnips, and other root veggies also agree with me.

Lemon and vinegar is also a big part of my diet. I seem to tend towards a high acid diet for some reason; it actually settles my stomach.

Too much pasta or bread doesn’t work for me.

Oatmeal is yummy.

I make chocolate chip cookies that aren’t that bad for me. Yum.

My riding supplement is Endurox. Sometimes I’ll bring along a Luna Bar (Lemon Zest) Carbboom, or Sports Beans. Sometimes I bring actual fruit.

I like fish, and can eat tuna sandwiches every day for many days in a row, if I must.

Red meat and chicken are OK one or two meals a week. Any more than that just seems to mess with my digestion.

I like bacon (and pork, in general) but don’t digest it well. Fortunately, I LOVE veggie bacon, and even turkey bacon.

Soy yogurt smoothies are AWESOME just after a ride.

That’s what I eat. Mostly.

Here’s what I’ve noticed about how my body behaves with regards to caloric intake:

No matter how much exercise I do (meaning even if I’m expending 8,500 calories in one day), I can only top out at eating about 7,000 calories. I can only eat so much, which is why I sometimes plan for the fact that I will lose weight during certain points of the season.

My metabolism fluctuates with the amount and type of exercise I do.

Changes in my eating OR exercises habits take time to catch up to one another.

About gaining, losing or maintaining weight: No one of these is any easier than the other. Any of these can be hard to do in a balanced way.

Kudos to all who acheive their goals, whatever they are.


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4 Responses to “Food and Weight: “What Do You Eat?””

  1. Atomic Bombshell Says:

    This was interesting. Everybody has such different eating habits. It’s nice to have an honest peek into someone else’s list of standby favorites.

  2. Healthy Diet Lets Woman Lose Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days Says:

    Hi, nice post. I have been thinking about this issue,so thanks for writing. I will definitely be coming back to your blog.

  3. Dana Says:

    I eat according to my blood type – Type O. Red meat, chicken, fish, veggies and fruit. I avoid dairy, wheat, corn and potatoes, among other things but those are my big offenders. It works well for me when I stick to eating right.

  4. Patti Says:

    I used to be lactose intolerant too but found I can drink organic cow’s milk with no problems at all.

    Re your tuna comsumption — be careful. You should only consume 6 oz./week because of the mercury. A friend used to eat it every day and when his blood was tested his dr. said the mercury was higher than he’d ever seen. He had to detox.

    Caffeine leaches calcium from your bones; as a small-framed woman you should be especially mindful of calcium intake and of those foods/drinks that rob it from your bones.

    Love your blog! I am learning so much — thank you!

    GO JANET GO!!!

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