My Ideal Lifestyle
So I was reading How I Eat by David Lebovitz (whom I’ve become obsessed with and have just ordered his book The Sweet Life in Paris), and it inspired me to write something similar to my own life.
Obviously, the difference in when people ask me “How are you so thin” and when they ask David Lebovitz is quite obvious. With me, the connotation translates into: “You look anorexic”. Which I do, so I can’t really blame people for that. It’d be nice if they would realize that’s like saying “Why are you so fat,” but for some reason, people think I don’t know what they mean and that it’s okay to bring up an awkward conversation like that. But I can’t be mad at people for having enough balls to bring up the obvious.
However, since I have started recovery, I have began to eat a lot of the delicious foods I grew up with (we’re Italian, my dad was going to be a chef, it was my childhood dream, I am spoiled and pretentious when it comes to food). I do so in moderation though – similar to David Lebovitz.
I’ve learned to indulge in moderation and eat a healthy-nutritious well-balanced diet – in my case, with added calories, but they are “good” added calories to promote healthy weight and muscle gain.
I am not here to preach a certain diet, or lifestyle, I am simply sharing mine.
1. Moderation – for me, I have to increase my calories. But I still do have to moderate my indulgences. I can’t gain weight on things like cookies and cake. I carefully track my sugar content and moderate the amount of sweets or processed foods I eat in a day. When I reach my ideal weight, I will continue to moderate my portion sizes as to maintain my weight.
2. I cook most of what I eat – this is probably my number one rule. I (in every aspect of my life) like to do things myself. I like things being done my way, and that includes the way I cook my foods. I don’t like not knowing exactly what is in food and how it is prepared. Not to say that I don’t eat out, but I do so in moderation, NOT everyday. Also, my parents rarely cook for me – for a lot of reasons 1) We have vastly different schedules, and I don’t like to wait for food 2) We have very different tastes 3) I absolutely love cooking 4) I think I cook better (shhh… don’t tell them!) 5) Why have someone else do what I can do myself? 6) Again, I like knowing exactly what’s in my food and how it is prepared.
3. Exercise: Since I’ve quit dance, I have had to focus on adding more exercise into my day since it is no longer apart of my daily required schedule (by the way, I live on schedules and lists.) Obviously, I can’t do anything cardio-heavy. I mainly do yoga in morning and evenings. It is a good way to keep my muscles stretched and keep my body toned. When I quit dance, I had two pulled hamstrings, and I did not stretch everyday like I should have. My muscles became extremely tight to the point where bending down hurt like crazy (and I used to be able to do oversplits). Slowly but surely I am gaining my flexibility back through yoga. I also do housework everyday. It seems dumb, but it really is the little things in a day that you do that contribute to your overall health (I believe). Dishes, laundry, vacuuming, lifting boxes – it does make a difference. Lastly, I walk my dogs. I do this less for the exercise and more for the getting outside in the sun – it is very relaxing and de-stressing for me. Also, I have short attention span and I physically cannot stand still – which is a blessing and helps me stay active. But it is also a curse, because I drive myself crazy sitting down in school everyday. I absolutely HATE sitting in one place for too long (I can’t even go to the movie theatre anymore).
What I eat:
- Breakfast is usually something sweet and usually has some sort of nut butter with toast or pancakes and fresh fruit. I drink a lot of really strong black coffee – I am sorry, I am not giving this up or cutting it down.
- I eat about every 3 hours, and I eat until I am satiated.
- If I am going to indulge, it better be good. I only eat high quality organic chocolate and sweets (no hersheys or chips-ahoy). I eat dessert everyday – I just usually make it myself or I have dark chocolate. When I hang out with friends (especially when I used to go out with my dance family), I used to not eat at certain places. The dance moms would all whisper and talk about me behind my back about how it’s because I am anorexic. Actually, NO. It’s because I refuse to eat at Red Robin or Chick-Fil-A or Pizza hut. When you want to take me to go get a real napolitana pizze or high-grade sushi or anywhere that makes their own butter (a good quality restaurant always makes their own butter) then I will eat. I am not paying for a frozen burger. I am sorry, I am stubborn and pretentious, but I will starve before I eat at Red Robin – that is not anorexia, I am just spoiled, so bite me.
- I do eat cheese (yes you can eat cheese and still be healthy!). I have been decreasing my meat intake for several reasons: 1) Organic meats are expensive, and I am disgusted by the chemicals and additives in most meats, although I do eat them rarely 2) I actually eat way more protein than I need and I don’t actually have a NEED for meat in my diet. It is an indulgence I eat a couple times a week. When I do eat meat it is almost always seafood, or sometimes poultry. Red meat 1-2 times a month. So I eat a lot of cheese and beans to make up for the protein, fat, and calories since I can afford organic cheese and beans… and they are really yummy… I would rather have chevre noir than a steak. I REALLY like cheese.
- Lots of fruits and veggies. I have not yet come across a fruit or veggie I do not like. In fact, I actually love portabella mushrooms “veggie” burgers, more than an actual beef burger. Although, now that I am trying to gain weight, this has become a curse due to volumetrics.
- Spices = flavor. ‘nough said. Sriracha on everything! (lol, jk… but almost.) I am actually running out of room in my spice cabinet.
Food is the passion and love of my life that I gave up for almost 2 years for anorexia. It was a stupid mistake. I am sorry that I cheated on you, Food. But I want you back. In fact, I think I want to earn my living off of you. Anorexic turned President of Culinary Club and future owner of cafe/restaurant – who said it can’t be done. It’s ironic and strange, but I am going to do it anyway.