Self-Doubt and Healthy Eating Fatigue

I’ve fallen out of the good blogging habits I had, posting here twice a week, sharing good stuff, and it took me until just this very moment to realize why:

I’m feeling a little burned out.

I love food.  I love to eat.  I also love to write, and I love to write about food.

But you all know I have something of a love-hate relationship with food.  I have talked about my struggles with my weight, and I’ve talked about the fact that I sometimes feel like a fraud, because I am not willing to entirely cut out sugar or fat or carbs or gluten or red meat or whatever the latest thing is from my diet.

For a while, I joked that I was going to be the Weight Watchers poster child: the food writer who could successfully lose the weight while eating out and reviewing restaurants and sampling cocktails at happy hour.

Well, it’s feeling a little more like a joke, lately.

I’ve been hanging on to the same five or six pounds for three or four months now, and I can’t seem to shake it, and it’s starting to get to me.

It’s also starting to become depressing to me when I look at how few points (read: calories) I get per day—the level I should theoretically stay at for the rest of my life to maintain my weight loss—and how quickly they get used up by foods that seem normal and not particularly heavy.  Don’t even get me started on restaurant foods or “treat” foods; I can easily eat an entire day’s points at a single restaurant meal without even trying.

I don’t WANT to switch to diet foods.  I want to eat real butter and chocolate and pasta and French fries now and then.  But the longer I fight these last few pounds, the more my conviction wanes.

Because the antithesis to my strong conviction that I should be able to lose weight and maintain the loss while eating real foods is balanced by an equally strong conviction that a very strict diet will solve all my problems.

It never has.  It never will.  But that doesn’t prevent my tired, addled brain from thinking it.

I’m also finding it harder and harder to stick to seasonal eating—uh, duh Lacy: winter is the hardest time to be a seasonal eater.  I broke down and bought raspberries last week at the grocery store.

And not even organic raspberries.  Conventional  raspberries!  THE HORROR!!!!

I’m being a bit facetious here, but sometimes you just get healthy eating fatigue, you know?

I picked up a jar of powdered peanut butter that is often used as a low fat substitute by dieters. I bought it more as a novelty than anything else, but when someone reminded me that conventional peanuts are one of the worst foods out there for levels of pesticides, and someone else told me how gross they thought low fat peanut butter was, I felt cowed.  They weren’t wrong, or being mean, but I felt like a fraud again.

When I get to this point, I ask myself, who am I to be offering advice to anyone on what to eat or how?  Why should anyone listen to me?

And I have to remind myself: I am an expert because of the self-doubt, not in spite of it.

I have something to say to other people struggling with these issues precisely because I struggle with them myself.

I am not perfect; it is my imperfections which make me perfectly suited to tell these stories, to give this advice.

I am a real person, struggling just the way you may be struggling.  And I’m writing this today to remind us both of that, and to tell you that we will get through it together.

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