Surprise, surprise, today’s post is inspired yet again from another episode of Extreme Weightloss. This week we saw Alyssa struggle with how she coped with losing her mother. I felt like this week, more than other weeks, showed the damaging effects that food can have on you, especially when using it like a drug. Alyssa self-medicated her pain of losing her mother not by drinking or using recreational drugs, but by eating. One of my favorite food documentaries, “Hungry for Change” goes into more detail about food as a drug, but I think this episode did a good job of showing that.
Alyssa had a lot of struggles. And I’ll admit. I do have a sense of “joy” when the participants are struggling. No, not because I am that horrible of a person, but because I think it gives a realistic view of what the journey is really like. For people sitting at home watching the show, it doesn’t have the typical “reality” show stink to it where you can tell everything is scripted. When they struggle, I think it helps people realize that struggles are going to happen along the way. It’s not going to be easy.
Anyway, back to the topic of this blog…one of the things that was really prevalent in this episode is that Alyssa had a hard time finding a balance and being healthy. And I think finding that balance is hard for a lot of people. I think that balance is something that is changing a lot to-maybe not constantly, but periodically (sweet measurable terms Vanessa…) Alyssa struggled with the concept of eating enough to lose weight. And it’s something that I think people get told far too often…if you want to lose weight, cut your calories and increase your workouts. But a piece that I feel doesn’t get shared enough is that it is about eating smart calories and eating enough to properly fuel your body. Yes eating veggies is great, but those aren’t calorie dense. You need more than just veggies in your diet. Or you need calorie dense veggies if you are a vegan/vegetarian. It’s about making sure you hit your macros and that what you are putting in your body is worthy of being there.
So what is healthy? What is a realistic concept of healthy? It’s not all about depriving yourself of everything but perhaps it’s about finding healthy alternatives (does anyone else NOT want the recipe for those protein cookies??). It’s about finding activities that challenge you but also give you the good feelings (the happy ones, the accomplishment ones…you know the ones). And, it’s about being healthy, inside and out. One of the themes that usually always presents itself in this show is that the person is using food for some reason. Using it to cover pain, using it to self-medicate, using it to forget.