|courtesy Mike Fitch|
I must confess, in another life, I used to be a fitness-person bigot. They all seemed to be these Disney-cheery, spandex-wrapped people who lived on alien-looking, blue-green smoothies and who felt like a bunch of jiggly rocks when they, usually for no good reason, hugged me because "I looked like I needed it".
Then I met my friend Mike Fitch, one of those luminous personas who seem to simply waft across the room, emitting rays of health and emotional balance from perfectly cut, rippling abs and smoky, ocean-blue eyes. Puke.
Fortunately, Mike is neither a preening narcissist nor a Zen-ed out wheatgrass evangelist. He is, despite being judged by Wilhelmina Models and Fitness Magazine
as one of the "Hottest Bodies in America"
, a Jimmy Stewart-like, "aw-shucks" nice nutritional consultant and fitness trainer who offers judgement-free eating management tips for people, who like me, like to swallow very, very bad things.
Here is a transcript of one of our recent conversations that took place when we cooked together.
Me: I like potato chips, tortellini Alfredo, fried donuts, and ice cream with bits of cake in it. My new strategy to maintain my figure will be to drink lots of espresso, inhale a lot of truck fumes on I-95 while I drive to fight hunger pangs, then eat nothing all day EXCEPT a giant plate of cheese fries. Whaddaya think?
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Mike: If you really want to roll in self-loathing and regret, there are slew of things that I could think of that wouldn't clog your arteries or make you chug a pint of Pepto Bismol before bed. Instead, why not do what professional dancers, who need to keep their energy up and their weight on point between meals, do to manage hunger?
Here, Mike created for me a customized "I Need Oral Satisfaction Pack". It included:
1. A few cups of a variety dried fruits (apples, pineapples, cranberries are good)
2. A cup of low-fat crunchy snack foods like baby carrots, wasabi peas, or veggie chips
3. A large bottle of flavored water which will hit that "I need sweet stuff" craving while hydrating you.
4. An apple- which believe it or not, is one of the best stress-hunger fighters because of its combination of crunchiness and sweetness that tells your body you are feeling satisfied.
Me: My friend totally trashed my car. I am so pissed. I am going to eat a sheet cake.
The best thing to do is to tell off your skanky friend in person. Before you do, however, if you really are hungry, eat a healthy salad with a good mixture of protein and leafy greens- not the blue cheese soup with a piece of radicchio on top that you like. Why? When you are angry, your body shoots out hormones and they send out signals to your cells that demand resolution to your conflict. Satisfying that emotion, which is created by that internal wiring with high-stimulus foods like sugar and fat, tells your body's cells that instead of handling the situation, you really need junk food. That means you will crave more with time to less effect. Filling your body with what it actually needs will make you feel calmer, more focused, and less prone to eat away your sorrows in the future.
Carla's "Tropical Frenemies Salad"
A few shavings of fresh parmesan cheese
2oz Mesclun mix salad
A few sliced cherry tomatoes
1 ounce of avocado
A garnish of mango slices
A few sliced strawberries
A few pineapple cubes
A fat-free or low calorie, fruit-flavored vinaigrette dressing like cranberry, strawberry or mango
Toss, chow, harangue loser friend.
Me: I can eat pizza and key lime pie at three a.m. because it is not "after 10.pm", it is another day altogether. Anyway these grapefruit-vinegar-acai-pomegranite-collagen pills will totally burn it off while making my boobs grow.
The best way to stave off midnight cravings is to eat healthy balanced meals. Even if this seems impossible, try to at minimum have healthy stuff- fruits and veggies- instead of junk, especially if you know you won't be eating healthily that week. Make a fruit salad before you go to bed or a healthy veggie snack and put it in the fridge if you know that you didn't eat right during the day as well and are bound to get up and start foraging.
Carla's "Permanent Midnight Munchie Cure"
1 cup of tea chamomile tea with honey
5 minutes of watching any video by PETA on YouTube.
I guarantee you'll never eat late night again. Although, you may never eat again either.
Me: You fitness people don't know what its like to have a giant apple strudel send out love pheromones to you through a pastry shop window and so you make up silly rules to keep us from eating what we want. You tell us to respect our bodies by not listening to our stomachs but I cannot think of a higher form of homage to myself then to give my mouth some cherry cheesecake. Then you call us bitter.
To keep feeling and looking good you have to respect your body- even if you can get away with eating crap all the time and not gaining weight. You may still be a size 2, but you won't feel good, or be healthy. That means you have to protecting your body- and your brain- from whatever is toxic, while taking it out to play every once and a while with fun foods that aren't too far off the charts in terms of body-wasting additives and fats. You can indulge on occasion but monitor your carb and fat intake and then be consistent. Schedule a day every once in a while to live out your food fantasies and then try to get back on the straight and narrow.
Me: Bring on the fried Nutella sandwiches!