Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Eat. More. Food.


Okay...maybe not THIS particular kind of food, but candy is PRETTY.

I have written about how my disordered eating created a disconnect between me and this body and how dance changed that for me. (I wrote this post for eating disorder awareness week and if you see yourself in it, please get some help.)

One of the key things that happened as I danced more and more was that I had to figure out how to FUEL this body. I could not, or so I thought, deprive myself if I wanted to do this right.

Or so I thought...  ((repeats for emphasis))

It turns out I was still falling into traps set by my history of disordered eating. I was still trying to control what went in my mouth, but I had myself convinced that I was doing it for reasons of health.

Never mind the fact that I was constantly complaining about not having the energy I thought I should.

I would think that I needed more water (not a bad idea).

I would investigate new vitamins to take.

But I never looked directly at the AMOUNT of food I was eating.

I don't count calories because of my history, I would say.

Well...here's the thing, if you don't know or have never known how much is enough how will you ever know how much is enough?

For a while now, I have been following Go Kaleo on Facebook. (She is worth following; even just having her pop up in my Facebook feed is good for me.)

The other night -- and I have no idea why I did this -- I started reading into her blog's archives.

And I came upon this sentence (paraphrasing): Your body does not run on nutrients but on CALORIES.

Calories are FUEL.  (And at this level, the body doesn't even really care what nutrients are in the calories as long as there are calories.)

Duh.

Like, DUH.

How was I so blatantly missing this?  I had fallen for the Paleo idea that you don't have to worry about calories if your food is nutrient dense.

And that is fine, if you naturally eat ENOUGH.

Which I don't.

And I am betting that I am not alone. (According to the World Health Organization, if an adult female is getting fewer than 1800 calories a day, that is considered starvation levels. To show how sick we are, look at this dumbass telling women to eat 800 calories a day to get skinny FOR AN OCCASION. ((barf))!)

So now? I am counting calories to teach myself what enough looks and feels like. (For me and my activity level, that is about 2300 a day.)

And I am stripping away a lot of food rules I picked up from the Paleo crowd. Not that I don't love them and not that I haven't learned a lot from them, but this dancer needs more carbs.  She has classes to teach and choreography to create!

Are YOU eating enough?  I bet you need more than you think.