I read this book a few weeks ago called “Skinny B***” in an attempt to know more about being healthy. The book tells you about the dangers of preservatives and meat and even milk.
The book was extremely convincing. The fact that this book was able to turn a procrastinating, busy student, with no will power into a full fledged vegan, is proof that it was a very convincing book.
Since the age of 14 I have seen over seven nutritionists, joined over five different gyms, and even resorted to desperate measures to lose weight. Now the internal battle is no longer to be thin, but to be healthy.
“Skinny B***” told me about what everything does to your body, it told me how all the things that are said to help you lose weight, will enter your body and chemically modify something to make you gain weight!
So I became a tree hugging, animal loving, media hating… vegan.
Before I go on to tell you what I have given up, I want to start by telling you the simple things in life that give me so much pleasure. Coffee – Black American coffee- such a great way to start a day. Coffee alone has no calories, and occasionally I would drink it with skim milk that is supposedly good for you. I gave up sugar a long time ago and substituted it for artificial sweeteners, I carried them around in my purse incase I was at a cafe that didn’t provide them. I loved my coffee. It gave me such great joy, not to mention coffee helps your body drain out the extra water it has been retaining. As a result of the many diets I went on, I finally learned to cut down immensely on carbohydrates and concentrate on getting enough meat, chicken and fish. With every meal, I drink either water or diet coke/pepsi. Diet coke/pepsi has ONE calorie because they use artificial sweeteners as well. As far as I was concerned I was on the right track.
Then this book comes along and shatters my hopes and dreams. It turns out I could drop dead at any minute because I am so unhealthy. According to this book, milk, meat, chicken, fish, any kind of dairy is bad for you. Not to mention artificial sweeteners give you cancer, as well as diet coke. Naturally I found myself in a rut. I gave up my precious coffee and sweetener, I gave diet coke, meat, dairy and alcohol. I gave up everything they told me to give up. I was a real full fledged vegan. I was so proud of myself and I became a green tea addict. As I mentioned before, I have no will power so the fact that I was abiding by this book was of great comfort to me.
You might be wondering where I am going with this. Don’t worry I’m really not one of those people that just like to blog about what they ate or how well their diet is going. There is a point to this, that I will get to shortly.
So after giving up all that, what’s left? Carbohydrates. Naturally you can tell I started to gain weight, but I was so convinced, and I trusted this book.
At the time I turned my vegan my friends were all outside the country, when they came back and found out what I was up to, they were not happy, so I pushed them away because they were getting in the way of my being “healthy”. Soon after, I began getting headaches, feeling faint, and getting very lethargic. I also found myself eating more, and compensating with carbs.
Next came a serious of clues that hit me like a slap in the face.
The first clue was when I visited the book’s website skinnybitch.net, I was looking for a way to contact the authors because I had some questions about vegan products abroad. The website said “While we’re unable to respond to every e-mail we receive, please know that we personally read (and value) each and every one. (Unfortunately, we’re not able to answer questions regarding diet, nutrition, or products.)”
This is what I can’t seem to fathom, it’s a book to help people become healthy but they can’t answer any question regarding diet, nutrition, or products? This planted the seed of doubt in my mind. The second clue was nutrition class. I am taking Fundamentals of Nutrition this semester and my teacher said something that made sense “it’s all basic math, the amount of calories going in versus the amount of calories being burned”. So what I understand from this is that rhetoric plays a very important role in the success of this book. When I took a second look at the book, the claims they make can all be considered logical fallacies. It’s almost a form of brainwashing.
The third contributing factor that convinced me this book is nonsense is my own family doctor. When I started gaining weight I sought out her advice and I found that I have a genetic predisposition to gaining weight from carbohydrates.
Before I leave you with my own words of wisdom I want to say a few things about artificial sweeteners. Sweeteners are immensely misunderstood and misrepresented. At first I was extremely convinces that sweeteners are not harmful. The book somehow managed to change my mind about my beloved sweeteners, until I conducted my own research and we also talked about it in Nutrition class. Don’t believe everything you hear or read, there are many unreliable sources that may appear to be credible. To be sure of the information you are receiving it is better to trust websites that end in .edu .go or .org. Sweeteners are actually a very good substitute for sugar, you have to really overdo it in order to harm yourself with sweeteners, overdo it to a level that is physically impossible or rather unlikely. So don’t worry and replace your sugar with sweetener, its actually better since it reduces the risk of dental caries and its almost calorie free.
In conclusion this post is about the power of rhetoric, and the importance of moderation and doing whats right for you. No one can tell you how to be healthy, its common knowledge. Don’t believe everything you read.
To all those of you who are still struggling with your weight, worry not! I found the secret. My mom always says that if there was some magical thing that can make you lose weight easily, everyone would be thin. So look around you, can you spot one overweight person ? Without a doubt I am sure the answer to my question is a yes, therefore we can conclude there is no magical easy way to lose weight.
However I have a solution, I found the way to be the healthiest version of yourself.
Don’t stress, don’t think about it, be logical, don’t have unrealistic expectations and don’t try to be thin or like anybody else. Everyone’s body is different, and sadly you just may not be a skinny person. Media has convinced everyone that to be happy you have to be skinny, the only thing you have to be is the best version of yourself that you can be.
Be logical with your decisions and don’t deprive yourself of anything. The minute you set your mind on being healthy, moderate, and happy, you will subconsciously being making the right choices. Just love yourself, I know this sounds corny but its corny because it has been said so much. It has been over said because it makes sense, when you love yourself, you want the best for yourself and you will only give yourself the best. With this in mind, you can’t go wrong.