Raising Love Episode 15

Why Calorie Counting is a Dangerous Practice

Today’s topic can be quite a contentious topic for a lot of women. It is something most of us have done at one time or another and it is something that many experts still advocate as being the only way to lose weight.

And, that is counting calories.

Who cringes at just hearing that?

I do. I cringe because it brings up all sorts of bad feelings. Feelings of desperation, deprivation and hunger.

And for someone like me who couldn’t go more than an hour without eating, this was not ideal.

Because counting calories definitely means eating less. Wayyyyy less. There was no way I could ever do that.

I tried though. But not for long. It was too painful in so many different ways.

Calorie counting to me meant starving myself, eating foods I didn’t really enjoy and feeling like a failure because I couldn’t stick to it.

That’s one end of the pendulum. The other end is worse. Much worse. This end of the pendulum means obsession, total restriction, all-consuming deprivation and a desperation to be thin at all costs.

Listen in to know more…

About Raising Love

Raising love within yourself as only you can.

It’s time to raise ourselves up with love and discover who we truly are inside. Without all of the punishment, hurt and unworthiness driving us into despair.

Raising love involves all women whose bodies and minds are filled with hate, anger, frustration, self-loathing, sadness, loneliness. And whose bodies have been punished over the years because of how you have felt about yourself for way too long.

Because you are a woman who is smart, funny, kind, loving, mindful, caring, inspiring, powerful, strong, bold and passionate. You have dreams, ideas and feelings which should not be dismissed. By anyone. Especially you.

This podcast is for all of you beautiful women who have said “ENOUGH”.

Whoever you are right in this very moment. Wherever you have come from. Wherever you are headed.

It’s time to raise love within yourself.

More ways to Raise Love

Hi, I’m Kelly and welcome to the Raising Love podcast. Raising love within yourself as only you can.

Brought to you by LOVE body and the Positively You program.

Todays topic can be quite a contentious topic for a lot of women. It is something most of us have done at one time or another and it is something that many experts still advocate as being the only way to lose weight.

And, that is counting calories.

Who cringes at just hearing that?

I do. I cringe because it brings up all sorts of bad feelings. Feelings of desperation, deprivation and hunger.

And for someone like me who couldn’t go more than an hour without eating, this was not ideal.

Because counting calories definitely means eating less. Wayyyyy less. There was no way I could ever do that.

I tried though. But not for long. It was too painful in so many different ways.

Calorie counting to me meant starving myself, eating foods I didn’t really enjoy and feeling like a failure because I couldn’t stick to it.

That’s one end of the pendulum. The other end is worse. Much worse. This end of the pendulum means obsession, total restriction, all-consuming deprivation and a desperation to be thin at all costs.

I was watching a show a couple of months ago about a teenage girl aged 14 or 15 who, during the covid lockdown, started counting calories as just something to do. She was bored and decided that this was something fun to do to keep herself entertained.

Unfortunately, she is now is a battle with herself and her body, and her family to eat again. She has lost a lot of weight so that you can now see her skeleton and she cannot bear the thought of eating anything because she believes all of those calories in her food are so bad to the point she becomes very distressed even at the thought of putting a piece of food in her mouth.

And, this is all to common amongst our young girls. They see images everywhere of models looking thin and beautiful, they are worshipped as gods because of how they look and our girls try to emulate that. They want to be that because they are told that this is the only ideal body you can be.

But more than that, on the front cover of nearly every magazines selling to females is a headline about losing weight, who’s put on weight and then criticising them for it, women barely covering their bodies in weird poses, interviews with strong, intelligent women but the headline will focus on one tiny thing they said in the interview about their weight or their body.

In movies and on tv there is generally only one type of woman shown. And if there is another body type then she is stereotyped as the fat one. She can never just be a woman. She is always the fat, ugly one.

And, of course, there is the fucking diet industry. An industry worth billions of dollars.

And what do they thrive on? Most of them. Not all of them.

They thrive on your insecurities, they thrive on you not liking yourself. They thrive on you hating your thighs and wishing you had a six pack.

They know that nearly every woman does not like at least one thing about herself and her body.

They know how to advertise to you in just the right way that makes you feel shit about yourself and that they are the only hope you have of ever being that skinny, thin, beautiful women you want to be. That you want too grow up to be.

They know the you will do almost anything to make your wobbly thighs disappear. They know you will try the latest ridiculous diet to ensure you get thin and stay thin because that is all we are as women.

The only thing we care about as a woman is making sure we look good in a fucking bikini. Because, again, that is the image we see the most on the cover of a magazine, on all of these reality tv shows. Women wandering around in bikinis living the life.

So how does the “average” woman get this life?

Well, she will go on diet after diet to get that thin and then hopefully she will get noticed. Then, hopefully, that life will magically come to her because now she looks the part.

You may emotive a hint of bitterness in my voice as I say this, and that’s because I was that girl teenager, that women who fought with herself every day to become that.

We all do, to a degree.

It sits in our subconscious and it drives our actions, our behaviours, our thoughts, our decisions.

So, we want to lose weight. We have that in our minds nearly every second of the day. We decide to eat and our first thought is, “how many calories does this have? Will this make me fat?”

Every mouthful of food is loaded with hatred, self-loathing and constant worry about getting fat.

Getting fat has become a real mental health issue.

It has become so ingrained in western culture and society that we don’t give it a second thought.

It is just the norm.

Sitting around with a group of friends and there will be comment after comment after comment about how we really shouldn’t be eating this, and “I wonder how many calories are in this dip” and “I better not. I’m on a diet” our “I ate way too much. Only salad for me tomorrow”.

And we all laugh and play along because we are a part of the game too. The game of weight loss that we never seem to win.

Because it never ends. Its a game that has too many parts to it. Too many rules.

And the rules keep changing. The rules are hard to understand and the rules leave you feeling lost and unsure. But you follow them anyway because they are the rules.

And the rules are the rules. They are there for a reason.

But somewhere along the way, those rules begin to feel suffocating, restricting. depriving. But you keep going because they have been written by people who know better than you.

So you keep going.

Then you get to a cross roads. And at this crossroad there are many different roads you can take. And those roads are different for everyone. But yet they are the same because down each road is a life with or without calorie counting. With or without weight loss. With or without loving yourself. With or without trusting in yourself. With or without YOU.

And depending on which road you decide to take, well, this is where it can get dangerous. This is where your life can change in an instant.

But the real danger is making this decision without YOU. Allowing the decision to be made by your friends, magazines who influence how you feel about yourself, the diet industry controlling what you eat and how much you eat.
That one decision to keep going drags you down the road of despair.

Now, I don’t pretend to know a lot about the psychology of anorexia. This is the end result for those who are consumed with calorie counting. It can become a force behind yourself where you feel there is no control anymore. Someone else, or something else has taken over. All rational thought leaves your mind and it becomes a major battle inside of you every day.

This is the danger I am talking bout really when I talk about the dangers of calories. counting.

Some of us can count calories and stop. Some can get to that cross roads and realise they are headed down that dangerous road if they keep going so they get the help they need. Some still battle to eat food without knowing every single calorie they put in their body but do manage to eat every day so their bodies are still relatively ok.

It is a very loaded conversation and it is a very loaded topic.

I have never been down that path. My path took me in the opposite direction. I ate TOO much food.

Which, of course for some leads to bulimia. I hated throwing up so I was never able to go down that path either. Though, it was something I tried to do to lose weight. Gorge myself stupid and then throw it all up again.

But whether it is starving yourself completely, gorging yourself and then throwing up, counting calories to keep yourself in check, being controlling of what you eat and how much you eat, eating wayyyy too much and then eating some more or using food to punish yourself in any way it all comes down to the same thing…

Not loving who you are, as you are RIGHT NOW.

As women we must take back control of ourselves and have autonomy over our bodies. They are OUR bodies. No body else’s.

They DO NOT get to decide what we look like, how much we eat and what we do to them or with them.

Trusting in yourself and your body is the only way to go. Because, believe it or not, YOU know what is best for you. YOU know what you want to eat and YOU know how much to eat and when.

You don’t need to waste time learning how many calories are in an apple. Knowing that an apple contains so much goodness is enough. You’ll eat the apple and you’ll be SATISFIED because your body has now received nourishment. It has been given vitamins and minerals which your body requires for it to function properly. For it to feel energised and amazing.
Have you ever noticed how you feel after you an apple compared to how you feel after eating a donut? There is a difference. You eat the donut and you feel great for about 3 minutes. The sweetness and the delicious fat are still lingering in your mouth but then the food moves down into your stomach and it starts to feel a little yucky now. You might get a cramp or feel bloated. And the good feeling wears off.

But, the sugar and the fat have you hooked so those yucky feelings you just felt become a distant memory the next day as you walk by the donut shop. All you can remember is the sweet, fatty goodness so you buy another one and the cycle beings again.

Yet, when you eat and apple there is still that yummy sweetness. They apple is juicy and delicious. That feeling stays with you for a while as your stomach begins to recognise what you have eaten. It doesn’t know its an apple but what it does know is that you have given it nourishment. And it is happy. It feels good and continues to feel good as the apple moves through your digestive system.

And, better yet; your body has no idea how many calories you have just eaten. For Both the donut and the apple. No. Your body only knows what was in the food. Was there vitamin c so I can give it to your immune system to help you fight off this cold that is starting to develop? Does it have magnesium to feed your muscles after your workout? Does it have fibre so I can keep it in your digestive system to clean it out and keep things moving in there?

Or does it have that really yummy sugar I can feed to your cells and give you a quick energy burst? But sorry it won’t last long. Or does it have that fat I love. The kind of fat that leaves me craving MORE. That leaves a great feeling in my mouth? Don’t worry about the other painful symptoms, they’ll go away eventually and we can then eat some more. It’s all good.

See, these are the questions your body asks. It wants nourishment, not calories.

Calories are not all created equal. You can have a 100 calorie apple or a 100 calorie donut (it’d have to be a small one though).

Calories do not equal health because the donut does not have 1 health benefit. There’s not one nourishing component to a donut. Yes, it might taste good but at what cost?

So if you counted that 100 calorie donut into your daily diet on a daily basis, what do you think it might do compared to the apple at 10 calories.

Let’s stop thinking of food as only calories. Food is SOOOO much more than that. Food is communication. Food is nourishment. Food is life.

When you eat a whole food diet which includes mostly veggies, some fruit, some meat, protein, maybe some grains… all the stuff mother nature has provided for us, the need to count calories disappears.

Mother Nature didn’t write out a “how many calories in my food” book when she made carrots and broccoli and potato and green beans.

No. She designed them to be a PART of us. To enjoy. To love and to nourish our bodies so we can live on this earth is our full glory. In an abundance of love and energy.

So, take the time to love what you eat but also love yourself enough to WANT to eat with love.

Don’t punish yourself with food in any respect. Calorie counting is a form of punishment. It deprives you of enjoying your food and it deprives you of living your life. I say this because do you really want to spend a good chink of your day figuring out howe many calories are in the 7 foods you just at dinner?

You had 200g of mushrooms, plus 150g pasta, plus 1 cup pasta sauce… isn’t that boring?

Isn’t that a way of controlling yourself that you don’t need.

You get to love yourself with the food you eat. Not punish yourself.

In next weeks episode I will talk in some more detail about what it really takes to lose weight.

If you are punishing yourself with food in any way, please, I urge you to ask for help.

You absolutely deserve so much more for yourself that this. You deserve to live a life free of the confines of counting calories and controlling what you eat and how much you eat.

Please go to your family for help. As a friend. Call someone in your local area who can give you the help you need. Do this for yourself.

Stand at the cross roads right now and decide which road you are going to walk down. It will be a tough road no matter which one you pick. Pick the one that gives you a chance to live the beautiful life you are here to live.

You are strong. You are amazing. Take that first step. Each step after that will become a little easier.

And, if you know someone who needs help, do whatever you can to be there for them as they navigate this new road. Take their hand and hold it every step of the way.

I know what it is like to go it alone. It is scary. It is lonely and it takes much longer than it needs to.

Get support. Be supportive.

Lets help each other to kick this habit of calorie counting for good. And tell everyone you know that it sucks and it is dangerous and it needs to be abolished.

We can do this together. We can stand up for ourselves as women and know we do not need to be told that this is the only way we must eat.

Eat for nourishment. Eat for love.

Thank you so much for listening, beautiful. This really is a dream come true for me.

I spent so much of my life being quiet, not speaking up, staying small that I forgot I have a voice worth listening to.

You may not always agree with what I say and that’s ok.

This is a conversation between us. Yes, I have lots to say but I also want to hear what you have to say.

So, leave me a comment, email me your thoughts, get in touch and let me know what conversations you’d like to have, what your thoughts are about this podcast.

But before you go, I have a gift for you. The Love Body Day Planner.

In this free 7 day planner you will find some beautiful ways to connect to yourself and your day. You get to create the day YOU want.

There are some loving questions which will allow you moments of reflection, moments of clarity, moments of direction and purpose.

No more wondering what your day will bring. You bring it to you and in doing so eliminating the guesswork out of what foods to nourish yourself with, how you will move your body, how you feel about yourself, what things you are grateful for and more.

Write it all down and CHOOSE a more empowered and loving day.

To receive this gift, please pop on over to the home page of my website lovebody.com.au, leave your details and this awesome planner will arrive in your inbox ASAP.

If you loved this episode, please share it with your friends and family.

Please remember, it’s time to start cultivating, nurturing and raising love within yourself.

Because, you are a smart, amazing, beautiful woman with so much to offer this world.

Continue raising love. Speak soon.

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