A Thing I Learned about Myself and Food

This fitness challenge has only been going for a little over a week and it’s been pretty good.

The workouts themselves are challenging, but they’re scalable, so I’m able to do what works for me and push myself as needed.

The food has been really tasty and for the first week I felt like the calories were plenty even though the daily intake was only targeted to be around 1,600 to 1,800 calories. In fact, I joked that I couldn’t eat more food.

A note about me and food: I’m not the biggest fan. I love to cook. I love sweets and desserts. I love a good steak. And pizza! I enjoy food as a treat, though.  I don’t enjoy it as something I have to consume multiple times a day.  And it’s actually pretty easy for me get busy with work or other tasks and then to forget to eat.

Then on Saturday, I started feeling a little tired.  It was a long week, I thought. I was starting to workout again after a very long hiatus from fitness, so that must be it.

And it got worse on Sunday and I even got a headache, which was weird to me because I don’t have a normal workout on Saturday or Sunday for the challenge, but I just rolled with it.

By Monday, though, I was not only very tired and the headache was getting worse, I started feeling REALLY depressed and angry. The slightest little thing had me snapping at my husband and upset about every little thing that had ever gone wrong my whole entire life.

And then someone on Facebook made a teasing remark to me saying I have “scrawny chicken legs.” I used to play soccer. I used to run half marathons.  My legs have always been one of my favorite parts of my body.  To make matters worse, this person is someone with whom I don’t really get along very well.  I flipped out.

And on Tuesday, I deactivated my Facebook account, which, if you know me, is a pretty big deal.

I had dark, sad thoughts all day long. I was angry and sad and tired.  I’m not a big fan of naps, but I actually took a nap. At like 10am. And later on Tuesday, my husband and I had a huge fight.

It was not good.

Fortunately, at lunchtime I was able to put two and two together. I was starving myself and my brain was trying to tell me to get some food.  So, I added a few hundred calories of protein to my lunch and by the late afternoon I started feeling human again. Not in time to avoid the huge fight, but before I went fully insane.

This sparked several musings.

First of all, I can’t comprehend the pain that people with anorexia must be in. They already have a hurt and then they starve themselves. That cannot possibly help them think clearly through all of that.  I’m not anorexic and there’s no way I can really relate to it, but this experience makes that disease so much more tragic and terrifying to me.

Also, I wouldn’t make it on Naked and Afraid.  I am pretty sure I would turn to cannibalism by the end of the first week. Not out of hunger, but out of pure, galaxy-boiling rage.

I really hope our daughter doesn’t get this emotional fragility from me. I want her to be strong and introspective. I want her to be controlled and self-aware. I want her to be flexible and empathetic. I want her to listen to herself, her body, and those who love her with a much more open mind and heart.  I want her to be able to ask for help when she needs it.

So, note to self: bruh, you need to eat.

Parent Spies

The latest episode of Longest Shortest Time talks about parents who spy (intentionally and unintentionally) on their children.  It’s a really great episode.  Hillary talks to her cousin, Rob, who actively spies on his teen daughter. And she talks to a mother who accidentally intercepted some text messages between her daughter and another girl who was selling her daughter some weed.

It’s so great and I love the mother-daughter story so much.

But it does raise some questions for me.  Is it appropriate to spy on your children? If so, to what extent or under what circumstances?

My view of parenthood is that parents are stewards of their children until their children’s good sense grows in.  The law says that happens at age 18, but observations lead me to believe it doesn’t really happen for most people until somewhere around age 28.  I’m willing to go with the law on this one.

I am also inclined to think that there is some reasonable amount of “spying” (I prefer to call it “monitoring”) of your child’s activities in order to help them make good decisions and cope with what they’re seeing.

NOTE: Outside of some rather uncommon scenarios involving personal safety, high crimes, and misdemeanors, I do not think parents should intercede in their children’s lives to prevent them from making bad decisions.  I think parents can just offer good advice about what SHOULD be done and the child has to make their choices and deal with the outcomes.

I do also think that the monitoring of children’s activities should be limited in some way and it should probably stop after a certain point in the child’s maturity — unless perhaps one has reason to believe there are seriously bad things happening.

I’ve given a small amount of thought to how I could monitor network traffic on our home wifi so that I can see what they’re doing online. I’m sure in the future, my options will be much broader.  And I’ve thought a little about how conversations about sex and drugs might go.

But I don’t know what the guiding principle is here. I don’t know that there even IS a set rule that would apply to all children and parents on this one.

Anyone with any thoughts on this?