April's CR Diary

A diary of a 30 year old woman following CRON, or Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition, for health and life extension.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Don't Feed the Mice!

Finally back to my little blog! Hello out there, whoever you are!

Yesterday, after my late spinich salad following my not having time to eat catastrophe, I had a meeting then went out for dinner with a co-worker. I definitely went over 800 for yesterday's total because I ate a piece of bread with olive oil, followed by an appetizer portion of spaghetti with tomato sauce, along with two restaurant pours of red wine. A lot less than I would have eaten in my pre-CR days, and my averages have been staying solidly around 800, so I'm not too worried about one day of going quite high on the calories.

That brings me to the thoughts I've been having over the last few days. My regularly scheduled insomnia attack (2:30 am, like clockwork) has lately been devoted to thoughts of CR. On Wednesday night, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I have to get more serious about both my CR and my ON. I'm still to some extent allowing my social life to dicate what I eat. Case in point: Wednesday evening, I went out with a co-worker for a drink after work. She's not doing CR, but she's a very healthy eater and extremely supportive of me. So we went to the place where we usually have margaritas, and instead of a margarita of unknown calorie content and much sugar, I had a glass of wine (I know some of you are thinking that I should give up wine too, but I'm not there yet and there seems to be no consensus about the benefits/costs of small amounts of wine.) Alex, the bartender there who we're friendly with, usually hooks us up with a bunch of free happy hour appetizers, unless we specifically tell him not to. (Remember that post early on in my blog explaining how I gained weight when I took this job and stopped being vegan, eating a lot of nachos and margaritas? Most of those were consumed at Alex's restaurant.) This time we forgot to ask him to hold the appetizers, and I felt weird about not even taking a bite when the nachos he brought us were sitting right in front of me. We told him not to bring anymore (he almost came over with some cheese things, but we saved ourselves.) So he asked if we were dieting, and we said no, we just had dinner plans later (a lie for both of us.) I had about four nacho chips, not exactly a crisis, but an example of food that didn't do my body any good that I didn't even want, I just ate it for social reasons. When I started to de-construct this in the middle of the night (I am so productive during my insomnia hour) I thought about how when most people see an already thin, obviously fashion conscious young woman in her early twenties (I am actually going to be 30 in August, but I have always looked younger than my age and got carded twice last month) eating sparingly or turning down the yummy appetizers, they think "anorexia." They say things like, "Oh, honey, you're so thin, you don't need to be dieting. Just try one." I know they mean well, but it's so annoying! Now I recognize that my problems with what people think of what I eat are very minor in comparison to those who have to deal with hunger on a daily basis (I am not excessively hungry, even at 800) and I'm lucky to be a woman in a time when the fashion ideal for women is a very low BMI. However, I have to get past this need to fit in with what I eat if I am going to hit ON at 800. It's not that I can't keep to 800 calories... for the most part, that's not that hard (I know this sounds odd to any guys reading this who have to eat a lot more just to survive, but I am a very, very little mouse.) Of course there are some days like last night when I go over, but that's getting cut to about once a week, without me really trying or experiencing hunger. If anything, I feel great all the time except for those occasions when I go over my target, then I feel a little less energetic, a little more like my old pre-CR self. Still, I have to focus to get the right nutrients. On that score, you'll be pleased to see this:

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Now we're onto some serious CR inside baseball. For those of you who are not into CR (first, I am impressed that you're reading this at all since non-stop chat about what I ate must be boring for you!), this is the processing of me ordering Dr. Walford's Interactive Diet Planner. This is long, long overdue. I still don't have my own laptop but I'm just going to load it onto someone else's for a little while if I have to. I can't take digital pics like Mary Robinson, but I hope to figure out a way to post my nutritional analysis. If you're not a CR person, please go to Dr. Walford's website and read up about it... it's an excellent website, full of easy to read information.

But back to my issues about being perceived as an anorexic. When people ask me if I'm dieting or express offense that I won't eat whatever they're offering, it makes me very uncomfortable! It's not that I'm unaccustomed to odd discussions in social situations... after all, I'm a union organizer (which is a radical, weird thing to do in this country, the kind of thing that makes people ask if you're a Communist.) But there's something much more unpleasant about having to deal with people who think you're anorexic. From women, it's a combination of jealousy and pity. From men, it's that "She's weird, probably won't eat hot dogs with me at the ballpark" kind of vibe. Luckily, my good friends and colleagues are very supportive and have been educated about CR (more than they would like!) so they understand. And anyone who has been around knows that it wasn't long ago that I weighed twenty pounds more. I still look quite normal, not even all that thin, with a BMI of 21 and falling. But in a world where most people are obese and pigging out is a social ritual, CRON makes you different.

I wonder if I could get a note from the CR human study people that I could put on business card sized pieces of paper and hand out to anyone who seems offended by my food choices. Something like:

"We are certain that whatever you are offering is delicious. However, April is one of our mice. So please do not feed her. She is not anorexic or in any way unhealthy. In fact, she is much healthier than you are."

Okay, so I'm joking about the note. But I'm seriously considering printing up a little card, complete with the CR Society's web address and Dr. Walford's, that explains in brief what we're doing. Then I could turn down food that I don't need without feeling rude, and maybe do some educating in the process!

To live in a world where you frequently found yourself saying at social occasions, "You're such a cauliflower pusher!" as people passed the vegetable tray.

You know, I feel better just writing about this. Which, I suppose is the point of this blog.

More thoughts on the point of the blog later.


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