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Goodbye (sort of), Foodie McBody June 6, 2014

Foodie McBody

Foodie McBody

I just did a little thing that felt like such a BIG thing. I changed my Twitter handle, which has been @foodiemcbody forever. But for the last six months or a year I’ve felt like so much MORE than Foodie McBody. Many people I interact with now, in the writing world and beyond, don’t recognize or know Foodie.

It makes me feel really emotional to make this change. I first took on the name Foodie McBody as an anonymous name when I started this blog. Because I was ashamed of who I was. I was diabetic and overweight and unfit and desperate. I wanted to reach out for community and help, but I was embarrassed to be in the world as ME, Susan Ito. And that’s how Foodie came about.

When I started feeling better about myself, I shed that anonymity. For a long time I was really proud to be Foodie McBody. And I still am. But I’m more than that now. I’m a writer, a memoirist, a physical therapist, a teacher. Sometimes those selves fit with Foodie, and sometimes they don’t.

Last weekend I took a fabulous food-writing class at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. We were visited by guest speaker Virginia Miller, who blogs over at The Perfect Spot and also writes for Zagat. (!) I realized in that moment that FoodFoodBodyBody has been and is a food blog. And the writing that I did that day could live here. It was a huge sigh of happiness, the recognition that I could integrate these parts of myself.

For a long time I believed that my fitness stole my writing, and then that my writing could steal my fitness. All of it takes time, after all. Following my injury and surgery in the fall, I’ve definitely been more in the writing world. Trying to find that balance again. But I have deep love for the Foodie McBody part of myself, and deep love for my writing life. @thesusanito is an attempt to bring it all together in one self. I hope those of you who met me as Foodie will continue to be my wonderful healthy community, and those who never knew Foodie will learn about who that part of me is/was.

Did you ever feel like your identity was fragmented? What have you done to bring it all together?

 

 

Day 6 #NHPBM: Taking the High Road November 6, 2012

 

Day 6 – Tuesday, Nov. 6

News-style post
OR
Write about a time you had to take the high road

The only news I care about today is the election, but I’m too anxious to write a news style post, so I’m going to choose the “high road” post. But in order to do that I wanted to be really sure what that meant. I Googled it and found:

You may have faced moments when you want nothing more than to react loudly when somebody pushes your buttons. Taking the high road will keep the peace. It’s the best way to handle conflict and maintain your own moral high ground.

I’ve had my buttons pushed a number of times regarding my diabetes. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed that I realized that there are deep seated prejudices regarding especially Type 2 diabetes. When I began to participate in message boards and other diabetes communities, I read several posts from people (who either had Type 1 or had children with Type 1 – actually more parents of T1s) who were scornful and/or disgusted by any resources going to people with Type 2 diabetes. I quickly came to realize that many people view Type 2 diabetes as the kind that “fat people get” or people who just eat like pigs and bring it on themselves.

I felt that way myself.

I felt embarrassed and ashamed to have done such harm to my body and felt like I was unworthy of any sort of kindness or attention. Indeed, the same week that I was diagnosed, I attended a solo performance by a woman who had had Type 1 diabetes since childhood. She depicted an alarming/hilarious scene in which she is woken up to have her blood tested by an anxious mother several times a night.  Sitting in the audience, I was thinking, oh wow, there’s my people!

And then she said, “I have Type 1 diabetes! Not the kind that people who eat tons of cheeseburgers get.”

I wanted to crawl underneath my theater seat and die. She was talking about ME, of course. I furtively looked from side to side to see if anyone was going to throw me out of the theater. Of course nobody had a clue what was happening with me.

But that was the beginning of seeing the bias that is out there. The conventional wisdom is that Type 1 diabetics are innocent, and that they have done nothing to “bring it on” themselves. And that Type 2s are to blame for their (our) conditions.

Since those early days I have learned that behavior and lifestyle are only partial factors in Type 2 diabetes. There are some elements of truth in that perception. But a lot of it is based in genetic predisposition, something that none of us can control. There are people who are very inactive and who eat fabulously unhealthy diets, who will never ever get Type 2 diabetes. And there are normal-or-underweight people who run marathons who might.

It’s been hard for me to not feel defensive and attacked when people make “type 2” remarks. And they do it all the time. Sometimes I feel like attacking back. Because honestly, I feel like I am doing the best I damn can.

But then I have to take a deep breath and take the highest road I can find.

Bottom line is, it’s good for ALL of us to make healthier food choices and to be active in our lives. Right?

This is Post #6 (WOW!) of National Health Blog Post Month.

Other bloggers I’ve discovered this month:

• Jess at Team Awesome writes about being thankful. http://www.talesfromteamawesome.com/2012/11/weekly-weigh-in-32-nhbpm.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

• Lorraine climbs on her health activist soapbox

http://thyroid-hope.blogspot.co.uk

 

 

In Which Preparing For Fitbloggin’ Saves Me September 11, 2012

ImageFitbloggin’ 2012 is just ten days away and the Twitter/blogosphere is really starting to buzz with excitement. I’m excited too – to reunite with friends, to meet and connect with new people, and to just be in the wonderful atmosphere that is Fitbloggin.

But I’ve had some trepidation. I’m not at all in the same place that I was at Fitbloggin’ 2011. In May of 2011 I was actively blogging – many times a week – and was really feeling great both fitness and blogwise.

This time – not so much. It’s been a struggle to keep up with regular blogging. I feel like every time I sit down to write, I’m apologizing about not writing enough. This year has meant a lot of job transition, which means I rarely feel “caught up” enough to blog. I’m often staying up until 11:00pm just trying to get a grip on my job’s paperwork. Only recently have I just started to feel like I might be getting the hang of things, and maybe, just maybe, I can complete my work during, you know, regular work hours.

Now that Fitbloggin’ is just around the corner (how did that happen?!?) it’s forced/allowed me to really think about what’s been going on this past year. There is a phrase that floats around the blogosphere: if a fitness blogger stops blogging, it probably means they’ve fallen off some wagon or another.

That’s both true and not true. It is, as they say, complicated.

A year ago, I was high about Fitbloggin’ and the fitness world. I was preparing to get certified as a Personal Trainer with a specialty in Corrective Exercise. I was studying, I was really into it. I was planning to start my own business in personal and group fitness, awareness, body image and food. I was going to call it (get this!) FoodFoodBodyBody. I took several seminars in Small Business ownership. I set up a business account. I joined a network of women working in health and wellness. I was so pumped!

And then what happened?!

About that time I signed up for my first triathlon training. And while that event was one of the most arduous-yet-meaningful experiences, one of the greatest challenges and accomplishments ever, I think it was the beginning of my unraveling. I thought I was going to turn into a lean, mean triathlete machine, but instead I ended up putting on weight. And no, it wasn’t “all muscle.” During the training I had to wrestle with a lot of person demons. I was afraid of my bicycle. I had panic attacks when I tried to swim in open water. I was always the Very Last Person during our training workouts, and slowly this began to wear at my self-confidence. And as I spent weeks training, I got more anxious and nervous. I started doing a lot more comfort eating. I tried to justify it by telling myself I was working out a lot more, but the fact was I was self-soothing because I was so damn scared.

During that time, when my self-doubt was peaking, I started doubting my business plan. I was thinking, who the hell am *I* to tell anyone else what to do in terms of fitness or healthy eating? So I started backing away from that. I started building all sorts of roadblocks to actually accomplishing that goal which had once excited me so much.

I finished the triathlon. Or, I sort of finished it. I felt good but I also felt crappy. I couldn’t help feeling like I had cheated somehow. So what did I do? I signed up for the Hike Team – during which I injured myself – and then I signed up to do ANOTHER triathlon. I know. What was I thinking? I wanted a do-over. I wanted to Get It Right that time. But because of my injury, and my frazzled self-confidence, that one didn’t work out the way I had planned either. I dropped out of the Maui (Olympic) Tri and instead did the Wildflower Mountain Bike (aka Sprint) Tri. Which was on one hand an accomplishment, but again, it didn’t solve the problem of Getting It Right.

During all of this, I look back now and I see what my worse mistake was: I stopped blogging.

I hid.

I think if I had openly chronicled (I mean really chronicled) all of the self-doubt, all of the decisions, the comfort eating, the freakouts, I think it would have taken care of itself. I mean, that’s the lesson of this blog. Being honest and out there kept me healthy for over two years. But hiding away almost threatened to put me back where I started.

Also during the last year, my beloved endocrinologist left the group practice. I was devastated. I felt abandoned, and I acted out. (in a way that could really only hurt myself) I stopped tracking my blood glucose, stopped eating so carefully, and never made an appointment (until last week) with a new doctor. I was pouting. I was really sad about this. But of course that didn’t help the course of things.

I’ve been rewriting/rehearsing/freaking out about my performance at Fitbloggin’. It will bear some resemblance – but only about 50% – to last year’s show. There’s a lot more I’ve gotta say/show/express. I’m hecka nervous about it. But also excited. Because the stakes feel greater somehow. I’m not just doing a show about how Totally Awesome my “journey” has been – but also this time – how kind of un-awesome and humbling and HARD it’s been.

But the very act of being honest is, I think, (or, I KNOW) – where the good stuff is. I’m relieved and happy to be getting back to basics. Which for me isn’t so much about working out in any particular way, or counting calories. It’s about being Real.

 

Vote! For Me, Please! October 7, 2011

Image by Chris Olson via Flickr

I woke up to the most wonderful news today – that SHAPE magazine has nominated FoodFoodBodyBody for one of their Favorite Weight-Loss Blogs of 2011! How awesome is that! VERY VERY AWESOME! The other awesomeness is that I have been nominated in the company of some of my favorite and most inspiring friends. What an honor! I’m ecstatic.

I also love what SHAPE said about us:

Losing weight is hard, even under the best of circumstances…That’s why we love these 20 blogs. Each of the bloggers nominated in the weight-loss category is honest, funny and emphasizes the importance of health over weighing a certain number. They inspired us, and we hope they’ll inspire you, too!”

I can’t even being to express how happy that made me! Yay!

So please, if you are so inclined, go vote for me HERE. Thank you so much, SHAPE!

 

Guest Post: Terre asks “What’s YOUR Goal?” August 29, 2010

I’m thrilled that Terre Pruitt, awesome Nia teacher, has agreed to guest-post for me this week!

So what is YOUR goal?  I had a goal, I met it but I wanted more.  Then I kept aging and my “additional goal” kept slipping further away.  See my original goal was to get/stay/be healthy.  Then I decided I wanted to look like a super model.  Yeah, I know.  You don’t even have to know me or see me to know that is ridiculous.  Number one, who really wants to be THAT thin?  And I will never be that tall.  And really, honestly, right?  “C’uz that’s what we do here on Foodie McBody’s blog — is be honest, most people can’t achieve that state of thin.  It is a certain body type that can be a supermodel.  I am NOT that type.  I am of the shorter stockier version.  I started on my “health” kick rather late in life too.  I mean, certainly not too late to be healthy and fit . . . . never to late for that . . . but too late to not have gotten the sag here and the stretch mark there, ya know?  No swim suit runway modeling in my future.

My model goal kind of got me off track.  I started just giving up a bit because I know I could never be like that so why bother, right?  Wrong.  I think they work really hard at being that thin.  I don’t think that most people are supposed to be as thin as our models and celebrities so they have to work really hard.  It is hard work.  I want to enjoy my life and I CAN by eating sensibly, exercising, and being healthy.  Health is so important.

I once knew a woman who said to me one day as we saw someone scootering by, “That’s my goal.  I wanna scooter.” What?  Huh?  Uh . . .   My goal–really, my goal when I started this was to get healthy to stave off having to medicate.  At the time I started working out and eating better,  I knew too many people that were going on the hypertension drugs.  I don’t like to take medication.  Then on top of the medication they had side effects.  See, to me the less you have to take the less side effects you have.  So my goal is to stay off the meds and out of the scooter as long as possible.

Recently I got off balance (heartburn) but all my other tests came out good.  Average.  I think there is room for improvement, but I am basically healthy.  High five!  That is such an important thing.  Often time when getting healthy or staying healthy is the goal some of the others things follow suit.  Some of the other goals might be losing weight, having more energy, feeling better.  It is amazing.  I need to remember that my true goal is being healthy and concentrate on that more and not let the other stuff get in my way.  So what is YOUR goal?  What are you doing to achieve it?  Are you keeping on track and not getting side tracked like I did?  Health is one of our greatest assets.

Terre Pruitt is a Nia Teacher and a certified personal trainer.  When not teaching Nia she is sharing her passion for it on her blog and her website.  She “met” Foodie on Twitter, so she can be found there too@HelpYouWell

 

Tracking In Pictures July 5, 2010

It’s been great having Mary from A Merry Life here for the past few days. Not only is she great company, she’s a great blogger and I’ve been very interested (okay, Fascinated. Okay, OBSESSED!) with her particular type of food blogging. She remarked recently that she wasn’t into Weight Watchers because she couldn’t see keeping track of points and stuff, and that made me laugh because she is MUCH more disciplined about tracking her food than most WW members I know (including myself): she takes pictures of every single food she eats. I knew she did this, because I follow her blog, but I was really interested and fascinated in the whole process. So the first meal we ate together, I was like, “Are you going to take a picture now? Are you? Are you??”

In the morning, I set out a whole bunch of breakfast ingredients and then waited for Mary to choose, prepare and then photograph her breakfast. What would she pick? How would she photograph it? Now we’ve shared quite a number of meals together and I think her process is a great one. And I totally recommend it for anyone who wants to be accountable, who doesn’t maybe want to count or write things down.

Because I’ve noticed that these are the things that are necessary to do this kind of food-diary-via-photos:

  1. You have to be honest. There it is, the amount, the real stuff, whatever it is.
  2. It’s an amazing way of being accountable.
  3. It’s an art form. I love watching the way Mary arranges the elements just so on her plate.
  4. I think it has to REALLY curb compulsive eating. I mean you have to really be deliberate, and make that decision. I AM GOING TO EAT THIS.
  5. For people who photograph then BLOG their food, 100x the accountability!

So I’ve been just really fascinated and impressed and just really interested in this whole aspect of food tracking. I like it. I love taking picture and I love food (duh) and I think tracking is important. Do I have the discipline to do this? Would I really take a photograph of a big huge spoon of peanut butter before I eat it? Hmmm. Something to think about for sure.

At any rate, I am having a great time with Mary. We’ve been exploring a lot of places around San Francisco, and I’ve been introducing her to new adventures in food. She’s had her first taste of Indian food, and her first rabbit-shaped shrimp dumpling. I am not sure if we can cram it all in but I’m hoping to introduce her to Ethiopian and Burmese and Moroccan food while she is here.

We’re getting in tons of activity too (thank GOODNESS). Today we hiked at least 5 miles in and around Muir Woods. We did a 5k with a bunch of WW folks on Friday. Tomorrow I think I hit the gym.

rabbit-shaped shrimp dumpling in Chinatown

communing w nature in the redwoods

 

From Blog to Stage April 9, 2010

This Tuesday night was truly an amazing experience for me. It was the night that this blog, I don’t know, turned 3-D. I showed a theaterful of people what FoodFoodBodyBody was all about. And I have to say, I loved every minute of it.

I had already done a mini-version of the show for my friends in Costa Rica. They enjoyed it a lot and gave me some extremely helpful last-minute feedback, so I could do some little tweaking before the Big Night.

I wasn’t very nervous. I was just happy, and excited. I got a little bit of butterflies in my stomach while I was on the train going to San Francisco, but then I took a look at my notes and it calmed me. When I got to the theater I discovered that I would be going last. Which was both exciting and nervewracking. The great thing about going first, of course, is that you get to relax and then enjoy everyone else’s piece. But I was okay. I just felt good about all of it. My classmates went and I was just so excited for them, and thrilled to see THEIR amazing work.

Finally it was my turn. I don’t know. It just… happened. I know this story so well. It just went, and I could feel everyone so WITH me. At one point, I came to a scene where I was about to get on the scale. It’s a big moment. I cross my fingers, and I say, “Cross your fingers!” (unplanned) And I looked up and saw this sea of arms up, fingers crossed!!! It was just… wow. And it made me feel EXACTLY like I do when I post something here, or on Twitter, and ask for support, and everyone comes forth. It was just so great. The show was videotaped so I am hoping to have a little trailer to put up on YouTube at some point.

After the show was over, I got to talk to my awesome friends who had come out, and that made me really happy. But THEN a bunch of people who I DIDN’T KNOW started coming up to me and saying really nice things.  One guy said, “You made me LAUGH my ASS off.. but then..” his face got serious. “I have prediabetes too. And I guess I better pay attention to that.” It got really serious, really quick. And he thanked me and it just made me get all choked up. But then someone ELSE came up to me, this guy – and he said – “This is my story, too.” And he gave me his card – and I was like, OMG.  This dude has lost a ton of weight and really changed his life. Check out the documentary movie about his life! And his blog! (Note that he had his change-of-life-moment at Cafe Gratitude, which I actually made a lot of fun of once – but hey, if it worked for him, I am glad for him!)

This kept on and on. THREE MORE people came up and said they had prediabetes. Which was like, freaky, in a not very big theater. But it made me super glad too. That not only had I provided some entertainment, but maybe I could make a difference in someone’s health too. That REALLY made me get a lump in my throat.

Really amazing things have happened since then. People had such a great response, it made me so happy. THEN…

Yesterday I was invited by the two producers of City Solo, an amazing solo performance series in San Francisco, to be part of their May lineup!  Yahooooo! Do you know what that means? That means that the wonderful Superwoman Spirit Shannon, formerly of the Fabulous Fatties (who have cameo role in the show!!) will be able to attend when she comes to visit in May! I am beside myself with excitement. So, I will be performing on May 16th AND on May 23rd! Woooo!

Today I got my hair cut. I am still, er… getting used to it. But tomorrow I am going to have a professional PHOTO SHOOT (publicity for City Solo). I think the photos are going to be really fun. Seriously, if you would have said the words “photo shoot,” “headshots,” or “marathon relay” to me at any point in 2008, I would have laughed until I keeled over. And then cried.

I’m just… I don’t know. Overwhelmed with excitement and happiness about it all. Here’s a pic of me and my fellow performers (and awesome director/teacher) right before showtime. Yahoo!



 

 
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