Two and a half years ago, I was a Weight Watchers member for the umpteenth time. I hate the idea of counting and measuring food, but as I struggled with my weight I would inevitably get humble enough to sign up yet again for another round of meetings. At this particular time, I heard about a new Aveda spa that offered memberships where you could get a monthly massage (or facial) for $59. I was spending $40 a month on Weight Watchers, not getting anything out of it but guilt and shame, so it was a no-brainer to decide to put that money toward a monthly massage instead. How decadent, how lovely … how smart.
So what does this have to do with being a healthy, happy eater? Two main things:
- nuturing the body is a healthy thing to do
- counting and measuring food contributes to neuroses
Massage relieves stress, lowers anxiety, minimizes pain and stiffness, lowers blood pressure and boosts immunity. That sounds alot better to me than getting up early on a Saturday morning for a guilt-inducing WW meeting where you try to learn how to game the (digestive) system with faux food.
I have a sweet, beautiful, trim, fit friend who recently told me she was considering joining Weight Watchers to lose a few pounds. Everything in me screamed, “Noooooooooo!” I hated to see a person with no weight problem tap into the collective neuroses that tries to make food the enemy. My advice to her was to read Nina Planck’s book Real Food: What to Eat and Why. There’s so much misinformation about food – from the FDA, diet experts, nutritionists, the media, pharmaceutical companies, industrial food producers – that Nina’s book was like a gulp of fresh air after almost suffocating. Her approach is so intuitive, I immediately knew it was truth. Michael Pollan says her book is, “Persuasive and invigorating … a valuable and eye-opening book.” I couldn’t agree more!
So the next time you consider counting and measuring, or eating something that’s lowfat, nonfat, industrial-processed-supposed-to-taste-like-something-else … go have a massage (Hiatus Spa if in Dallas) and then enjoy some real food. Not sure what that is? Here’s what Nina calls The Omnivore’s Feast (p. 273):