Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Eat less, weigh more

At this time when zillions of people resolve to lose weight in the new year, a friend of mine is wondering how to gain weight.  Especially now that she's cut sugar and all meat but fish out of her diet, she's having a hard time keeping her weight up.  The months of nausea that have made all food unappealing haven't helped either.  Like many women, she struggled with keeping her figure trim in the past.  Now she's struggling to avoid looking skeletal. 

In one of those cruelly unfair twists of fate, my friend, athlete, non-smoker, and mother of two small boys, has been undergoing cancer treatments for more than a year.  She attended our wedding with her family just after finishing the first round of chemotherapy.  I was too caught up in the whirl of the day to notice how gaunt she was.  The treatments, along with the changes she's made in her diet to maximize nutrients and minimize toxic chemicals, have made it difficult for her to sustain her normal weight. 

Her current search for healthy, nutrient-rich foods made me realize how much I take my body and all it can do for granted.  I can feed it junk, I can feed it vegetables, still it (mostly) does what I want.  (Though as I get older, I definitely feel more sluggish and spacey when I gorge on refined sugar and white flour than when I eat Brussels sprouts.)

Like so many other people, I resolved to get into better shape in the new year:  lose the seven pounds I gained over the holidays (an extended bout of the appetite-killing Demon Cold seems to have taken care of that), stop eating fattening foods, eat more vegetables, get into aerobic shape, do more yoga.

When my friend wrote looking for advice about what foods could help her gain weight, I had an inspiration.  I am going to "give" all my rich and fattening foods to her.  Since she wants to gain weight, and I want to lose weight, I am going to "give" my nuts, cheeses, ice cream, pastas, etc. to her.  Whenever I want to eat these foods, I'll symbolically pass them off to her, imagining her gaining weight and reclaiming her former strength and vitality.  And I'll grab a carrot.

This will help me be more conscious of what I eat, and it will remind me of healthy, hearty foods that I can suggest to her.  And hopefully, the constant stream of positive thoughts in her direction will have a positive impact on her health.  At least, I hope so.

What are your favorite weight-inducing foods?  Leave them here - even recipes! - I'll pass them on to my friend, and your diet will be lightened for the year.  My friend doesn't eat sugar, so the ice cream, cookies and chocolate (my downfall) are still yours to handle.


The Thirty-Something Bride said...

I have a friend who is in the same boat (weight-wise) but for different reasons. Her son has a disease that is improved greatly by removing processed foods from his diet. They have changed their entire way of eating as a family. As a result, the kids are healthier as are they, but she has lost an incredible amount of weight when she didn't need to in the first place. She has been adding in things like avocados, potatoes cooked in olive oil and real butter, fatty fish (like salmon and swordfish), organic bison, homemade potato chips, veggies cooked with oil and butter - that sort of thing. It's helping, just not at the speed at which she'd like.
Good luck to your friend. It's a wonderful thing you are doing.

elizabeth said...

Thanks for these ideas, Thirty-Something! I'll pass them on...