Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Counting calories?!

Yesterday I was standing behind two girls in a line-up.I heard her laughing with her friend saying that she "could NOT eat that has too many calories!".

Now, normally, this would mean nothing to anyone else. But to me, it kind of hit a soft spot. I have never counted was simply not part of my eating disorder. But it can be a problem for many other people.

When I heard this girl say this...well, it got me thinking. Why count calories? It seems so mind-boggling. Imagine sitting at your desk and adding up everything that you ate in a day - it kind of seems depressing to me. Unless you are on a calorie-restricted diet, it seems to me that you would not need to count. I mean, how many people actually sit and add up their total calories?! It does not appear to be healthy, in my opinion.

But hearing people say this made me feel uncomfortable. These girls were not fat, not even close! And yet she was saying that she could not eat something because it had too many calories. But then I saw her eating a massive sundae (which, ironically, would technically have more calories)...weird. It did not make sense.

It occured to me, much later, that this girl was simply restating what she heard on TV or in the media - "eat low calorie foods" or "count your calories" or "now, burn more calories". CALORIES CALORIES CALORIES! It is so frustrating! A calorie is simply the amount of energy needed to raise one gram of water by one degree. That is all. Nothing more, nothing less. So why are we all falling victims to this?

ED plays very with calories. In some victims, calorie-counting becomes obsessive.

Count everything you eat. You ate too many calories todasy! Nope! You must eat less tomorrow. You do not need to eat that many less...

And he can be quite convincing. The hype over calories is getting to be too much these days. People do not even know what calores are, yet they are counting them. Honestly, eat healthy and all things in moderation. And listen to your body, when it is hungry and when it is full. Do not be obsessed with counting calories. It may not turn into an eating disorder, but it certainly can.

It makes me realize how much the media makes us act or speak differently. The media has such a big impact on all of us, whether we know it or not. Think about it: how has the media affected you today? Have you seen a commercial about lowering calories, losing weight, or soemthing similar? I guarantee that you have. This madness has to stop. It is simply not healthy, and it is not doing us any good. When was the last time you saw a commercial that advocated for healthy eating and all things in moderation, plus being happy with who we are? (*Silence*)

Exactly. Point proven. This needs to change. And maybe we can't change it alone. But we can be the change that we want to see in the world (Ghandi). So take action - love yourself for who you are, and help others see that it is not all about the food/calories/images that the media promotes.


  1. You are Ghandi of our generation.

  2. You can lead and most people will support you .We had enough with calories from our media


  3. What is calories..I eat what I want when I want and I am fit and healthy.
    please make it simple

  4. The benifit of complete recoevery is get rid of obssession and spend you time is meaningful idea.Live life simple .


  5. You are smart to tackle this issue.Really We fed up with and lots of people do not understand calories and media scar the hell out of them.
    Please alert people


  6. If you want count ,count your blessing.,and this makes you feel valued,loved and cared for .
    The media had damaged our youth minds and thoughts.
    Please Marina raise the issue so that youth and their families are protected.
    May God bless all youth to see the truth.

    Sunday priest


  7. I warn our kids and family to stand away from counting their food.It is the early signs of self image and dissatisfaction with their body that lead them to ED traps with all the torture.
    Thank you for talking about it

    Recovered ED Victim

  8. My love
    What calories people are counting.They are crazy.
    I count how many times I tell you I love you and how many times I tell you are beautiful and how many good qualities you have and how much money I have .
    Let me tell those who are counting their foods:
    I think the answer is no body
    Please count how many times I love you

    Henry loves you countless times

  9. We endorse you to be our Canadian Ghandi and protect our generation from this Jibe of counting.
    They do not know how this hurt young kids and adolescent

  10. In medicine We treat people according to their medical conditions putting their health and well being first.So if a regsitered dietietian tells you about callories and meal plan ,this is based on your medical condions and your body needs at the momemt and he or she will regularly re -assess the needs.
    I agree with you completely for shedding the light on this myth of counting
    When you are health minded ,you eat what you want when you want .
    Healthy eating should be a meal or snack every 3hours and no more than 4 hours without a meal underany circumstances.
    We tell our diabetic patients same thing(3 meals and 3 sncak).

    Once again I like your blog

    Medical student

  11. My dear Marina
    You are right .The media are biased and they all sell their own agenda and they can find who endorse their message no matter what the majority of people needs.Hopeful one day they learn the truth and stop insert in our kids and youth mind wrong image.
    Thank you for tackling this .
    I like this blog very much.

    A Thankful mother

  12. You can imagine when some body obssessed with self image ,hard to stop counting and this is exactly ED compulsion and control.There is a difference when you are free from ED thoughts and making your own decison and you put enjoying a balanced health life as a goal.
    My philosophy is take life easy ,enjoy it and do every thing in moderation and that is why I am happy no matter what is going on in my school or my family or around me.

    Grade 12

  13. Were you at school by any chance when this happened (probably no bc they don’t sell sundae’s on campus-or do they???) ? the reason I ask is bc you have to do a nutrition project in level 3 where you track all your intake over a week – like all calories, grams of carbs, grams of fat etc in level 3 biochem. Something to keep in mind. It has been really triggering for me this project. I really wish the prof new how triggering the assignment could be for some ppl who have worked hard and invested time in recovery

  14. It is unfortuanate that many schools go along with the media and exaggerating the the issue to extend sending wrong message to the public and hurting the 10 % of population who are struggling with ED and very sensitive to this issue.
    From some doctors ,nurses and dietitian and some shools and all the media Obesity and diabetes are endemic affecting 50% of peopulation.So it makes sense to them to go with the flow of 50% and ignore the 10%of ED victims(saying it is their choice to recover).
    I agree with you this is discrimination fro most of us towards those who are sesitive to as Ed victims even when recovered.
    Can we make a difference .
    Can We help obese and diabetic to be normal and at same time help ,support and understand the complixity of those who had ,have or at risk of ED
    Hope fully and We live in hope

    1. Its kind of ironic that you use the term diabetic and diabetes. Considering 10 percent of ppl with diabetes have type 1 which has nothing to do with lifestyle. A lot of young women with type 1 diabetes develop ED probably bc ppl choose to use diabetes as a buzz word for fat and lazy

    2. I think this person simply meant type 2 DM, which is generally associated with obestity because 90% of type 2 DM are indeed overweight. No one mentioned laziness whatsoever; this is simply a reflection of medical knowledge that shows that obesity is linked to type 2 DM. I do not think that this person meant, in any way, to state that people with diabetes are lazy. Just trying to keep everyone on the same page!

    3. Yes, just please be aware that many women with type 1 diabetes have eating disorders. There is a much higher rate of ED among women with type 1. It is really hurtful when people don’t distinguish when they mean type 2
      If you want to learn more
      Or you can lookup diabulimia

  15. I agree with your blog and also comments here.
    You are the best.
    I am waiting for you one day you can love me


  16. Despite it is a difficult issue ,but you are making your point quiet clear

  17. You have a charisma and specail talent in writing and so you expert in takling even very touchy and sesitive issue.
    No surprise you are NEDIC writer now.
    R Cosma

  18. I am diabetic type 2 and very active ,never lazy.No doctor or diabetes educator asked me to count calories .I was told health all sizes and eat 3 meals and 3 snack of variety of foods in moderation.
    I have been diabetic for 25 years .Yes I am now 75 (your grand father age.
    I am happy with my life and I enjoy .I guess if I made it hard ,count my food or what you call it callories,I would be dead many years ago.
    please guys make your life easy ,eat and enjoy and have fun.

    This my first time to leave a comment but I am following this to know and learn but when it comes to diabetes I felt I tell you my experience.
    Keep healthy and well .

    Sam Ibraham

    1. Yes, that is a pefect example of when you DO need to count - but that was under the supervision of medical advise because you needed to get healhty, not because of an illness or obsession with counting. I am so glad that you are better - and I am very happy that you read my blog. God bless you. I appreciate your support!

  19. You are so cute when you reply to this gentleman .It is so kind of you that you took the time to reply to one of your follwer who read ,admire you in silence till the moment come and he found himself want to send you a comment.
    I am his grand daughter and I like your blog too and I learn healthy tips from your blog.
    Grade 10

  20. Guys why don't we live by nature ,eat our meals ,enjoy the taste of our foods,nourish our body and be simple .Why you make simple issues a big deal.
    Look the ants and flies eat and look for their food and enjoy it.

    Cambridge ,On

  21. in level 3 biochem you will learn more about calories that you ever wanted to know ex how many calories per gram of carb, gram of fat, gram of protein etc. I find the assignments triggering
    - do you have any tips (for those of us with ED )on how to communicate w. profs and how to advocate for ourselves.

    do your profs. know about your ED hx

    1. Most of my teachers know, if it will in any way influence my education (for ex. i need to take breaks to eat my food and snacks,etc). But, I do find calorie counting triggering, because it was never part of my ED. It just bothers me how some people do this, and that it CAN trigger others. If you are struggling with this, just remember that a calorie is SIMPLY a calorie - the measure of howmuch energy it takes to heat up 1g of water. That is it. So, counting calories or knowing how much calories are in a gram of fat (9), protein and carbs (also 4) is nothing. Our bodies are programmed to enjoy food and to get energy from it, not to meticulously audit how much we are providing for it. Moderation is key. And ignoring all the unreasonable things that the media tells us about food/calories/weight is also important. Hope that helps!

  22. History is a past that gives us experience that help us make a good decision and have better judgement .It also gives us immunity and makes us stronger to face the challenges.
    I do not think it matters if profs know about our history or not.
    The reality of the matter is now We are recovered ,healthy and normal.
    I think knowing Marina history and looking at all her achievement is a big honour to her all who have suffered.

    Recoved ED victim

  23. Amazing
    I mean your reply to last 2 persons comments.
    Self auditing our food is NUTS.
    Enjoy life in moderation and be simple,easy going,look for fun.
    Way to Marina my dear.


  24. I am anorectic and I went into treatment last summer. I didn't have a lot of support from my family and so I clung to my eating disorder (I called "her" Ana) because it was my everything. And when I did try and talk to people about it, to help myself understand that I was sick and I deserved to get better, my closest friend just dismissed it. It is very hurtful when people make EDs out to "just complaining about being fat, it's not that serious". My heart was failing but because I wasn't emaciated I wasn't sick. How effed up is that?

    Right now, I'm relapsing and counting calories and wanting to see my bones again, and I can't go to my parents for help because they will be so angry and mean about it. How can I get better, for real this time? I'm scared.


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