"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Operation Get Fit: Why teenageness makes you fat.

Update: I have lost a kilo! 55, baby!

In my opinion, the teenage years are the worst for people who have slow metabolisms and tend to pile on weight easily (read: me).

Firstly, there's the hormonal crap. Did you know that teenagers can gain up to 50% of their normal bodyweight due to hormonal craziness? Female puberty prepares women for childbearing, and fertility requires fat. Which is why you bulk up a bit during adolescence. How sucky.

But mostly it's our eating habits. When we're studying, we're so frenzied that we'll eat finger foods so that you can multitask with your physics homework. Sit down meals seem like an incredible waste of time. But when you multitask with food - so studying and eating, watching tv and eating, etc - you lose track of what you're eating and how much you're eating. For example - would you seriously go through a jumbo box of popcorn if that's all you were doing? No! But at movies we steadily chomp through unreasonable amounts of food because we simply don't realize we're eating at all, half the time. Habit eating, which is a rather bad habit of mine, is a sneaky cause of weight gain.

My other little vice is what I call NOTHING IS GOING RIGHT IN MY LIFE WAHH I'M JUST GOING TO EAT EAT EAT EAT BECAUSE FOOD IS MY ONLY FRIEND!!!!!!! I have been known to go slightly off my head at times, and with that, I go off my face with food. My biggest binging times were:

1. Year Seven, aged twelve - The last time I was under 50kg. I was SO OVER eight years of PURE HELL, so I concentrated all of my self-pity into daily binges of ramen noodles.

2. Year Eight, aged thirteen - Lose a boyfriend, gain a kilo (or three). Basically, more ramen.

Since then I have pulled back on my ramen obsession, but I haven't really been very conservative with portion control - okay, I had no concept of portion control until recently. I ate until I couldn't get another bite in and always went to bed feeling very full and slightly sick. My theory is that all the food you eat until you're no longer hungry goes into energy and fat reserve, and the food you eat until you're full just turns into, well, fat. My eating patters were also different to normal meal times, so I found myself eating when I felt like it (a full meal midmorning and after school) AND during normal mealtimes (breakfast, lunch, dinner). That's five meals a day!

My love affair with food continues, but we now have a pre-nup. Portion control.


Genevieve said...

Another thing to consider is the amount of SLEEP you're getting. There is a HUGE correlation to lack of sleep - especially in teenage years - and being overweight. I'm reading a book right now called Nurture Shock! - a NYT Bestseller - and chapter 2 is all about the lost hour of sleep. Young people today get 1 hour less sleep each night than young folks did 30 years ago.

Recent research shows that, among middle schoolers and high schoolers, the odds of obesity go up 80% for each hour of lost sleep.

Something to consider - while you're heading to bed! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm writing this at 11:30pm which is pretty much my standard bedtime of late - and I wake up at 7, so that's, I don't know...7.5 hours sleep?

I have heard about sleep deprivation being linked to obesity, but I think the lack of sleep in youngsters these days is due to the great pressures of high school academia and social life. There just aren't enough hours in the day!

I am honoured that you have posted a comment on my lil ol' blog ;). I love your blog and you're such a great person and mama!