But the serving size says…

April 14, 2016 in Recovery

Hi guys and happy Thursday! Time to think out loud this week and ramble. That’s what I do best! Lol. Thank you Amanda for letting me share what’s on my mind today and the link up!

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But the serving size says _. Serving sizes. We love to freak out about them. We love to analyze them, calculate them, measure our foods so they fit that exact portion. We love to talk to others about how the serving size for this snack is 2 so only eat half the bag, we love to fixate on this number. We love to talk about how many calories are in each serving size. How many carbs, grams of protein, sugar, blah blah blah. Ugh, serving sizes man.

They get obsessive and they get blown out of hand. The brain can get fixated on this number very quickly and easily. What happened to just listening to our bodies though? Having how much we want. Stopping when we don’t want any more. Not measuring every little morsel of food that goes into our mouth to make sure it’s the exact serving size.

I was like that. Victim of measuring, victim of being dictated by the serving size on the back of the passage; victim of being controlled by this number and becoming obsessed with having that and JUST that- nothing more, but of course I could have less. It was a trap of self-hate. I felt trapped in my brain and controlled by numbers. The measuring of food that I did for every time I ate was incredibly time consuming. It dictated my life. I would remeasure things about 5 times making sure everything was exact. Everything had to be perfectly measured, the serving size I aimed for had to be exact. It took a toll on my brain and mental health,  yet it didn’t influence me to stop. It was addictive. Measuring everything was extremely addictive. The fear of having a tiny bit more than what I anticipated was so big that I let it control me and my health; the fear of going over what the serving size was or the new “smaller serving size” I created for myself was tremendous. So I continued to follow these strict rules for myself until I finally received the help that I needed. I continued to measure everything. I practically remembered the nutritional information of every single food that I ate. It was extremely unhealthy and not a good way to live at all. 

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Amennnn!

Every time I see someone glancing over the nutrition info or talking about serving sizes, my automatic instinct is to get nervous for them; to yell at them and just say, “You don’t need to stare at those nutrition facts for so long!! Please don’t, it doesn’t matter that much!” When I hear people talking about this, I always put in my two cents and just remind everyone that BALANCE is key to all this nutrition stuff, to all this talk on food and serving sizes. Half the time this just goes over people’s heads. In one ear and out the other. For example, I gave a friend one of my Lenny & Larry’s cookies to try. This friend can sometimes be a bit more ignorant about topics of food/diet/exercise, but we all have those friends and I just roll with it now. Let that person live their life and you focus on yours instead, doing what is best for YOU! Anyways, this friend looked at the back of the cookie and saw it was two serving sizes. She was reading over the other nutrition facts-protein, carbs, etc. etc. and said “Oh gosh, I’ll just have half of this tonight!! All this protein before bed would be bad.” I honestly laugh at these comments now. My other friend said, “Who eats half a cookie?” HELL YA MAN- WHO REALLY DOES?! I always eat the full Lenny & Larry’s cookie. I don’t care it says 2 serving sizes. I want the full cookie! Like my friend said, who really just wants 1 half of the cookie when you can have both?! Who would put the other half back and just save it for later?! My friend’s comment about the serving size of these cookies in a ways inspired this post, so every little irritating thing and everything in general does in fact happen for a reason hehe. I have a voice, and I’m not afraid to use it anymore in these conversations and topic matters or on my blog for that matter. I am not triggered by what those say in regards to this topic of conversation or any topic regarding food or exercise, but it can obviously get frustrating just from my background. But I am going to stand up for what I believe in. Others can stand up for what they believe in with these matter and I will respect that, just as I will stand up for what I think is right too. I never want to silence my voice with these issues, cuz I got a wholeeee lot to say lol.

I think the big thing I’ve learned is that serving sizes and numbers aren’t the devil. They aren’t bad! They are just numbers. Sure, I’ll look at serving sizes sometimes. Because quite frankly, it isn’t healthy to eat a whole bag of chips or 5 servings of oreos. Living a balanced life for me consists of eating what the “typical” amount is for something. However, that is more than the serving size sometimes! But other times, that is also less than the serving size. Another thing is that I do not measure my food anymore. Sure, when I am baking or cooking I measure it. But not for everyday purposes. I do not pull out the tablespoon measure for my nut butter anymore and spend 5 minutes making sure the amount is exact. Instead, I just get a spoon and dip it in that peanut butter, and just have that spoonful. It is so much easier and freeing that way. Not measuring food was hands down one of the most greatest things about recovery; it was an amazing sense of freedom, it was like flipping off all those tablespoons and teaspoons and measuring cups and being like “Adios!! See you for when I’m baking a cake or making some banana bread. Besides then, I don’t care about you anymore!!” Learning to trust my body, to trust my judgment, and to not let small things such as serving sizes and numbers dictate my happiness was the greatest decision and stride in my recovery. It gave me an everlasting sense of empowerment and freedom to this day feels pretty damn amazing.

No questions today, but would love to hear your thoughts about this post! Have a great Thursday friends. <3

Sending my love as always.

Xoxo

Lyss<3

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30 Comments

  • Reply Lynne April 14, 2016 at 6:32 am

    I could not agree more Lyss. Happy Thursday 🙂 x

    • Reply Alyssa April 16, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      Thank you so much for reading Lynne 🙂 have a lovely day

  • Reply Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It April 14, 2016 at 11:45 am

    AMENNNN Lyss! I used to count out the correct amount of carrots I could eat. I wish I could go back and smack myself and say really?! Carrots?! That was restriction. This is so important, and I sometimes want to yell at others too who talk about not being able to eat all of something. Listening to your body is the way to go. Imma eat that whole Lenny and Larry’s cookie too! 😉 Thank you for sharing this, have a beautiful day love!! xoxo

    • Reply Alyssa April 16, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      I used to do the same thing with fruits and veggies… what were we thinking?! Listening your body is the way to go. And yas girl- always eat the full cookie hehe 🙂 Thank you for reading and your support!!

  • Reply Stephanie April 14, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    What a wonderful post! You turned something that would have once been so triggering into something empowering. I can attest to all that measuring it was flat out awful. I too was a victim to calories, I knew how many calories were in everything. I would go over them in my head over and over again, I never knew it was an illness and never got the help that you did! I let go of it on my own. I never look at the back of food except to see now if it might have certain vitamins. I also try to listen to my body, if I want something I eat it and also think of moderation! So THANK YOU ALYSSA! Thanks for your voice to help others!

    • Reply Alyssa April 16, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      Thank you so much mom 🙂 Measuring and counting calories just flat out sucks- we are both free from those numbers!! I love you!

  • Reply Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me April 14, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I fell that same automatic instinct of nervousness when I glance at someone at a market and they’re glancing over the nutritional information. I want to scream at them “Nooooo!” But I have to remind myself that not everyone looks at it and thinks what I think. I’m much better when I just don’t look at it at all. It keeps my mind at peace, and I’m okay with that.

    • Reply Alyssa April 16, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      That is very true- others may be looking at it for a different reason than what we used to look at it for. Not looking at it is so freeing, and reminds us that we don’t need those numbers to dictate our happiness!

  • Reply Taylor April 14, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Great topic! I think balance is so important. I never follow the suggested serving sizes on packages. I think it is more important to fuel your body and stop when you are full AND live a little!! While I think it is so important to be aware of what we are putting in our bodies, there is such thing as taking it to the extreme and obsessing over it. Great post that I can definitely relate to!

    • Reply Alyssa April 16, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      So true- listening to our bodies is KEY! And It can all become very obsessive. You are so right too- learning to live is so important too 🙂

  • Reply Emily April 14, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    YES!!!! Yes I love this girl. Let’s all encourage everybody we run into to stop worrying about food. Food is just food. It’s fuel for our bodies to live these awesome lives that God has given us to live on His earth! <3 <3

    • Reply Alyssa April 16, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      Amen!! Food is just food and fuel for our bodies- you are amazing Emily!

  • Reply Melanie April 14, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    I love this soo much!! I think trusting your body is so important. I used to measure peanut butter with a tablespoon and oh my gosh, it was the biggest pain and so silly. You are so right- not measuring out food is so freeing! Stopping calorie counting/measuring out food was truly one of the best feelings. Now I looovee getting Ben & Jerry’s and eating right out of the pint! 😉

    • Reply Alyssa April 16, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      Thank you so much Melanie! It really is so freeing to not measure things 🙂 And eating ice cream out of the pint is the BEST 🙂

  • Reply Ellie April 15, 2016 at 1:45 am

    I think most people look at the nutrition label to see if it had gluten in it lol =P I can see how your friend would make you frustrated but I think it’s because you know better and wish she did too. A lot of my coworkers talk about carbs and even though I know what they are saying probably bogus, I just nod along and support them. To me that’s just being a good friend

    • Reply Alyssa April 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      That is true, but from my background being a good friend is making sure that he or she knows it is okay to not to let the nutrition label rule what they eat and that numbers don’t have to define them! Whatever they end up choosing to do is their decision, but I want to make sure to use my voice on these issues. 🙂

  • Reply sarah April 15, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Love this! They are just numbers, guidelines if you will. They are NOT rules. Everyone’s needs are different. That ecard is great too LOL!

    • Reply Alyssa April 16, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      Yess, they are just guidelines and not rules. The ecard is so great hahah I loved it. 🙂

  • Reply Edye April 15, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Yes! Yes! I totally agree with you. Not gonna lie, the first time I saw that the L&L cookie had 2 servings in one cookie, I freaked out a little. But, I realized that my mind and my body wanted the whole cookie. So I always eat those whole thing. Like, who eats have a cookie? Right?!

    Blessings,
    Edye // Gracefulcoffee

    • Reply Alyssa April 16, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      AMEN- who does eat half a cookie?!? Full thing is the way to go 🙂

  • Reply Kate April 17, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    I feel really sad seeing people look at nutrition facts, especially young women. I understand not everyone is going to develop an ED, but still it makes me nervous. One of my professors thinks we shouldn’t have nutrition labels, we should just all gravitate towards whole foods most them time. It would be interesting to see how that would work!

    • Reply Alyssa April 17, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      My automatic feeling is sad too. But imagine that; I wish more people would just focus on getting in whole foods rather than numbers and all that jazz. That would be so interesting to see! Have a great day Kate 🙂

  • Reply Link Love 4/17/16 – Blissful Lyss April 17, 2016 at 3:37 pm

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  • Reply Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar April 17, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks for this post! For a while, I was so hyper-aware of serving sizes and always measured my food exactly. It was absolutely miserable. And I agree with you–who eats half a cookie?

    • Reply Alyssa April 19, 2016 at 1:49 am

      RIGHT! You gottaa eat the full thing 🙂 Measuring your food all the time does bring you misery in my opinion! Glad you broke free from that!

  • Reply Kairos April 17, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    I am certainly a victim of measuring as well. I found myself saying “yes” and nodding along to so many of your points. I just wanna be free!!!

    Great post 🙂

    • Reply Alyssa April 19, 2016 at 1:47 am

      freedom feels amazing!! You WILL get there girl, one step at a time!!

  • Reply Cayanne Marcus @healthyezsweet April 18, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Serving sizes to me, are just like the scale. It’s just numbers and should really only be paid attention to in serious cases. Like for example someone who has been told by their doctor that they *need to lose weight for a health condition. IMO your average person knows that a whole pack of oreos isn’t a wise choice, without needing to be told just how many servings that is. Did you hear Europe is trying to get legislation passed that would print exercise equivalents on food labels? Like how many minutes running it would take to burn off a serving of cookies. Can’t even with that one. Just no!!! Love that you write about these tricky topics babe.

    • Reply Alyssa April 19, 2016 at 1:43 am

      Totally agree with everything you said!! And I did hear about how Europe is trying to get legislation passed that would print the exercise equivalents on food labels- that is just CRAZINESS!! Ahhh gets me so irritated and upset. Thank you SO much for your support babe! <3 Love you!

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