Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Self Diagnosis– I have Portion Distortion


Happy Wednesday everyone! Well, I survived my first FULL day back at work yesterday. And although it was super busy, I kind of secretly enjoyed it! The morning SPED by in a whirl wind of phone calls and orders. The early afternoon allowed for some catch up from last week and then the afternoon becomes crazy. Typical 3 PM  stage 5 crazy. Ever in the area and looking for a good show? Come stop by our office at the hours between 3 PM and 4 PM and just sit and watch. Always guaranteed to be a good show filled with nail biting drama! Bring popcorn.

I think it’s safe to say that I am like 95% of woman. I am on a constant battle of weight loss. I am on the never ending tread mill effect of work out, eat less and then the weekend indulgence that brings the circle right back around. It’s common, it’s annoying but it’s kind of what life is like now. And why? Well, I believe one of the reasons is because the “normal” portion size to what it was for my parents is night and day!

While on bed rest last week (told you yesterday I was thinking of new blog posts! You had been warned) I began looking up some interesting articles about portion distortion. I was in utter shock! The changes in food sizes are dramatic to what they were not too long ago.  Check out a couple of my favourite examples;

portion distortion 1


portion distortion 2

Those posters are crazy to me! How can our food change so dramatically in the last 20 years and people still wonder why 50% of the population are considered overweight? The other funny thing, I remember a time where going to the store to get a bag of chips as a Friday night treat and the bag was half the size it is now. I remember my Mom’s reaction the first time she saw the new chip bags and how enormous they were. It’s a change that has happened within my life time. Small portions sizes are something my children will never remember. This is their reality.

But the truth is people want more for their money! Imagine if you went to a restaurant and paid $15.00 for that plate of spaghetti with only 500 calories? You would be complaining about spending so much on such little food. It’s what I would do. There is something comforting about a plate overflowing with food. Maybe it’s an instinct. Seeing all the food and knowing you aren’t going to starve.

There some things that I do to help my portion distortion disorder. For one, I use a much smaller plate for supper. Ryan get’s his normal large dinner plate and I get the bread plate.

caesar salad

Another is that I remind myself that I am not a male. I am not 6’3” and I do not want to be a 250 pounds of muscle. Sometimes I look at all the food that Ryan can eat and I can get a little envious. He gets all the treats and excess calories because his job is a lot more active and he is so tall. But, it’s something that I do have to constantly remind myself. I just keep thinking, I am SUPPOSE to eat less then him.

Pumpkin, hockey game weekend 032

I measure what I need to eat. Yes, I am the one with a measuring cup pouring my cereal into it. I also use Myfitnesspal religiously. I like to have an idea of how much I’m suppose to input for food versus output in exercise. It’s all a balancing act and it’s good to keep an eye on exactly how much you are eating. Most of the time, people how no idea how much it all adds up to.

The whole idea of finishing your meal because of the starving children in Africa was drilled into my head. But in reality, I am not suppose to eat past being full. I now eat until I am satisfied. It’s a hard thing putting the fork down when there is still food on your plate. I highly recommend the book, Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth that was recommend to me by fellow blogger and yoga instructor, Namaste, Mother-Whoha. It talks of the messed up relationship that we as emotional creatures have with food. How eating when bored and stuffing a void with food is not healthy. How food is suppose to be something that is used to live and nurture your body. Not to celebrate or console.

It’s a difficult thing dealing with portion distortion. And I am far from figuring it all out. But, it is something that is a reality as a female living a healthy lifestyle in this food skewed world that we now live in. But with one step at a time I am starting to figure it and how to heal my unhealthy relationship with portions and food in general.

Do you have trouble with portion distortion? What are your tools?



  1. YES. That's my biggest problem!! It is hard when you are eating with your man too, definitely one of the reasons why I have gained weight - my Dr. told me I have gained 6lbs each year since I started dating Ian eeekkk. I blame the portion size - when we eat together, I seem to eat as much as him, when really I should be eating less!! But it's really hard when he fills his plate, or goes back for seconds...I want to too!!

    I like the smaller plate idea - I should start doing that too. I am perfectly fine during the week, I watch and count everything I eat, but whenever I am with Ian - it seems to go down the toilette...I need to be more disciplined.

    Good post today :)

  2. Men also lose weight much easier than women. My husband has a desk job AND doesn't work out but he still lost weight by cutting out carbs on our diet. I felt better with the diet change but didn't look any different! They have it so easy :-P

    1. That is so true! Sometimes I woke that if I even think about a cheeseburger then I gain a few pounds. Where as if my husband decides one week that we wants to lose weight, BAM! 10 pounds in a day! ha ha!

  3. It's really scary to look at those images and see how huge portions are, without us even realizing it. You know when I've noticed it before? If I made a burger and fries at home and put what I consider a "serving" on my plate, it would look pretty generous. I've picked up take-out from McDonalds before, taken it home to heat it up, and put a Big Mac and regular-sized fries on my plate, it looks MASSIVE in comparison. Really an eye-opener! So deceiving!!
    I really struggle with portions. Still. I have no shut-off valve. If it's in front of me, regardless of how full I feel, I want to keep eating. I don't know what I'd do if I had a big-eating man around to tempt me even further! hahaha!!

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  5. Ugh. Big A can eat whatever he wants and it drives me nuts! Haha. Glad you are feeling better and back to kicking ass!!

  6. Great post, Lindsay,
    Portion control is something that has helped me lose 50 lbs. If I am eating out I always only eat half and bring the rest home. I too use a bread plate, and try and make sure the veggies are a bigger slice of the plate than protein or carbs. I pretty much eat what I want, but portion control is imperative for me. If I'm hungry or craving I will have 3 squares of dark chocolate, that satisfies me completely, with a cup of green tea.

    Using your hand to measure how much you should eat works too. Be sure to look at the one for women, ha, ha, not men.