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Hello from CCK

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A lot’s been happening on my blog the last few days. To think that when I started this blog, I thought no one would read!

First of all, I cannot write another word until I thank you all (both my blogging friends and supportive readers) for the tremendous amount of kindness you’ve all shown to me—especially in these past two days. I am actually really happy a few negative anonymous comments were left on my blog, because they triggered so many amazingly kind comments in response.

On to not-so-fun territory that unfortunately must be covered. At first, I was planning to not address the anonymous comments. After all, I know I am healthy and happy, so what does it matter to me if a stranger wishes to assume I’m not? And it’s not like I’ve never heard people tell me before that I look skeletal; I’ve learned to deal with that too and let the insult slip off my shoulders.

However, upon giving it further thought, I realized that as someone who’s chosen to publish information to the public, I do have a responsibility. Like it or not, the words I write on my blog have the potential to influence others. And the last (beyond last) thing I want is for someone to develop an eating disorder—or become more deeply entrenched in an eating disorder—because of me. Therefore, by choosing to make my life public on this blog, I guess I owe it to you—my readers—to give you all more information about me so that no one can turn around and say to a parent, doctor, or friend, “But CCK doesn’t eat much and is underweight, and if she’s allowed to be that way, then I can be too.” So here is more about me than most of you probably ever wanted to know:

Do I eat a low-calorie diet? Not on your life! I won’t get into numbers, because I know people can get obsessive about that (and also, I don’t count calories). But I can tell you that I eat A LOT—more than my parents, more than my girl friends, more than my sister, etc. Because I’m so little and so active, I need to take in quite a lot of fuel. For example, I normally eat two breakfasts—a pre-run breakfast and a post-run breakfast. (My sister has taken to calling me “Hobbit” because the hobbits in Lord of the Rings eat two breakfasts and lots of snacks.) I then eat lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner, and a nighttime snack. I never skip meals.

(More on my eating habits can be found on the Chocolate-Covered Katie FAQ Page.)

I know I’m lucky that I can eat whatever I want and not gain weight. If I want to have a cupcake, I’m going to have a cupcake—no guilt involved. That being said, if I want to have a salad, I’m going to have a salad. But be assured that if you see me eating a salad, I have accounted for it by taking in extra fuel at other meals/snacks. I do not eat only salad all day. Yes, much of my diet is very healthy—fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, etc. I refuse to let someone guilt me into stuffing down a regular diet of five cupcakes a day just because it’ll make him or her feel better about him or her self. If you have such low self-esteem that seeing me gorge on junk food is going to make you feel better, then the issue is with you, not me. I don’t mean to state this bluntly, but I can’t seem to find a nicer way to put it. I do not shy away from the healthy fats– peanut butter and coconut, in particular, are two of my favorite foods.

So how do I know I am eating enough? Well, I make sure to eat when I’m hungry (intuitive eating) and I don’t exclude any food groups, but I also try not to go more than three hours without eating something, as I know people who are active sometimes need to take in calories even when they’re not hungry. I definitely believe one should listen to one’s body and eat when hungry. I also think that if you’re truly craving a particular food, you should eat it because life is short and should therefore be enjoyed to the fullest. You do not want to look back on your life when you’re old and think to yourself, “Gosh, I wish I’d been more lenient in my diet. I wish I’d eaten more cake!”

When I first started running, back in high school, I did unintentionally overdo it by running too much without upping my food intake enough, and I lost weight without realizing it. So I cut back on the running and learned how to more properly fuel my active lifestyle. If you’re interested, I wrote more about that here: Chocolate-Covered Katie: My Health Scare.

I know all of you anonymous commenters want to know exactly how much I weigh now. But I’m not going to feed into anyone’s eating disorder or number obsessions. My doctor thinks I’m healthy, my family thinks I’m healthy, and I think I’m healthy. So please do not leave insults on my blog using the guise that “you’re trying to help me.” I’m pretty sure it’s a wiser thing for me to listen to my doctor than to take the “well-meaning” advice of some anonymous commenter I don’t even know.

Why do I run, bike, and exercise in general if I’m already so skinny? I do it to be healthy and because I love being active. Initially, a coach told me I would be a good runner and got me interested in running. Nowadays, I just run for fun—I don’t even keep track of the amount of miles I run. I’ll get up in the mornings and run for about an hour then walk for a few minutes to cool down. I don’t go every day; it’s more like 4-5 times a week, as I want to give my body time to rest. I also do some weight-lifting to strengthen my bones (and I wouldn’t complain about getting some bigger arm muscles!). I love to ride my bike as well, because A. it saves gas money, B. it is better for the environment, and C. it’s fun! But as I said, I do take all of this exercise into account when I decide how much to eat. If I really wasn’t taking in the proper nutrition, I doubt I’d have the energy to be as active as I am.

My grandma and my mom were both my size growing up (I have pictures to prove it!), and they are both very physically healthy ladies to this day (my grandma is 86!).

For some reason, it’s taboo to tell someone he or she is overweight, but not to tell him or her “You look sick/skeletal/ill.” What is your goal in leaving cruel, anonymous comments on my blog? I’m going to turn the tables and suggest something to you: Instead of spending your free time putting people down on their blogs, why don’t you spend that time volunteering for a worthy cause. Believe me, it’ll make you feel much better about yourselves, and it’s a much more noble way to spend time!

Love,
CCK

P.S. If you do have a genuine concern or interest, I’m always available. If you feel self-conscious, you can leave a comment anonymously, as I don’t require you to leave a blog name.

Also, I do not mean to offend anyone who does have an eating disorder, be it anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating, etc. Although I can’t say I personally know what you’re going through, I know an eating disorder is a serious illness. If anyone who reads this blog ever feels offended by anything I post, please don’t hesitate to email me and let me know, and I will try to remedy it. I don’t want to add to the pain or suffering you may be experiencing.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. lighterportions says:

    This post is amazing and you are amazing and I don’t think anything other than that needs to be said. Good for you <3

  2. Jenn says:

    I so admire you for being willing to share this post with us. Hopefully this will keep the anonymous posters away for good – and good riddance, I say!

  3. Eric says:

    Wow, that was one of thee most intelligent, well-spoken responses to criticism I’ve ever read. Props to you!

    Anonymous critics are by definition useless….not only are they hiding behind the internet, but they won’t even give their name. I have no respect for “advice” from people like that.

    We all have different body types, and so long as you are happy and healthy, then that’s all that matters! Keep on runnin’ and eating chocolate 🙂

  4. loveofoats says:

    Go you 🙂 We all support you & love your VERY healthy approach to life 🙂 don’t let other people’s negative comments get ya down!

  5. poopiebitch says:

    I have been absent for the last few days from all things internet, so I somehow missed the CCV anonymous comments drama until now.

    I’m sorry you had to put up with that idiot (I have a feeling it was only one person pretending to be many). It sounds like you have a very healthy self image and great knowledge of how to keep yourself at a weight and activity level that is perfect for YOU.

    For what it’s worth (not much, I know), I am very proud of how you’ve handled this uncalled for attack. You are clearly a very kind and intelligent person, and you know better than to let some ignorant person bring you down.

    There are clearly a lot more CCV lovers out here in internet-land than CCV haters! Keep up being awesome, sweetheart!

  6. Vegyogini says:

    Dearest CCV,

    This is an eloquent, well-thought-out response to those anonymous comments. Your sense of responsibility as a role model of sorts is admirable. You don’t owe the world such a thorough explanation of your eating and exercise habits, but I believe you’ve helped many people by taking the time to address these issues. Eating disorders of all kinds are extremely serious and you’ve done a great service by acknowledging that. It’s obvious that you are fiercely vigilant in maintaining your personal health and that you’re open to guiding others on their own journey to maximum health (as am I and many of our fellow bloggers). You’re right that it’s unreasonable for people to assume it’s ok to tell someone s/he is underweight, whereas the opposite is unacceptable. Morgan Spurlock mentioned something similar in “Supersize Me.”

    You are beautiful, radiant, and so happy that your joy shines through your blog photographs. You’re dedicated to your health and committed to veganism. I know that you already know all these things, but I hope you also realize that outside observers (other than anonymous cowards) know, too.

    Hugs,

    Vegyogini

    1. Veronica says:

      I came across your website via Pinterest yesterday and just found this post. It made me cry. About a year ago, I started eating less processed foods and joined a gym. After a few months of healthy eating, but by no means dieting, and going to the gym 3 times a week, I had lost about 7kg. This was a lot to lose considering it took next to no effort, I guess I have a fast metabolism? Anyway, I was feeling great! My energy levels had never been higher, my body felt strong and my confidence had soared. However, I too attracted comments that I was too skinny, even though my BMI WAS in the healthy range! For some reason, my body does not lose weight all-over and so some areas (mainly my arms) looked… oddly… skinny while others looked perfectly normal. I got nagged daily by family to put on weight and became a frequent subject of jokes with some of my friends. I don’t think they expected their jokes to hurt me (because being called a skeleton is for some reason nicer than being called fat, right??) but they did. I eventually was forced to see a doctor by my parents and the doctor said the only way to gain weight would be to over-indulge in calorie-dense food (direct quote… I should have asked to see his diploma right then and there). My father said he would be recording my weight weekly to make sure I had gained enough. I didn’t want to disappoint my parents so much so that I started having anxiety attacks about whether or not I would have gained enough each week. It was quite taxing mentally.

      At first, gaining weight was so hard for me, no matter how much I ate. However, after a long enough time of eating absurd amounts (around 4000-5000 cal a day of JUNK), over a couple of months I gained back about 12kg. I felt the worst I had ever felt. Depressed, huge rises and falls in energy levels and I hate what it did to my body. I’m no longer fit and strong and have very little self esteem. Worse of all, it has ceated such a sick relationship for me with food. After having such poor eating habits for a long time, it is extremely hard to get onto healthy eating again. I now have a binge eating problem. However, last week, having barely left my room all week, I realised I had hit rock bottom and the only way from there was up. I am trying hard to get back to clean eating and your blog and this post is inspirational… I hope to never go through such an experience again. You have opened my eyes to the fact that as long as you know you are healthy and happy, what others say does not matter. Trust yourself because you do know what is best for you. Thanks so much! (and wow, sorry about the essay… just thought some backround info would help show you appreciative I am of your blog!)

      1. Wow, Veronica, thank you so much for sharing. I wish I could give you a huge hug through the screen. (LOL sorry to be creepy! ;))
        People (some doctors included) need to realize that individuals do NOT fit into black-and-white boxes that society tries to fit us all into… we’re all different and have different needs and natural weights and heights and even different diets that work best for us. I’m so sorry you had to go through all that.
        *Hugs!!*

        1. trajayjay says:

          I think I know what you mean. I don’t really need to gain weight, but I imagine that those who are told they need to gain weight head straight to the donuts and soda. I just don’t see any sense in that. I know it’s harder to feel full on whole, unprocessed foods, but I can’t imagine eating large amounts of sugar and grease to gain weight.

      2. sd says:

        wow. i’ll just say i had a very similar experience to yours. except i have a slower metabolism–and i had FINALLY been able to monitor my eating habits enough and work out enough to finally get that “good” body thing going on. my arms did look too skinny, but not terribly. I mean, i finally looked like the girls in the magazines!
        but then everyone told me to gain weight, and my parents wouldn’t let me run for a week or a few days to make me gain. of course, they wanted me to eat healthier foods to gain, and i ate junk and healthy food to gain. but i got used to the habit of eating a TON and gained too much weight again, and now i am having trouble getting lighter again (which is annoying when I run as much as I do. I end up feeling too heavy sometimes). I try to eat a balance now, but it can be hard sometimes.
        I wish I could have just gradually gained weight and stayed at a healthy, but still attractive weight. I am not fat or anything, but it is a big difference from before. I miss looking “hot” haha. Other girls are just as skinny as I was or more, but they do not get the same flack because people are used to them being this way. I don’t know, but it’s a hard balance. It really is.
        Anyhoo–I know your pain. Thanks for sharing. Really.

  7. Danielle says:

    hallelujah.
    i couldn’t have said it better myself. i mean, comon, i thought you were an incredible person before this post but now… my gosh, you have exceeded the limits 🙂 you’re the best of the best!

    p.s. if i had been around at my computer recently i would’ve been defending you too… just an fyi 😉

  8. Healthy eating blog says:

    i was at the dells the past 2 days and i guess i have quite some catching up to do! as first i would like to say that YOU my dear, are a wonderful WONDERFUL person for including us in your life and i would *probably* be in tears if you stopped! and secondly i have NOT read the mean comments so i dont know if you deleted them, but you did NO deserve them in any form or way! by honest truth you are the kindest person i *know* :o)

  9. Becca says:

    I missed the mean comments being busy the last few days, but you did a wonderful job in this post.

  10. Animal-Friendly says:

    I respect you so much for this post. I’m sure it would be much easier to ignore those cruel comments, and you are definitely doing the right thing. I also think it’s great that your blog does show that one body type is not for everyone and there is no model image for being healthy. So, I’m super glad to hear that you are not letting those comments get to you too much!

  11. Paulina says:

    Congratulations on speaking up for yourself. Some people really don’t know what they’re saying. It’s not right to assume something that isn’t true at all. As always, I enjoy reading your blog because you’re always so genuine and true to yourself. Keep it up!

  12. bronnie says:

    I totally understand. Before I had a child I was really active and vegan (am still vegan!), and once I got pregnant, everyone told me “you looked really sickly before… I thought you might be anorexic”! But I felt SO GOOD. And like you, I ate all day long!

  13. Danielle says:

    bitches be jealous. =]

    you rock CCV!

  14. anna says:

    i really LOVE your blog,your healthy habits and view of life are an inspiration for me and with this post i admire you even more.

    keep it up girl 🙂

  15. Ricki says:

    What a lovely, measured response–and thanks so much for sharing it all with us! And I do think you make a great role model 🙂

  16. oatmeal says:

    This entry is a million different kinds of awesome!

    And honestly, people need to stop judging others by appearances! Like you said, not everyone fits in the same mold, what’s considered healthy for one person doesn’t mean it’s healthy for another person!

    “You do not want to look back on your life when you’re old and gray and think to yourself, “Gosh, I wish I’d been more lenient in my diet.””

    Well said!

  17. Ruby Red Vegan says:

    You couldn’t have stated anything in this post better! All power to you for directly confronting this issue. I really, really admire your attitude about food and I think you are incredibly healthy. I am so mad that people tried to attack you, so just know for every meanie there’s a thousand of us who love you and support what you’re doing! 🙂

  18. aTxVegn says:

    This post is why we think YOU are wonderful! Good on you, bravo, here here!

  19. just me says:

    your post was amazing and so are you. kudos to you chickadee! i love what you eat and your blog rocks. those anonymous bloggers have no respect and that shows by them hiding themselves.

    keep up the great work hun.

    🙂

  20. magpie says:

    That was incredibly well-said. I get the same comments (not so much on my blog, but in real life), and it’s hurtful and cruel. Keep on doing what you’re doing and be happy!