How many of you have New Year’s Resolutions to go on a diet?
How many of you are starving right now because you didn’t eat breakfast?
How many of you feel guilty about all the stuff you ate over the holiday?
How many of you love good food, and resent yourself for deciding that “I’m not eating that from now on”?
MANY of us are there.
I have been there.
I am not claiming to be an expert or a dietician or someone who has any training in nutrition at all. I am only telling you of my experiences and what has worked and is working for ME in the hopes to give you some ideas of how to get off the “diet train”.
In my opinion, dieting IS equivalent to dying. What do I mean by that?
Denying yourself food that you enjoy, even love, is not living your life; in essence, dying. Because if you are not living, what are you doing then?
Skipping meals is just plain not healthy (especially breakfast, girls – you know who you are!), starving yourself is definitely not healthy. And then of course, it follows with binge eating. The yo-yo effect of eating this way does a lot of damage to your body. Not taking care of your body is equivalent to letting your body die.
Another “foot in the grave”: Beating yourself up about what you ate yesterday or even two weeks ago! Forgive yourself! Let it go! Being so hard on yourself isn’t good for your body, your spirit or your mind!
Don’t get me wrong – I have done ALL of these things. I still do these things! I am not perfect and don’t expect myself to be. What I am trying to do is just let it go. When I make a mistake; trip and fall down – I just get up, dust myself off and try again.
I no longer believe in diets of any kind. I have tried so many I can’t even count! Ones like SlimFast, Atkins, South Beach, severely reduced calorie intake, grapefruit etc. etc. Some have worked – I’ve lost weight while being faithful to them. But they are so restrictive and I was filled with such RESENTMENT towards them, they were impossible to keep on top of!
We are imperfect beings. On top of that, when we hate something, like dieting, it is extremely difficult to overcome our desire to get the hell away from that which we hate: the diet! We feel like we are dying!
Thus, the diet doesn’t last, we “fall off the wagon”, and gain the weight back, and then some, because our bodies are so upset and we binge on the foods we love that we’ve been denying ourselves!
What has worked for me over the past year is this: I eat. Period.
There have been days where I’ve forgotten to eat breakfast (what is it with women and breakfast!??) There have been days where I’ve gorged on greasy burgers. I definitely eat food that I love like pasta and cheesecake and stuff like that. I had a couple months (November and December 2009) where I wasn’t eating breakfast or lunch and I’d binge on whatever I could find at night. I was not taking care of myself and I knew it. I was letting stress control me, and not taking care of me just made it worse!
But…I don’t do that every day. And I don’t beat myself up when I eat these things or forget that meal. I wake up and decide, today, I am going to eat better.
My “eating better” is this:
- I eat often – at least 5 times per day.
- I eat foods that are going to actually do something for my body; from all the “food groups”.
- I try not to eat “crap”. But when I do, I try to only have a few bites. And don’t get mad at myself for doing it!
- And I don’t eat too much. I just eat enough for that moment. That may be something I love, but I try not to “pig out” on it.
- When I’m hungry, I try to think about why I’m hungry. Am I just bored? Am I eating to deal with stress? Am I actually thirsty? When was the last time I ate something? What did I eat last? Then, after I’ve thought about it, then I’ll decide.
- I don’t deny myself food that I love. At all. Life is too short to be denying myself anything. If I love it, do it! For crying out loud! What is the big deal? I am not harming anyone or anything by enjoying food that I love. It may be 3000 calories, but so what? I am not doing that every day, just once in a while. What is the harm? If I did that everyday, yes, that would be harmful. But, everything in moderation, right? Most of the time, especially when I’ve been eating really well and feeling really great, I find that I only need a few bites of the food I love to be satisfied. I don’t feel like binging, because I haven’t made it “taboo”.
Food is meant to nourish us and is a gift to enjoy. It should not be an enemy. We don’t need the “Die in Diet”. We need to live, laugh, love and to me, dieting gets in the way of that.
My Happiness Project focus for January is Fitness – thus, I’ve been focusing on getting back to my regular workouts and eating better. So far, so good! 😉 Hopefully, I can inspire you to do the same!
Now, go eat something good for you! 😉