When it comes to dieting and “watching what you eat”, I have found that trying to control my urges is a waste of time. If I want a candy bar, crave it all day, and don’t allow myself to have it, I end up wasting more and more time just thinking about it. I think about the calorie count, if the cheat is “worth it”, and where all that fat is going to go once I finally allow myself to eat it. That move, of course, is followed by ample amounts of guilt and gym time. Can you relate to this feeling? I decided in high school, after crying because I wanted to eat the other half of a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich, that I was not going to operate this way anymore. Quite frankly, life is too short to not have dessert.There is a forty billion dollar diet industry working against us and trying to make us feel bad for our natural cravings. You can’t turn on the TV without seeing a celebrity who used to be curvy, but finally found “happiness” after dropping however many pounds. Do you believe that? Apparently it resonates in our society. I know lots of angry, skinny girls who try their hardest to stay the weight that society has deemed “beautiful”. I would rather be happy and full then fit into someone else’s idea of beautiful.
I believe that the solution to our weight woes is to stop focusing on what we “shouldn’t” eat and start saying yes to what we should. I don’t ever deprive myself. If I died tomorrow, I would want to have savored that chocolate raspberry souffle and felt nothing but full and content afterwards. Instead of depriving yourself, focus on adding to your meals. For example, I may have a bowl of cereal every morning for breakfast, but I will start adding sliced bananas and strawberries to my cereal because fruits are good for me and they taste great too! I might go to subway for lunch but instead of just getting their sandwich, I am going to add a side of their sliced apples or a small salad. You see where this is going? You can eat everything that you already eat, but try to focus on bringing more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Yes, I am eating a steak and potato with dinner, but I also added a side of broccoli and asparagus. You can have anything that you want. The most important thing is that your body is getting the vital nutrients that it needs.
I don’t want you to think about calorie count at all. If my body is craving steak, I am going to listen to my body and eat it. You’re tummy can only eat so much, so don’t worry about adding calories to your meal. You will probably eat almost the same portions anyway, only some of that will now include fresh fruits and veggies. Also, if you are starving and you eat everything on your plate, that’s fine too. Our focus needs to be listening to our body, not ignoring it.
We live in a society where it is normal to feel guilty for eating. That sickens me. I still eat McDonald’s on occasion and I don’t run extra miles to “make up” for it. Eating is a normal, beautiful thing. We should learn to savor and appreciate our food instead of trying to ignore it and pretend like it isn’t a natural part of living. Food is our friend. Let’s try to make peace with that.