Not so sweet no morePosted: July 11, 2011
I am not a big fan of diets. I spent way too many years thinking that some diet or another would fix all the problems in my life, often problems not related to food or weight. The thing about a diet is you are dramatically changing the way you eat in a way that is not sustainable over time. They are restrictive, guilt and self-hatred inducing things that rarely work. I have found that tying my emotions to the success or failure of diet related weight gain or loss is a recipe for a big FAIL. You are bound to feel happy, than sad, than happy again and food should not have this type of power over people. All of that said, I do not think life should be one big free pizza, cupcake, ice cream, bread and cheese/butter free for all. Those are my favorite foods by the way. Putting superficial appearance aside, such a life would wreak havoc on your health which is the most important thing that we can actually control as humans. Without your health you have nothing. I digress. While I don’t like diets, I do believe in working towards being the healthiest version of yourself because physical health promotes mental health – read happiness. I believe that the only way to make lasting changes with regards to your eating habits is to tackle the bad ones one at a time. Instead of trying a massive overhaul, i.e. I am giving up carbohydrates, why not shift your intention to limiting refined carbs and eating more whole grains? Instead of going vegan tomorrow, try meatless Mondays. Want to run a marathon, start with a mile. Setting small, achievable goals has helped me as I try to move towards a healthy diet. Which brings me to the point of all this. My biggest vices are sweets. I can always talk myself into some coconut ice cream at the end of the day because didn’t I run an extra mile and it is not dairy anyway. Well Alexandra, it is still sugar and fat and you just cancelled out the benefits of your run (strictly from a weight management perspective). When I dine out, isn’t it a special occasion worthy of desert? Not always young lady. I know some of you are thinking, DUH, but it is my bad habit and I must own it. So for me, my next pet project is to limit dessert to once a week for the next month. We will see what happens and what shifts. Maybe my weight, maybe my emotional attachment to sweets, maybe nothing. Whatever it is, can’t hurt right?