There was a period in Warren’s and my life when we had ice cream every single night of our lives. Months this went on. Many months. And I’m talkin’ a BOWL of ice cream.
Most people would probably agree that ice cream every night is not a good healthy habit. Maybe a little excessive… or compulsive… or an addiction of some sort.
But I’m writing this blog to maybe invite you to consider your excessive, or compulsive, or addictive food habits as not so bad.
People who have chronically dieted, feel like their whole life is marked by “missing out” on the foods they love. They have spent many romantic dinners out, parties, or family dinners grazing on salad with low fat dressing or raw carrots while everyone else gets to enjoy lasagna, or veal parmesan, or buttery, salted popcorn. Anyone hear me?
If this is you, you have willed yourself to skip the potato with sour cream and butter, in favor of tomatoes on the side. Or opted for “just a bite” of your husband’s cheesecake instead of your own chocolate Mousse. Am I right?
I’m here to suggest that you stop! Absolutely STOP depriving yourself of the foods you love!
“What kind of Crazy Health and Fitness person are you?” Is that what you’re thinking?
Diets fail almost 100% of the time. It still baffles me and awes me that people still diet.
I want to suggest that if you want to have an entire box of Cheez Its. Go for it! If you say, “I could eat that whole Death By Chocolate 4-layer cake right this minute,” I say DO IT!
My only caveat, my only stipulation, my only requirement for this kind of plan is that you be MINDFUL of what you are doing. If you can look at a large bag of chips and tell me “If I eat every one of those, I will feel AMAZING, like I want to take on the world!” then by all means, indulge!
No one wants to feel like crap! No one wants to feel tired, lethargic, uninterested in their purpose.
And being MINDFUL of food choices, is inarguably, indisputably a key ingredient to a life well lived; a life that is able to do things for others, and wants to succeed at her or his life purpose.
I know I’m mostly exaggerating about gorging the “whole” cake or box or whatever. But the point is the same. If you want to eat buttery, salted popcorn with your family on movie night, there is so much nothing wrong with that! Just be MINDFUL of that choice. What will it mean for how you feel? What will it mean for your weight loss goals. Do you need to make an exchange for some other calories? Maybe less pasta, or fewer jelly beans, or one piece of toast instead of two. This is not dieting! This is being MINDFUL of your choices.
I am, and never have been overweight, and I can tell you completely honestly, I live every day of my life like this. It is something I naturally do. I don’t judge it. I just do it because being MINDFUL of my food choices makes me a better person. I eat for a strong body, a willing soul, and a sharp mind.
There is nothing wrong with potato and sour cream and butter. There is nothing wrong with cheesecake, (especially on your anniversary)! But just be MINDFUL of those choices. “Do I need to taste this right now?” Sometimes it’s yes. “Do I need the nutrients from this food?” With real food, like potato and sour cream and butter, the answer could most assuredly be yes!
The catch here is, for many of you who have dieted, you can honestly say you don’t know what’s good for your body. Or what you “should” say yes or no to. I guarantee you, the more you allow yourself to make the choices about what goes in your body, the better you will get at making better choices. The longer you go not allowing a diet book to tell you when or what to eat, the more your body will crave what it needs, and not what it doesn’t. I absolutely guarantee you that!
Provided you approach everything I’m saying with the attitude that you will be MINDFUL of what you are putting in your mouth. Because, on the flip side, if you ignore your head, you will never change. If you ignore your feelings, you will never change.