I won’t be discussing my diet in detail on this blog. For one, a food blog is an entirely different animal. There are others who do it far better than I can. I also find that I end up restricting, obsessing, and in general set myself up for failure. When I keep a food diary, I end up making it a competition with myself to see how few calories I can get by consuming. But why? It’s not like I get a gold star at the end of the day and I’m just a grumpy bitch. If I go with the anything mentality, I’ll look back at the end of the day and find that I’ve probably consumed half a block of cheese, a piece of cake, and maybe an apple. Not cool.
You have to eat to create energy, but you need to eat less to lose weight, but you need the right combination of nutrients. Or is it you have to eat your food in the right order? Take smaller bites? Chew longer? No carbs? Did our ancient ancestors worry about these things? I think not. Mostly because actually finding food was a concern. So much of their time spent hunting, gathering, farming, and cooking. In the age of modern convenience, those concerns are not an issue. Eating is something we can do for enjoyment and socializing, not just for fuel.
We now live in the age of too much information. For example, what do the words “high fructose corn syrup” trigger in your mind? In my head it’s like a commerical for Bing. I think of a bottle of corn syrup, corn growers of america commercial, you feed your kid that, ice pops, and labels that say NO HFCS! (Yeah, I need to meditate more)
Over the past 10 years I have probably read enough books, magazine articles, and websites to fill a small library. I’ve tried most of the diets too, such as South Beach, Martha’s Vineyard, Paleo, Mediterranean, and the Blood Type diet, just to name a few. Through this I have found bits and pieces of things that work for me, and some things that fail miserably. Everyone is different. Different things work for different people. What matters is what works for me.
I’m not always that great at following my own rules or advice. Will power fails, PMS happens, and someone has to go and bring doughnuts to the meeting. In essence I end up falling off the weekend. Sometimes it’s a hard bounce off the wagon resulting in a weekend binge from emotional eating. Another topic for another time.
However, I have learned to be okay with that. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure. It doesn’t mean there is no point in trying if I’m just going to screw it up again. That’s the old way of thinking.
My role model when it comes to pushing for success after every failure is J.K. Rowling. She was a penniless, welfare dependent, jobless, single mother trying to put herself through school and writing a novel. Dire circumstances by most standards. Her first Harry Potter book was rejected by twelve publisher’s in Great Britain before the 8-year old daughter of Bloomsbury Press’s chairman demanded to find out what happened next after she read the manuscript. Rock on J.K.!
Anyway, I digress. Right here, on the spot, I’m going to lay out my guidelines for eating better. These are little things that I found work for me. Now it’s time to put them all together.
1. Diet is a dirty word Eat this, not that. Once you are told you can’t have something, that’s exactly what you want to have. “Goonies never say Die”-t! Having some almonds might kill me, but a scoop of icecream won’t.
2. Eat things you can pronounce Disteardimonium. I have no idea what that is. It probably shouldn’t be in my body, but it is a food ingredient. Propylene glycol is the ingredient in Twinkies and other such junk food that keep is moist and squishy for an eon. It is a mere CH2 away from ethylene glycol a.k.a antifreeze.
3. Weigh yourself once a day I’ve tried the once a week or once a month thing. Articles say go by how your clothes fit. It doesn’t work. I can accept that there are going to be little fluctuations from day to day, but seeing that bold black number between my toes in the morning helps me stay conscientious without getting psychotic.
4. Eat what makes you feel good It’s really just common sense. It is a question I should be asking myself when making any food selection. How do you think you would feel after eating this? How about a large cheeseburger and fries with a chocolate milkshake for lunch? Yeah, the thought makes me want to vomit. Ok, how about some miso soup, a spicy tuna roll, and some edamame? Yummy and energetic. Do I give a crap how many calories are in each selection? No, but for arguments sake, the cheeseburger combo comes in around 1650 and the Japanese lunch is about 446.
5. Try not to skip meals I say try because this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Sometimes I’m really in a location where food or simply eating is not an option. I’ll get around to it. I might get a headache but I won’t starve. But eating regularly is the better option, so I don’t go crazy and eat 3x times as much as soon as I’m within arms reach of food. For example; I keep oatmeal and associated ingredients at my desk at work, otherwise I probably wouldn’t eat or I would end up eating crap. And then I wouldn’t be able to concentrate
6. Do something else For a while I’ve been trying to get emotional eating or spontaneous eating under control. It’s not just a response to boredom or PMS. It’s more like “I’ve had a bad day at the office and I think eating a cheesecake will make me feel better”. Sure, it does for about 5 minutes, then I regret my food choice. I’ve learned a few other more productive ways of diverting the craving, but I could be a bit more disciplined.
I’ll start making those six things a habit for a month before I consider changing anything else.