Rant #2: Food Thoughts
This has been a pretty great week eating wise and workout wise so I expect tomorrow’s Monthly weigh in to go pretty well! On the other hand, I was wanting to talk about something a little more related to my approach to weight loss. This post will focus on the perceptions I had towards food before, and during my weight loss process. For those of you struggling in your relationship with food, maybe this post can help by showing my journey. Before I started, I can honestly say I didn’t have a full understanding of the effect the food I was putting in my body had on me. I knew, that some foods were worse than others but had a miniscule understanding of what it meant to control portions. Almost every diet I had ever done had been focused on cutting out a certain type of food rather than cutting back on the amount. Examples include Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers (Low fat foods) and more. These were all losing battles for me. While on Atkins, I would count the days until I could have Pizza again, or a chipotle burrito. It goes without saying that eventually I was going to lose that “war”.
With this new lifestyle, I decided to approach food in a different way. Rather than viewing certain types of food as “bad” I attempted to take a bigger picture approach to my diet. I viewed everything I ate as a “battle” to play a role in the larger scale war of weight loss. Instead of cutting out certain types of food and eating what I wanted of others, I limited all foods to a certain point but ate whatever I wanted. Meaning, I limited my caloric intake to a certain point but was not picky in the types of food I ate at the beginning of this journey. As time went on, this strategy was very successful. While viewing my relationship with food this way I lost over 50 in about 6 months, gained a discipline I never thought I had and learned that I could accomplish almost anything I set my mind to. I did, however, realize that this type of lifestyle like the previous one could not ultimately be sustainable. This left me feeling like I had nowhere to turn and that I was going to regain the weight.
I then realized that although strategically, it was a great way to get started on this weight loss journey, the styles of thinking I have had all had something in common. That commonality is the negative relationship I have had with food over my life. In other words, what foods should I NOT eat, which foods are BAD for me, Which foods should I CUT OUT from my life. You get the point. Around the 6 month mark, I went on a cruise with my family and was surrounded with foods that were BAD for me or that I SHOULDN’T eat, and realized that a negative relationship can be good when I am in control of every detail continually for the rest of my life. The problem is as we get older and life gets more complex the ability to control everything regarding food and exercise becomes more limited. I decided it was about time to develop a more positive relationship with food. It seems like a simple idea right? Even so, it took until that point for me to really stumble upon a way of thinking that has drastically affected my lifestyle and allowed me to enjoy eating and continue losing weight. Instead of cutting things out or seeing food as “bad”, I have learned which foods are healthy for me, and which foods I enjoy eating and having in my diet. Focusing on the positive rather than the negative side of food is what helped propel this lifestyle forward and has given me the confidence that I can continue making healthy strides for the rest of my life.
Any thoughts? Leave your comments below!