Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle’
Does eating a healthier food choice like green beans to excess still equate to overeating? Short answer? Yes. And trust me—as someone who once weighed over 450 pounds (and who took off over 250 pounds of excess weight and has kept it off for almost two decades), I should know.
This might seem like a question that didn’t need to be asked in the first place. But I recently saw a segment on a national morning show, during which they spoke to a celebrity who had just “joined” a national weight loss company. No need to mention any names. But said celebrity (AKA endorser) was going on and on about how edamame was a “free food” on the program and thus she could eat as much edamame as she wanted while still on the diet.
In my opinion, this is a potentially harmful theory when it comes to making healthier eating and lifestyle choices—and one of the reasons that so-called “diets” sometimes do not serve us as well as some of these for-profit weight loss companies would lead us to believe they do.
I know what it’s like to binge eat. I used to do it because I was depressed. I used to do it because I was happy. I used to do it simply because I liked a certain food and hadn’t yet comprehended the concept that I could have the food in a healthy portion and then have it again sometime in the future. This was mainly because I’d been taught the “on/off” diet mentality from a very early age. Favorite foods became forbidden fruit (so to speak) and I would eat them in huge amounts, thinking I would/could never have them again when on a healthier eating program.
After years of starting and then cheating on diets, I eventually realized that the issue of my constantly gaining more and more weight had nothing to do with my stomach (a place so many focus on when fighting the battle of the bulge) but, instead, had everything to do with my head (meaning my thinking). After coming to this conclusion, I set out to learn about why I was using food as an emotional crutch. At the same time, I was becoming aware that whenever I started a diet, I would focus on what I was giving up, instead of focusing on what I was gaining (no pun intended).
But even after successfully taking off the excess weight (without giving up certain food groups, without fad dieting, without pills and without surgery), I realized I was still bingeing at times. Sure, I was eating steamed green beans to excess rather than cartons (yes, plural) of ice cream. But I was still binge eating to the point of discomfort.
I soon realized that although the foods had changed, the behavior had not. There is a healthy portion of green beans to eat just as there is a healthy portion of ice cream to eat. And exceeding these portions only works to reinforce old habits that don’t necessarily serve us.
Eating to excess, no matter what the food choices, is still eating to excess. We’re left feeling uncomfortable, bloated and perhaps even feeling some shame about actions.
I have not kept the 250 pounds of excess weight off by eating unconsciously. I think about what I’m eating daily. I still use measuring cups and measuring spoons. Why? Because feeling good is worth any “hassle” that meal prep (and proper portion control) requires. Does this mean I never overeat? Of course, not. I’m human. I still enjoy dining out and will sometimes clear my plate in a restaurant (although sometimes I choose not to).
No matter if it’s food prepared at a restaurant or in a private kitchen, there is no such thing as a “free food.” Overeating is overeating. And binge behavior is still binge behavior. And these are actions that anyone wanting to lose excess weight and/or make healthier eating choices might want to examine. (And for the record, edamame can often be salty, which brings up an entirely different reason as to why it—or anything else—is not a “free food.”)
Too often when working to lose excess weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle, we focus in on what we’re giving up instead of what we’re gaining. Yes, gaining.
Health. Happiness. Peace of mind. A longer life. The list of benefits is endless.
So instead of focusing in on the things you’re choosing to do without (temporarily!), focus on how it’s going to feel to be able to wear a favorite pair of jeans you haven’t been able to put on for a while. Or what it will be like to take a walk without panting excessively. Or how good you’re going to look at your high school reunion. Again, the list of benefits goes on and on.
When I was taking off over 250 pounds of excess weight, I kept a scrapbook full of magazine clippings that motivated me. Whether they were pictures of clothes I wanted to wear, people I wanted to meet or articles that reminded me why I was doing what I was doing, I could turn to these anytime I felt like I was suffering. In the pages of my scrapbook, I was reminded of the reasons I was choosing to get healthy and live life to the fullest. These days, you don’t even need a traditional scrapbook thanks to Pinterest. So why not start some motivation-filled Pinterest pages of your own?
Again, choose your focus. And focus on what excites you. Just as Rumi so wisely said, “Respond to every call that excites your spirit” — and your waistline!
Photo Source: Pinterest
Clean Eating is more than just a trendy catch-phrase. In fact, it’s something we can all benefit from whether or not we’re trying to lose weight. And the tenants for clean eating are easier than you might think — but certainly this helpful infographic from Skinny Mom helps break down the Do’s and Don’t’s in an easier-to-understand way.
Keep in mind, you need to adapt these tips to your own body and your individual lifestyle. For example, I find that eating 3 meals a day (with a healthy snack or two when needed) works much better for me than eating 6 smaller meals (as the infographic recommends).
The road to a healthier and happier you is an individual one. You want to make healthy choices that serve your needs. This might mean visiting your doctor and discussing your goals. But certainly clean eating can factor into anyone’s health regimen (no matter what their goals) and provide lots of benefits — not to mention surprising amounts of flavor. (Since switching to farmers markets for most of my produce, I find vegetables and fruits bought at traditional grocery stores to be pretty tasteless).
Yes, buying fresher, more organic (clean!) produce and food products can be a little pricier. But as my own personal physician recently pointed out to me, the cost savings benefits in terms of overall health far exceed the costs of clean eating. To find a farmers market in your area, click here.
Photo Source: Skinny Mom
Jordan Ring recently alerted me to his article “25 Small Changes You Can Make to Lose Weight, Feel Better and Live Longer,” which (as promised) is chock full of easy and helpful ideas for anyone looking to take their health to the next level. Jordan divides up these health-minded tips between dietary, lifestyle and attitude changes – making it easy for the reader to pick and choose which tips he or she might want to put into practice.
I’ve always loved this approach to feeling and looking better. Too often, when wanting to initiate important change in our lives, we take on an “All or nothing” approach, which can lead to instant failure the first time we fall off the wagon (however one defines his or her own wagon).
Photo Source: aktuality,sk
I am so excited about The Athlete Within Summit, hosted by my friend and colleague Renée Ramsdell, during which we can all learn how to build a strong and resilient body, unleash our self-esteem and embrace a healthier lifestyle.
This 21-day Online Event began on May 21 and you can still claim your free virtual seat by clicking here.
Are you tired of looking in the mirror and not liking what you see? Do you say no to activities that sound fun but seem impossible due to your weight or your sedentary habits? Are you finally ready to create real mind and body health along with achieving lasting happiness? This free online summit is about real health and life-long vitality. No more yo-yo dieting. No more exercise fads. No more starts and stops and start overs. There’s so much conflicting information on fitness and nutrition! It’s time to debunk the myths and reveal the truth behind lasting, vibrant health.
That’s why I’m thrilled to be a part of Renée Ramsdell’s virtual event. She has brought together 21 incredible experts to help all of us ditch the guilt, shame and confusion around weight loss and fitness — and learn to replace them with simple ideas that work to empower each and every one of us! It’s all the mind/body wellness information we’ve been looking for — all in one place.
The experts involved are Doctors, Coaches, Psychologists, Nutritionists, Motivators and Athletes — along with yours truly (and you all know once I get started, you can’t shut me up!)! Many of these experts have had their own issues with lack of fitness, poor body image, and an unhealthy relationship with food — and their amazing, inspiring personal stories reflect that. Together we can all reach real mind/body health and lasting happiness!
Photo Source: Pro Well Fitness