"BUT, I LIKE TO EAT . . ."
How many of us say this to ourselves when we are contemplating a healthier lifestyle?
Want a little hard love? Liking to eat and gorging on food and alcohol until you are unhealthily overweight is not liking to eat - it's more than that. And, until this is something you consider, you will forever be trapped in the vicious cycle of dieting.
So, let's talk about all the reasons why we like to eat. That's right, I am not excluding myself from this because I too, like to eat.
"But, I like to eat . . ."
because it's social and it brings us together.
because I enjoy all the different types of food - it tastes SO good.
because of my heritage - the rich foods, large portions and cooking for others.
Never do we admit, "But, I like to eat . . ."
because eating is comforting and I use it to cope during stressful events.
because eating helps me escape from reality.
because eating allows me to numb my feelings about a situation or relationship that I'm in.
because it makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something - I'm staying busy.
because I'm bored.
Before I had my "ah-HA" moment about health, I lived to eat. I am half Filipina and Polish so if you wanna talk about culture and food - it's all right here. On the Filipina side, it's mass quantities of rice and all the meat you can eat. I remember once, I brought a vegan friend of mine to a Filipino Buffet for her to try the food and when I told the hostess, he literally laughed in my face - "there's nothing for her to eat here! Are you even Filipina? Don't you know?". Then on the Polish side, forgettaboutit. If you don't finish all your food on your plate, you must be sick . . . and if you do, you're still hungry and should eat more so you don't get sick . . . and die. I don't think there is a culture out there that doesn't encourage food because it does all of those things I mentioned above - it brings us together, it tastes good and it reinforces our heritage.
See, the reason why living a healthier lifestyle seems to include the idea of us not eating is because people and companies are out there are making money off of it. They are selling you supplements, appetite suppressants, carb burners and fat blockers - a lifestyle full of restrictions and extremes. Do you remember Alli? When that pill first came out? Sha, if you happened to eat a burger on that program, your butt would literally leak oil. So, instead of stopping the program, women would wear pads to soak up the oil on their "cheat days".
The health and fitness industry beats into our eyeballs that healthy is skinny, healthy is salads, healthy is visible muscle definition when in fact, healthy is a very subjective and personal status for each individual. Healthy is about living a lifestyle that includes eating for a healthy body composition so you can get the most out of life. And, until THIS is something that you consider, you will forever be trapped in the vicious cycle of dieting.
Healthy body composition and being skinny are not always the same thing.
As for those other reasons I mentioned above for why we like to eat, there is a way to relieve that pressure and you can learn to manage those feelings without depending on food. Ironically that includes a good nutrition and exercise plan. A nutrition plan that excludes restrictions and encourages moderation. We are also not just about physical health as human beings, but emotional and mental health. Believe it or not, you can use a healthy lifestyle to access those other areas of health. Exercise is proven to help with stress and anxiety. And although exercise is a key component to physical health, you are able to also use it to unlock the barriers within our emotional and mental health.
So when you're ready to get healthy and still be able to eat, let's talk.