|yes, this is a picture of my real cart one time!|
There is a cost to everything and our food choices are no exception. Eating "healthy" means different things to different people. I do not believe there is a set diet that works for everyone out there. But if you are eating well for your body the "cost" may be not eating some things that your tongue wishes you would. You may not get to have the birthday cake someone brought into the office, or the "hot" donuts that look and smell oh so good....or you may not get to "enjoy" popcorn at the movies. But the pay off comes later when you feel good for your workout, or you are able to wear those jeans you haven't been able to fit in since high school! The opposite is true as well...eat the cake, those donuts, or that popcorn and your taste buds are happy, for a time, but there will be fall out from that taste explosion in your mouth. It may not happen immediately (most of the time it doesn't), but just like small doses of radiation may not show up right away, repeated exposure will certainly be devastating.
Now, before you start talking to me about "but my metabolism has slowed down over the years" or "I watch what I eat, I don't know what's happening"...stop. If I were to go to the grocery store week after week and purchase the exact same items in the exact same quantity...the bill would not be the same each time. The same is true for how our bodies metabolize food. What fuel I need will depend on not only what exercises I'm doing (and everything else tied into that -the intensity, duration, time of day, season), but it will also be impacted by the time of month and the amount of other life stress I'm under, not to mention the natural aging process among numerous other factors.
Here are three principles I think are key:
1) Make CONSCIOUS choices about what you are putting into your body. Don't allow your taste buds to make the decisions. Allow the rest of the parts that make up your whole being to weigh in on your food choices (pun completely intended). I do think it's important to allow the taste buds to win every now and then, but they can't be the dictator.
2) Have a plan. Know what you are going to eat and stick to it. There have been times when I would have eaten anything but because I had a plan about what was best for me, and I had some resolve to stick to the plan, I ate the food I knew was good and then found myself not wanting the other things quite so much. (That usually works all but one week out of the month...but again, having a plan is the key!) Keep in mind, it's just the same as having a spending budget.
fallen off the healthy food wagon, don't wallow in the muck, get back on as quickly as possible. When I'm at the store after a workout it's very hard for me to keep my wits about me. I usually want to load up on every unhealthy carb I can get my hands on (because that is what my body thinks it "needs" because accessing stored fat is harder than taking in sugars to replace glycogen I just burned). I've been doing pretty good at telling myself "step away from the Oreos; step away from the multi-grain tortilla chips". However, when I come home with something like a container of vanilla frosting (with the best intentions of "I'll just allow myself one teaspoon a day") sometimes I have to throw away "good food" because it becomes painfully obvious I just don't have the self control I'd like to think I have. Instead of going ahead and sucking down the whole container to get it out of the house, remind yourself, the only difference in it being in the trash or in your mouth are the inches on your hips (or thighs, or stomach).
The overriding key factor is to be kind to yourself. This healthy eating thing is a process. You have to eat to live; it's not like you can just give it up. And, there's no single "right answer". Be proud of yourself for caring enough to try to do the right thing. ((Make no mistake, if you read this whole post, you are certainly trying to do the right thing!!))
Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!