Monday, June 17, 2013

Motivated Monday - stop beating yourself up, it's just food!

Throughout my weight loss and health journey, I have really struggled with feelings of guilt when I've over indulged or chosen so-called "bad foods."  Just recently I talked about how my honeymoon was one of the first times I ate whatever I felt like and only worked out when I truly wanted to and did not feel guilty at all.  I also didn't feel fat or feel like I should just start again Monday because I hadn't been perfect (whatever that means) with my diet.

This has been a long LONG road!  For years, if I slipped up with my eating at all, I would skip the gym that day (how counterproductive is that?) and throw caution to the wind with my eating, planning on starting again Monday.  I'd feel guilty, weak, depressed and kind of gross from eating foods I don't normally eat.  Do you know how many calories feeling guilty burns? Between 0 and none at all.  What feeling guilty about eating does do, however, is leave you vulnerable to depression, lethargy, poor food choices and an overall feeling of failure.  And you didn't fail.  That's the big thing.  I keep saying it but it's taken me YEARS to believe so I will keep saying here cause I need to remind myself and I think it's also something others needs to hear - food IS NOT morality.  It's not good or bad.  It's not righteous or sinful.  It's food - a mix of macro and micro nutrients.  Some foods do more good for your body and some less but what you eat is not who you are nor is it a reflection of anything other than what you ate.  Plain and simple.

The more we can move away from the emotional implications of food, the easier it is to manage our food intake.

Move away from all or nothing and towards 80/20 eating (80% healthy, 20% less healthy).

Don't judge yourself by the food you eat.  This is a hard one.  A lot of us who have lost weight feel like we need to constantly obsess or we'll gain the weight back when truthfully the obsessing generally just means we think about food even more and that makes choosing healthy foods over unhealthy foods even harder.

Remember that each meal is a chance to fuel your body and your soul.  Eat healthy because it feels better to your body, not because you should. Indulge in things you truly enjoy, and experiment with healthy foods you don't until you find a way that you can enjoy them so they are foods you look forward to instead of foods you should eat (that should word is just bad for the soul).

If you blow a meal, a day, weekend, a week, hell, even a month, who cares? Just keeping going forward.  Just keep aiming for a little healthier, again because it feels good not because you're bad person if you eat unhealthy foods or overindulge.

Healthy is a journey that in no way requires perfection.  It only requires that you treat your body and mind with respect and that you constantly move towards health.  If you take 2 steps back, don't worry, just take 3 more forward.


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