For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with food. I love food, don’t get me wrong, but I hate feeling guilty after eating foods that I’ve restricted myself from. It used to just be sweets like cake and cookies, but over the past year the list has stretched to foods high in sugar and carbs. For example, I used to make pasta at least two nights a week. I don’t even buy it anymore. While these changes are good, I feel like I’ve been a little too strict. If I eat pasta when I’m eating out, I have to deal with the emotional roller coaster that comes afterwards.
I have a pretty good grip on what I’m should eat and how to exercise to live a healthy lifestyle, but I can’t shake the self deprecation after indulging in a treat…or pasta. I don’t want to be obsessed over every calorie that I consume, I’ve even stopped food tracking (I felt it was time to take the training wheels off), so I turned to books. I started reading How to Have Your Cake and Skinny Jeans Too by Josie Spinardi, and so far, I really enjoy it.
Josie’s approach is simple: eat when you’re hungry, stop eating when you’re full (she calls it Hunger Directed Eating). I don’t know how something so simple can be so difficult, but her explanation on how it works makes total sense. She and I share the same philosophy of “diets don’t work,” and she has made me realize that I was technically on a diet without even knowing it, because I had been restricting myself from so many “bad” foods.
This is what I’ve taken away so far, and what I hope to accomplish:
Only eat when I’m hungry.
Eat slowly, and stop eating when I feel full.
Only eat at the table. Not in front of the tv, computer, etc.
Practice mindful eating. Appreciate each bite.
Listen to my body and eat what I’m craving. (only if I’m hungry)
Non-dieters already do these things without even knowing it. They’ve been naturally thin their whole lives and they trust their body to signal when they need fuel, and when they are satisfied. Unfortunately, some of us have lost touch with this ability. We obsess over what we eat and what we don’t eat, and when we restrict, it only makes us want that specific thing more. When we lose control, we end up binging on the forbidden foods. Josie’s approach reverses this effect, and guides us to get back in touch with our body’s natural ways.
What are your thoughts on diets? Have you ever tried a restricting diet, only to lose control?