my whole life i've been dieting. it all started when i packed on the 'freshman 30' in college. i don't know who i thought i was drinking 30 packs of beer, ordering late night pizzas and eating the whole large pie, and then rolling out of bed to stagger to the cafeteria only to load my plate with bagels, and bacon and eggs galore, and then back for more!!!! i mean, really?! gluttony at its finest. luckily, my dad knocked some sense into me when he made me realize just how much weight i had gained when i came home for the summer. this was the summer of 2000 and atkins was all the rage! so you better believe that summer all i ate was sugar free jello topped with sugar free whip cream, eggs, bacon, chicken, cheese sticks, and kept it under the allowed 20g of carbs by choosing miller lite.
when i look back at those days, i am disgusted!!! but, i was able to lose about 8-10lbs, so i adopted this no carb, high fat and protein lifestyle. i explored the zone diet for awhile because jennifer anniston was on it-- that diet seemed to resonate with me more, especially because they made convenient bars to take with me on the go. when college ended, i morphed over to the south beach diet world, and was able to lose the remaining 20lbs or so that i'd been yo-yoing with for the past 5 years of school. finally i was at a comfortably thin frame at age 24.
since then, i've been able to stay within that range without 'dieting'.
i let go of the distorted approach to eating while working as a real estate agent at 24yr of age. luckily, my boss helped me see that the sugar free coffee runs, the dunkin donut egg croissants-- sans the croissant, and the sugar free ice cream sundaes were wreaking havoc on my health.
he quickly turned me onto kevin tredeau's book, 'natural cures' and my life has forever changed. thankfully, i embarked on my holistic journey right then and there. the cleaner i became, the more i detoxed, and i think it's safe to assume that the effects are long gone now.
the idea of dieting is that it's a 'temporary fix'.
your being--mentally, physically and spiritually, cannot sustain a rigid template. one size does not fit all.
we shouldn't focus on our body image, but rather, what we're doing to support our beautiful temple.
which means choosing whole foods to nourish ourselves. let's just keep it simple. your body will be radiant if you treat it right. that's it. don't complicate things by trying to be so perfect or obsessed with how you're looking. just focus on how you're feeling. listen to your intuition. by the way, it will be clearer, the cleaner you eat.
that being said, you will effortlessly look your best if you follow a few rules of thumb:
1. do not eat 3 hours prior to bed. your digestive system really goes to work when you sleep, and it can't properly recharge your batteries if you're going to bed full of food.
2. start your morning with a cup of warm water and a squeeze of lemon. wait 30 minutes before taking anything else. this will alkalize your pH and promote liver detoxification.
3. sit down and chew your food well. yes, put your fork down while you chew every last bit, before you pick it up again. this takes practice but is so worth it! you will feel satisfied and your digestion will be smoother. it also offers you up a chance to be mindful during your day, to appreciate where the food came from so that you can be aware of what you're putting into your body and how you're treating yourself--is it with love and care? if it's not, then it's no wonder you're not experiencing love in your life. you must love yourself first--why not start with food!
4. eat a little something before you go to a party. don't set yourself up for binging on 'party fare'.
5. always fill up your plate with vegetables first, and then compliment the rest of the dish with a grain or a protein. eat the vegetables first.
6. limit sugar, flour and alcohol. if you're wondering why you're not thin, it's because you're consuming too much of this.
7. get moving for 30 minutes a day. this can be a simple walk, any type of activity that gets your heart rate up like biking, swimming, etc. or a more intense workout regimen. whatever you choose, do it diligently everyday.
8. cook! learn how to cook for yourself and your family. devote 4 nights of the week to creating a healthy dinner at home. make enough so that leftovers can be turned into healthy lunches. you are in control of what your put in your body this way.
9. read labels! don't worry about the nutrition facts. if you're buying a packaged good, always, i mean, always read the INGREDIENTS. if there's sugar, or a by product of sugar (honey, cane juice, maple syrup, etc.) or flour high on the list, probably not the best choice. it's ultimately your call, but don't be naive to how quickly these ingredients sneak into even the 'healthiest' snacks/cereals/etc...
a final note on food, don't be so attached to it!
you will survive if you don't order that desert, or finish that sandwich. be mindful of the act of eating and practice trying not to eat until you're full. just taste your food. savor it. enjoy it, and be done with it. there's always another way you can 'fill yourself up'--go make a phone call, walk the dog, clean your room, finish your work, etc.