Sunday, November 28, 2010
Denial is the Enemy
I happen to be one of those people who never craves sweets. I could live without cookies, cake, pie, ice cream, and chocolate. Those type of foods do absolutely NOTHING for me. However, put a bag of Doritos in front of me and all hell will break loose. I could eat a whole bag in seconds flat. Chips, Cheese-Doodles, Fritos-anything crunchy and salty I crave. I never, ever buy these items because I know I would be perfectly content to make a meal out of bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos or BBQ-flavored potato chips and a glass of Shiraz. That would be heaven for me. If I am at a party or a gathering of some kind, however, I will indulge in a handful or two. I must. If I deny myself that occasional treat I know the first chance I get, I will be buying a bag of chips at the local corner store and eating the whole package! For days after, I will feel awful. I won't be beating myself up emotionally about it ( I am way past that stage) but I will be physically ill and sluggish because I am simply not accustomed to eating any sort of junk food in excess. My body just doesn't like it.
I randomly post blogs, comments, and photos of all different kinds of food. I am here to tell you, it's ok to indulge now and then. If you absolutely MUST have that donut and coffee for breakfast, then by all means, do it! This might sound shocking to you, especially coming from a nutritional consultant with a focus on real food. Get this throught your head- the food is not necessarily the enemy--DENIAL is!
When we deny ourselves something, we want it more. We become obssessed with that which we are denying ourselves. We dream about it, we talk about it, we punish ourselves for wanting it. As long as things are going well and we have healthy choices to rely on, we are successful in avoiding the so called "offending food." However, an upsetting day at work or disagreement with our significant other and all bets are off. We sit down with an entire gallon of Chocolate Fudge-Brownie ice cream, a dozen Krispy Kremes, or, in my case, a bag or two of chips and eat and eat and eat until it's gone. This kind of behavior sets us up for failure in a big way. All the effort and work we've done to improve our diet or lose weight is cast aside and forgotten. We "fall off the wagon" and it's almost impossible to climb back on. So.....what's worse? The occasional donut for breakfast or the whole dozen?
It's the holiday season! This is the most difficult time to follow any kind of real healthy eating plan. You are surrounded by cookies, homemade pies, traditional favorites, and spiked eggnog. What are you supposed to do? Give yourself permission to enjoy. Don't deny yourself anything. If you deny yourself your favorite foods during this time, you will be miserable. You will make everyone around you miserable and you just might be causing more harm than good. Eat what you want--just do it in a sensible, respectful way.
If you know you are going to a party in the evening, pay attention to what you eat all day. Be sure to have a healthy breakfast with lots of fruit and vegetables. Do the same thing at lunch- have a salad with grilled chicken and light dressing. Have a bowl of soup or eat a light meal before you go out so you are somewhat satisfied ahead of time. This way you will not be starving when you arrive to your event and eat everything in sight. Don't camp out beside the buffet table or you will be tempted to nibble and nosh unconciously. If you are attending a sit-down dinner, offer to bring a healthy side dish, a big tossed salad, or dessert. Build your meal around what you brought and sample small tastes of everything else you want. If you over-indulge at any time, forgive yourself immediately and get right back on the path of healthy eating. Commit the next day to sipping vegetable broth, water, and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to help cleanse your body.
My hope is that you will thoroughly enjoy this holiday season in good health, surrounded by friends, family and loved ones.
And this is my Daily Cyn............