Friday, March 20, 2015

You Can Be Healthy and Still Hate Kale Smoothies

Me (on the right in pink, obvs) at 195 pounds Xmas 2004.
The healthy eating nazis would have you believe that if you're not eating according to their dictates,
you are doomed to be fat and unhappy. I disagree. You do NOT have to slurp down kale smoothies (which I like btw. Not dissing kale smoothies) to be at a healthy weight and definitely, definitely don't need them to be happy.

As a matter of fact, if you're like a large percentage of the American population (I have no data, I'm guessing based on my personal experience and the experience of family, friends, and clients. For you research buffs) you are likely to "fail" at dieting if you force yourself to eat things you dislike. Ever been going along, eating healthy, exercising, feeling good, and then BAM! You suddenly are overwhelmed with a craving for pizza or nachos or nacho pizza? Yes, we all have.

Thus begins the internal struggle that almost always ends with ordering both and eating it ALL over the course of the day, ending with me on my hands and knees with a stomach ache, rocking back and forth, and swearing to God if She will get me through this I'll never do it again. I promise. *blinks* What was I saying? Oh yeah...

Me, 2012, at 145 pounds.
So why does this happen? Because we make too many dietary changes at once. We pick a day "to start" our new eating regiment and we stock up on healthy food and for me 3 days in I'm like "screw this! I want some cheese and wine!" Amiright?

It's nearly impossible to go from where we are right now to some imaginary perfect eating plan. Some very rare people are wired that way and good for them. But for the rest of us, it's not going to happen. We need to take baby steps.

That's why I don't diet. I don't "try" to lose weight. Instead, I make lifestyle changes, one at a time over years. Yes, years.

Wait! *runs after you* Come back! *panting* Let me catch my breath. *deep inhale* Okay, I do have some good news. They say it takes 28 days for a new habit to stick. At least give yourself a month to introduce a new healthier habit. Say, start drinking eight ounces of water first thing when you wake up. Repeat for 28 days in a row. Or, my favorite, take your best comfort food recipe and start tweaking it to be a little more healthy, a little less waist-line expanding.
Me a few days ago at 148 pounds.

One thing I've learned over the years is how to tweak my comfort food recipes to be more health-conscious. Here is a great list of some healthier snack hacks complete with Weight Watchers points (the most sane weight loss plan on the planet, IMHO). Trust me, eating healthy doesn't mean giving up every food that you love right now or concocting some cauliflower-kale pizza impostor. But what it does mean is giving food some thought and being more mindful about what you're eating.

As anyone who has gone to dinner with me knows, I love food. And wine. I can't imagine "eating clean" all the time. So I compromise. I'm not a size 4, but I'm an 8 or a 10 depending on the time of month and I love it.

Don't try to do it all at once. Baby steps, baby.

What are your thoughts on eating clean, being healthy, and weight management? Are you struggling? Do you hate dieting? Have you had success? Do you wake up in the middle of the night craving cheese cake? Tell me about it! I'd love to hear from you.

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