Dear darlings, 

Today I am writing a bit of a different post and it has to do with making peace with food and as a result even losing weight. I am not sure if there's such thing as a perfect time to lose weight but for some reason there's always an urge right before the summer to get fit for a more suitable beach look I suppose. However, I prefer to take the last chunk of the year to revisit my choices and to correct anything I may want to change before the fresh start of the New year. And just in case you feel like me, your eating habits may be on the list of things that you would like to tweak before the year ends.

This post is completely based on my own experience and I am not a professional dietician, therefore when making drastic changes be sure to consult a doctor if you need to. Here are 5 ways to make peace with food.

Put away the list of things you can't have
If you are anything like me, right before I went on a diet I would over indulge on things that were not necessarily healthy just because I would be focusing on all the things I would not be able to have for the next few days. I started making peace with food and enjoying it much more when I started researching, planning, and discovering new recipes that were a little more plant based. Focusing on everything you can have will make you a lot happier and probably even a bit more excited about the changes you are making.

Note: I personally don't believe in diets simply because its restrictive premise simply doesn't work for me. I haven't gone on a diet since my high school years. I simply decided to make better eating choices that would last me a lifetime as opposed to just a period of time.

Eat more intuitively and not with your eyes
This may sound a little coucou but in the last couple of year I have started to pay attention to the signals my body sends me. This is actually how I discovered I was lactose intolerant, by just paying attention at how by body would react to certain things rather than others. When we love food, we often eat and savor with our eyes way before the food has ever entered our bodies. So when there's a large spread of food in front of us, we tend to serve ourselves huge portions, especially when we are hungry to begin with.

I started having peace with food when I would serve myself half of what I would normally put on my plate, enjoy it, let it sit for about 20 mins and go for seconds if I still felt hungry. It is important that we train our brains to know that it doesn't matter how good my food is, I don't have to eat it all just because it's there. I will eat only what my body needs and can handle. This truth is so simple that it may seem redundant to repeat it but, next time you eat why don't you try to eat until you are satisfied and not until you have a belly ache.

Eat more often!
What? Yes! I've discovered that having more healthy snacks at shorter time intervals throughout the day keeps me from becoming ravenously hungry and therefore prevents me from binging. This is a fun way to make your day more interesting, by scheduling little rewards of snacks that you can have and by the time you eat your meals you will feel mildly hungry instead of ravenous and will probably make better choices  in terms of proportions and quality over quantity.

Note: Have a healthy and energizing breakfast. It's still the most important meal of the day!

Don't eat your emotions, work out your emotions but do it GENTLY
Food can sometimes feel like that faithful friend that greets you with a hug when you are down, bored, happy, mad, unsatisfied, etc until it starts turning against you. Yes, A whole bag of gummy warms has been my solace more than once but when I traded my trip to the couch with a bag of chips for some type of exercise I not only felt my mood change, but I also felt empowered and good about myself and my body.

Through the years I have discovered that not all types of exercises or even workout settings work for me, but when I did find something I liked, my whole attitude towards it changed. By trying new things I've discovered I worked out better with groups of people in a class setting because I would be so focused in following the routine that I would forget the time and it would fly by. I suggest that you go and try new exercise routines (either on youtube) or in a gym. You never know, you may find something you really like and a group of really cool people to work out with.

Also, when you work out regularly you absolutely don't feel bad for indulging a little. You start to focus less on the stress that eating can bring. Instead, you feel more free to enjoy other relationships and actually enjoy the pleasure of piece of cheese cake. I feel the trick for me has always been to be gentle and patient with my body. I resisted all the "quick fix" diets and products we are constantly being offered, instead I put in the work but always respecting my body's pace. When we free ourselves from all the expectations and we start loving our bodies and caring accordingly we will see better results.

There are more social activities that you can do besides eating out
Right before my wedding last year, I was living in a college town and my friends and I would often go out and eat. I should mention that there wasn't much to do in that town but during that time I not only was on a budget, but I was also shedding some pounds. So I decided to only go to outings that involved movement or ate at home before I would meet them for an "after meal coffee". It is not wrong to eat out, also everyone's lifestyle is different; but just for a short trial time, make at least 2 of your daily meals yourself. Not only will you save some money but you may also discover a love for cooking and have better control over the size of your portions, the quality,  and the nature of your ingredients.

Before writing this post, I thought about the significant changes in weight that I've had and I noticed that they were almost always related to a change of routine.  Since my last move, I have gained a few pounds and have started to get into the routine of regularly working out again because honestly, I miss it. There was a time in my life, however, in which I had not only a very unhealthy relationship with food but also with exercise. Soon I would like to write more about it but I thought this would be a good way to introduce the subject.

Taking care of our body should not be a cosmetic luxury but more of way through which we can experience life daily. In my case, I believe it is God's will for me to be whole: mind, body, and soul in order to live out His purpose for my life. If as a result of my poor eating choices and bad relationship with it I am sick and without energy, chances are I will not do or enjoy half of the things that God has created for me to enjoy and to bring him glory. The Bible talks about how one of the fruits of the Spirit is "self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23) and we like to apply it to many things but often fail to apply it to what we feed our bodies with. Romans 12:2 invites us to continually renew our minds so maybe today is a good day to reevaluate some of our choices. What do you say?  

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