The excitement of starting something new. A new diet, a new workout, whatever kind of new plan. It’s so exciting! And then you realize all the things you can’t have or do.
Now, starting a new exercise routine and leaving behind a favorite exercise or two is a whole helluva lot different than starting a diet and having to leave behind chocolate or wine, right? Or maybe it’s another favorite for you.
I am one of those that the minute I decide something is off limits, I become obsessed with it. Even if it’s something I don’t even enjoy that much! Frenzy or just plain whack?
When I was competing in natural bodybuilding I ate 5 times a day. But, I weighed, measured and counted every ounce, gram and bite that I consumed. I was a bodybuilder and that’s just what you do. I learned a lot about food and portions. I also learned some foods just weren’t worth it to consume because they would set me back up to 2 weeks on the scale! I learned Splenda or diet soda could set me back 3 days!
I did that for about 7 years. I worked my ass off, literally. I felt great...until I didn’t.
I loved life...until I didn’t.
I had abundant energy….until I didn’t.
I had a social life and friends….until I didn’t.
I rebounded. When I competed for the last time, I went crazy eating foods I never cared for before. I felt off the rails. I had to get balance and gain some control over myself. But, I had to do something different because I just couldn’t make myself adhere to a strict program anymore no matter how hard I tried, how badly I beat myself up or how much I tried to exercise.
So what exactly sends me into a frenzy?
I’ve obviously been there and done that and it was a sick game while it lasted. But, I’m so over that.
I remember during the post competitive bodybuilding period sitting in a restaurant, having lunch with a friend during the week and watching a table next to us of 3 women. They were having such a great time and they were having wine! WHAT?! During the week. During the day. That is some crazy shit! I had rules around wine and food that was "non-diet".
SPLURGE FOOD RULE #1: It must be weighed, measured, consumed only on one night a week which was going to be a weekend and limit of 1-2 glasses only and probably only after a heavy leg day (that burns the most calories).
Are you feeling exhausted yet? Me, too!
And that’s exactly what happened. I got tired. Sick and damn tired of restriction and food rules. I saw people enjoying their life, their food AND during the week and they were thin and happy!
I started to wonder why they were so lucky? I also decided I wanted what they had.
I decided to get curious.
I decided to be adventurous and crazy myself and have wine with lunch on a Wednesday!
I had to loosen the hold that diets had on me. One way of doing that was to do the complete opposite of what I’d been doing.
I don’t know about you, but the minute I ward of some sort of food that I’ve deemed off limits, I crave it like there’s no tomorrow. Don't tell me what I can and can't do or have! :D
So I just stopped making food bad.
Instead, I let myself have whatever I wanted, but I made sure to check in and make sure I really wanted it. And that I wanted everything that goes along with it.
Maybe that food brings with it:
Rumbling tummy and loud gurgles
Swelling of my hands/feet
Or in the case of wine at lunch, pretty much no productivity for the rest of the day
And if I CHOSE to have something like cake, that doesn’t make me feel good in my body, then I practiced eating less of it. When it ceased to taste truly decadent, I stopped eating. Brilliant, right?!
Yes, I’m saying you don’t have to eat the whole damn thing because this is your only shot to have a cake. The reality is that is ISN'T the only cake you'll ever get to eat again!
Try this instead:
Don’t make any one food be off limits. After all, it’s just food.
No matter what you are eating, pay attention to how your body reacts and feels during, after and a few hours later. Take notes on that and remember it.
Enjoy every bite like it’s the best damn thing you’ve ever eaten. Even if it’s a fast food burger. No judgement here.