I think it’s time to talk about the D word. I’m not talking about Doc, Dopey or Dippy-Doo, the lesser known eighth dwarf. I’m pretty sure he had a nose habit, and I don’t mean the sneezing kind. There was a reason Disney bumped him from the entourage, although I’d like to think he made his way into rehab and eventually married Sneezy, where the pair lived happily ever after, especially after their investments in Kleenex and Clariton paid off.
If you do happen to know which D word I’m referring to, then you are super smart and also maybe you read my post title, which leads me to believe you are in fact, super smart.
♫ Let’s talk about [diets] baby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be. Let’s talk abooooout [diets]. ♫ Sorry, a little tuneage from my prepubescent days seemed fitting.
Speaking of my youth, once upon a time I almost signed up to be on the television show Survivor simply because I thought it would be a fool-proof diet plan. While I never submitted an official entry form, I thought my idea had merit. Forced to live on a diet of rice and seaweed, because there’s no way I’d put bugs in my mouth, I’d have no choice but to lose those last stubborn ten pounds or five pounds or twenty pounds or however many I felt I needed to lose on that given day. My plan was brilliant. Or not.
I like to think with age comes a little bit of wisdom. At least that’s what I tell myself, and it is with time I’ve come to realize the flaw of any kind of diet plan, where you are denied foods you would normally enjoy without repercussions.
Let me clarify this statement with an example. I am not celiac, nor do I have any sensitivities. In fact, I love me some gluten-filled fabulous bread in all its wonderful forms: soft and fluffy bread, dense and hearty bread, doughy and flavorful bread. Basically bread is my jam, and to embark on the Atkins diet would be slow suicide for me. While I’m sure I would lose weight in the short-term, I would also lose my happy and ultimately gain the weight back and then some.
This is the point in the post where I get politically correct and say we’re all unique, our bodies operate differently and what one persons needs, another doesn’t. So while I think Atkins is a load of horse hooey, you might find it to be the best thing since sliced bread, without the actual bread, of course. In fact, if bread makes you physically ill, then I’d suggest you’d do well to stay away from it.
Avoiding foods you love because they make you feel sick is smart.
Avoiding those same foods because they make you feel guilty or you want to maintain your already slim physique is a different story altogether and one that speaks to restriction.
For the sake of clarification, when I say food, I mean those you recognize as whole foods or whose ingredients you can not only pronounce, but identify as well.
With that being said, why not take a close look at your current dietary choices and see if you aren’t denying yourself foods you truly enjoy, simply because you think they’ll make you fat. I’m talking about white flour, sugar, grains, cheese, egg yolks, or whatever fear food you might have. I know this is asking a lot. Believe me, as someone who has sat on the receiving end of a psychologist’s chair, I understand self-reflection is uncomfortable at best. It’s also where growth comes from, and if you are living in a world of restriction or denial, then perhaps a little change might be in order.
Now if you happen to really love the taste of rice cakes and egg whites, then embrace those cardboard crackers and hold your colorless eggs up high. For me, I adore the simple and misunderstood cauliflower and I have no problems shouting it from the rooftops. If you’re eating rice cakes, egg whites, cauliflower, or whatever food fits for you simply because you like the caloric makeup better than the actual flavor, that’s being on a diet. And in the end, it’s going to bite you in the ass, something which should really be reserved for your partner of choice.
Instead of denying yourself, I say ditch the diet mentality.
Eat foods you love in the right quantities.
Eat lots of whole foods. Eat lots of nutrient dense foods.
Eat moderate amounts of chocolate.
Eat foods that make you feel good, physically and mentally.
Eat lots and lots of fruit. Eat lesser amounts of sugar.
Eat foods that nourish your heart, as well as your soul.
Eat good food, eat great food, eat flavorful food.
Eat Foods. You Want. To Eat.
Is there a food you deny yourself because you’re fearful it will make you gain weight, and if so why do think it will cause you to gain weight? What foods do you love to eat? How do you feel about restriction diets?