I ate pizza the other night for dinner. As you sit there downing your morning coffee you might be thinking… “and WHY are you telling me this?” Hang with me, will you ? I’m not gonna waste your time telling you what I ate for dinner. I mean it’s relevant for where I’m going so… hold on.
Pizza might be one of those things viewed as “off limits” or “bad” if you fall in that line of thinking for weight loss and overall lifestyle health. I mean if you consume a lot of it, well, yeah maybe so.
I want to come to you with a perspective I preach about and believe works for anyone wanting to just live life, be healthy, fit, and not obsess constantly over what goes in their mouth.
I hated those days! Thinking of what I could eat and couldn’t eat. Thinking of when I could have food again because I was hungry and ignoring the signals my body gave me to eat. Feeling guilty if I ate something “bad”. Eating more than what satisfied my hunger, eating for my eyes and mouth. Worrying about how many calories I may have had or trying to keep total.
Such a miserable way to live, controlled by food in a host of ways.
So along the way, as I’ve shared before, that having an open relationship with food put me in charge of it. Basically it gave me power to make decisions based on what I wanted to do.
Food, was simply, food. Some of those foods I knew and understood were to be enjoyed in controlled moderation to reach my goals. Not with held which can bring on those feelings of deprivation that lead to finally eating to much of it or just throwing in the towel.
Healthy, nutritious foods were meant to make up the mainstay of my daily diet. I learned to eat those the majority of the time.
If I had a celebration or was going out to eat, I already determined what I was allowing myself to have.
With that balance I moved forward. The weight slowly and steadily came off, I enjoyed life and didn’t obsess over how I was eating or not eating.
On a side note, this month marks 8 years since I started this process. I think this might be working 😉
So there’s a lot that goes on not just physically, but mentally as well.
Knowing and understanding that I can have any food I want let’s me make mindful decisions over what I have and when. I’ve learned to think more about what I’m eating and assess it’s importance of going in my body. I also let go of the “last supper” mentality.
You know what that is right? It’s that attitude that says… “eat all your favorite foods up now ’cause you’re going on a diet and never, ever having them again!”
When you know you can still have your favorite cereal, snack, ice cream or a baked potato you don’t feel the need to consume it all at once.
Pizza. You’re sitting there thinking, where is this going with pizza? For me now days, that means a piece of pizza with plenty of salad or veggies alongside of it. I have pizza, and eating plenty of healthy, low calorie, nutrient dense veggies fills me and satisfies my hunger. Because I’ve learned to listen to my body and eat enough to satisfy it but not keep eating because it’s in front of me I’ve basically learned how to have it in small amounts.
No, I don’t feel deprived because I’m not eating more of it. I love making mindful choices. It’s empowering to choose your food and enjoy it, whatever it is.
Getting on a path to a healthier lifestyle and way of eating involves really learning to be mindful of what you eat, and how much you eat. It means you really learn to listen to those natural God given signals in your belly and follow them. So often we are simply “trained” to eat at certain times and follow certain social cues instead of just listening to our bodies.
If you are working to lose weight and think you must forego everything you love, rethink that.
Learn to follow a few basic rules or cues from your body
Eat when you’re hungry. Sounds crazy, I know. Just learn to do it.
Eat nutrient dense foods most of the time.
If you choose to have a food that doesn’t perhaps fall in that category, determine what you will allow yourself. Eat slowly and learn to appreciate what it really tastes like.
Build in veggies with every meal. They are filling and beyond good for you. Not only that you won’t be tempted to gorge on your pizza or whatever you’re having.
Satisfy your hunger but learn to stop when you feel comfortable. This takes practice, especially if you’ve been used to over eating for a long time. The point is to keep on practicing till you learn to read those signals. Your body only needs a certain amount of food to deal with it’s hunger. Anything else turns into “head” eating.
These are things that I have slowly learned along these past years. It’s taken practice. Fail, repeat, keep going till it started to feel normal to me.
I think really tuning into your body is huge. I think it’s also important as I’ve mentioned before, to understand why you eat beyond hunger. Our emotions are a powerful drive for over consumption of food. Learn to identify reasons that make you eat beyond hunger, this will give you a huge advantage if you’re trying to lose weight.
Life is meant to be enjoyed. It’s filled with delicious foods we enjoy. With practice and intentional, purposeful choices you can have all your favorite foods and lose weight too.
Have you learned any tips or tricks that has helped you successfully lose weight and has been sustainable for you ?