My weigh-in won’t happen until Tuesday night, but I’m feeling good about the past two weeks. I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve been pretty darn fine! I’ve tracked my food for 12 out the past 14 days, and I know that will help at the scale. More importantly, I can feel a difference in my body. Progress, not perfection!
The latest issue of Bon Appétit magazine has a fascinating article called "The Food Writer’s Diet." Melissa Clark, food writer and cookbook author, eats for a living (can you imagine such a thing??) Yet she maintains a svelte figure – and evidently, is not the only one of her colleagues with this distinction.
Clark claims the key to being a thin professional eater is eating only the foods she truly loves, but less of them – and none of the foods she doesn’t like or want. She eats a little of the yummy stuff, then supplements with fruits and veggies to help keep her full. She also won’t eat foods that are bland and unappetizing.
I can’t honestly say the same about my diet. I can think of many times I’ve continued to eat something that wasn’t very exciting, not even particularly tasty -- but it was there. So I continued eating it. Does that sound at all familiar?
The article offers a few other tips worth noting, some of which we already know. Never skip a meal; have a healthy snack like an apple before dinner; practice portion control and conscious eating; always leave food on your plate; exercise often and with intensity.
But the thing that keeps running through my head is the closing paragraphs:
… the most important way that food writers control their eating is, ironically, by not being too controlling… I really think the happier and less neurotic you are about what you’re eating, the less likely you’ll become big as a house.
Think about the basic idea behind that hugely popular book, The Secret. The Law of Attraction says that we draw to ourselves the same energy we expend into the world. So if we’re miserable and constantly thinking about how deprived we feel when we’re dieting, doesn’t it stand to reason that this is exactly the kind of negative energy we’ll keep attracting back to ourselves?
Or to put it in a less new-agey kind of way: if you hate what you’re eating and hate your life because you can’t have any of the good stuff – why in the world do you expect to successful at losing weight? How long can you keep it up?
Not for long. I know. Been there and done that. Willpower doesn’t work for very long; deprivation doesn’t work at all. Tell me I can’t have a slice of cake and that’s exactly what I focus on – having a slice of cake (or two or three because I felt so deprived, poor me!)
So what do you think? Is there something to the idea of being less neurotic and obsessive about what we put in our mouths, and choosing to eat a little of the foods that make us happiest? Would this make a difference on our journey toward good health? I'm curious what you think.
Until next time…