"We mean to be the people we meant to be" Miller Williams.
As an RD who understands the obesity struggle, professionally, but also, through my own story, I blog musings that seek to help you get and STAY fit. Start with visualizing yourself healthy and gorgeous! The recipes, suggestions, and information on optimal diet and nutrition flow from that. I often peek into spiritual issues and coping with life frustrations. Keep perspective, laugh, find joy, stay hopeful, love life. You'll DO IT!
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
What No One's Talking About-- Discipline!
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.Robert Frost, from 'The Road Not Taken'
I love food. I enjoy cooking and, as a dietitian, I love cooking healthy meals. I'm always so excited when I find a nutritious, yet delicious recipe. When I make such a recipe and find that I really enjoy eating it, I am super eager to share it with my clients, with people I know, on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
I also am very aware of how fabulous one feels and looks when eating wholesome, balanced, healthy food, in general.
But, let me be very clear -- healthy, delicious, wholesome food, recipes, cooking, eating -- sometimes known as 'clean eating' -- is just one part of what it takes to BE healthy! No matter how intrinsically wholesome, healthy, and 'clean' your food and eating is -- if you eat TOO MUCH of it -- this is NOT healthy. All food contains kcalories and too many kcalories for your body's needs will result in weight gain and other untoward effects, especially if the overeating of all that healthy food effects in getting too much fat, sodium, sugar (even from complex 'healthy' carbohydrates -- it all breaks down to glucose), fiber, etc.
In a world that is constantly on the search for the next best new weight-loss diet that promises delicious and nutritious, yet satisfying meals and foods and companies that are scrambling to innovate the next set of scrumptious, yet 'healthy' snacks and foods that reach all kinds of 'bliss points' and satiety levels -- may I make a suggestion?
Just STOP !!!!
I'm all for weight-loss, if you need it, and innovation, if that helps, but the ONE thing that is sorely needed, that is not often mentioned anymore, is DISCIPLINE!
We hear alot about motivation, but all the motivation in the world won't help you reign in your impulses when you grab for that donut and shove it in your mouth.
We hear about mindful eating and that can help you become more aware of what you are eating, why you make certain eating decisions, why you have certain eating habits, and if and why you impulsively grab that donut and shove it in your mouth -- but still -- this does not replace exercising some good old-fashioned discipline in walking away from eating too much food or the wrong type of food(s) for your body's needs. Mindful eating can help you change onto better eating habits and food choices, but you still need discipline to sustain these changes!
As I said earlier, as a dietitian, I am already convinced of the benefits of healthy eating, cooking, recipes, food, etc. I practice what I preach. But, it takes discipline, for me! I am NOT a self-regulator. I grew up obese and, for some reason, I lack the hard-wiring to STOP eating, even when I'm full! :( I love to eat and, although chips and cookies and candy doesn't 'do it' for me anymore, I can eat a whole pot of fish stew or a whole bag of almonds or a whole oatmeal peach cobbler!! But, I don't! I exercise discipline in stopping when I know I've had enough.
Moreover, when I feel that I may weaken my resolve, after working with so many food cues all day long, almost every day -- I HAVE TO walk away for a day or two. I have to stop talking about food, advising about healthy recipes, searching for articles about food and nutrition, etc. But, that's just me. There are many wonderful dietitians who are masterful self-regulators who don't need to do this.
I even find myself fasting for a meal here and there to get away from food and any food cues. Of course, I am healthy and fit and I can get away with this. I make sure I get my adequate hydration, too, by drinking enough water, even if I'm fasting.
I find other ways to find joy in my life, other than food. I read history and literature books. I go on hikes. I exercise. I give thanks for all the other good things in my life. And I pray. I find myself praying for obese people -- those who also need discipline to walk away from food, to lose weight, to get fit.
So, yes, there are many roads and choices in life. For me, choosing the path of exercising discipline has been very necessary for my success in losing weight and keeping it off. Some people can choose the path of eating healthy and exercising and they don't need to discipline themselves because they already are self-regulators and are hard-wired for fitness. But when the fork in the road came for me, after years of being obese, I chose the road I wasn't hearing so much about as I struggled, the road I wasn't taking as much as I needed to -- the road of discipline --