When I was growing up| picking and choosing was not my forte when it came to food. I have been plagued with issues of emotional eating for as long as I can remember| and whenever there was tasty food in front of me| it was very difficult for me to say no.
I was always interested in staying thin| but it wasn’t until my later college years that I realized how my diet was affecting my physical and emotional state. I liked the idea of losing five pounds| but nothing ever stuck. I would cut out meals| eliminate major food groups| religiously count calories| then binge and inevitably feel like sh*t. My energy was shot| my mood was out of whack| and I knew what I was doing wasn’t sustainable. It wasn’t until I really started to reap the emotional benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise that I stopped being as concerned about the scale. And when I did that| the weight fell off . . . and stayed off.
Now I do my best to choose meals and snacks that support my workout performance (there’s nothing worse than feeling full and bloated in yoga or SoulCycle) and keep me energized at the office (I hate feeling sluggish or off my game late in the afternoon)| but I still love food. If you told me I could never eat a grass-fed cheeseburger or a bite of cr¨¨me brul¨¦e ever again if I wanted to stay in shape| my response would not be pretty. I definitely don’t eat those foods every day| but when I occasionally do| I like to genuinely enjoy them sans the side of guilt. That’s the reason I say “no” to lots of things.
Someone’s passing out grocery store cupcakes in the office kitchen? I’m not interested. Grabbing a bland white roll with my chili? No| thanks. I say “no” most of the time| so I can say “yes” to the things I really want. When it comes to cheat meals| I’m not afraid to indulge| but I make a point to indulge in the highest-quality foods possible. That doesn’t mean I’m going to the fanciest restaurant in town every Saturday night| but it does mean that I’d rather make my own personal whole-grain pizza loaded with fresh veggies and high-quality cheese than settle on any old pie; I’d rather wait to get a breakfast sandwich at Sunday’s farmers market than grab a fast-food option on a random morning. This easy clean-eating technique supported my long-term weight-maintenance goals| and it makes the foods I love to eat taste even more like a treat.
With that said| I’m only human. Some days my emotional eating gets the best of me| and I face-plant into a burrito or finish a bag of chips without realizing. But since I’ve become pickier about my indulgences and gotten real about portion control| it’s happening less and less. Whenever temptations arise (and they do all the time) I simply ask myself| “Is this worth it?” And more importantly| “Do I really want this| or do I want this because it’s right here?” Nine times out of 10 it becomes easy to say no| continue on with my day knowing I made the right decision| and enjoy that cheeseburger even more the following weekend.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography