If a diet without mayonnaise is perfect, then I don’t want to be perfect.
A few years ago I posted this on Facebook, and I was surprised how many women stood by my side their Hellmans Jar held high, they agreed that there are certain things you just don’t want to give up – even if you want to lose weight.
There has been [and still is] a lot of rhetoric within the health and fitness world about what your diet should look like if you want to be healthier.
Over the years I’ve certainly felt conflicted about the way my diet ‘looks’. It’s easy to get caught up thinking my diet must look a certain way because I’m the expert. Should I only post pictures of protein shakes and salads? Should I declare that you must eat clean?
No. Not going to happen! I’ll share a good #BAS [big ass salad] picture when it looks amazing, but I’ll also show you my ‘fun food’ because that’s the reality of my healthy lifestyle.
My version of healthy now includes peanut butter, chocolate, wine, sour patch kids and Birthday cake!!
Just not all at once.
When people used to tell me ‘Everything in Moderation’ I wanted to throw my jar of mayonnaise at them [JK I’d never throw mayo]. Here I was, not just overweight, but really unhealthy, constantly thinking about food and diets – and struggling.
I couldn’t moderate ‘fun food’ because I could barely stop thinking about food, as soon as I started dieting I wanted to eat everything in sight. The moment something was off limits I wanted more, I felt like I had zero willpower and I repeated this cycle a few times every year.
Moderation couldn’t work for me because I didn’t even have the fundamentals of healthy eating in place.
I was the kind of overweight person who struggled to feel full. I didn’t really know what ‘full’ felt like and I ate so much processed food that my hormones were completely out of whack. When I started a diet I felt hungry all the time, and once I started eating something off plan I couldn’t stop myself, I wanted more.
I’d eat it until I felt sick, this would of course confirm that I was a loser with zero willpower who didn’t deserve to be happy or healthy. Then I’d go to sleep planning that tomorrow would be different.
When I woke up it was like some kind of amazing denial, where yesterday would be forgotten and off I went straight down the same path. It didn’t matter how many times I told myself to work harder I would find myself in the exact same place.
Unfortunately I had been buying into diet plans for so many years that I was completely unaware that this was making me gain MORE weight. I wore rose tinted glasses ‘how dare you tell me that low calorie doesn’t work!!! I’m just not doing it right!’
Fundamentals of Healthy Eating:
#1 – Eat your vegetables
#2 – Eat more lean protein
#3 – Drink water
#4 – Choose whole foods over processed
#5 – Don’t ban anything
I used to think this was dieting, that this was how you’d lose weight. Well I’ll tell you the ONE thing the diet industry doesn’t want you to know…
This is how you lose weight, and it’s sustainable when you take the right approach.
Now that I have these fundamentals in place, most of my diet is made up of unprocessed foods, I drink plenty of water and NOTHING is off limits – I am able to practice moderation.
Changing my approach to healthy eating and fat loss has allowed me to feel more in control of my food choices. Even if a craving hits, I know that I am in control of the food, food doesn’t hold any power over me and I have a choice to make. I always have a choice, and whichever choice I make I then accept it and move on.
I keep a cupboard stocked full of protein bars and some more ‘fun’ stuff like Reeses cups and M&Ms. This is something I never thought possible, if they were in the house then I’d eat them all! I have something from that cupboard most days, but it’s always a choice rather than a impulse and I will have some and put it back.
This process didn’t happen overnight.
It has taken time because I had spent years damaging my body and mind with yo-yo dieting. I had always been aware of ‘moderation’ but it just wasn’t the right time to include it in my lifestyle. I was introduced to it again in 2015 via Jill Coleman [the Queen of Moderation] and despite her powerful message – I still wasn’t ready. In 2016, I eventually felt like I was ready to conquer this because I didn’t have the mental energy to worry about weight loss.
Here we are. Twelve months later, my weight has been maintained, I have grown some muscle and I still get to enjoy my mayonnaise. #LifeWithMayonnaise 😉
Any time we over eat, then there is an emotional tie.
We are unfulfilled in another area of our lives, so we use a control mechanism, in this case, food.
One of the first steps I took towards discovering my healthiest self, is journalling. Not diet tracking, because lets be honest this teaches us very little, this is another form of ‘control’. Instead, I note down I feel when I wake up and my mood, cravings etc throughout the day.
Want to get started? Then join me and a group of likeminded women for The #EffPerfect Emotional Eating Challenge, it starts Monday July 10th.