Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Pet Peeve

Note: this is cross-posted from my blog at SparkPeople.com. I usually spare y'all my dietary rantings, but this is a pet peeve of mine... as you may have guessed from the post title. I'm AmandaJCD over there, if anyone is interested.

When you've been playing around in the diet and fitness game as long as I have (about seven years all told), there is one saying you'll inevitably run into:

"Nothing tastes as good as thin feels!"

Bah. My happy asterisk.

Food is good. I looooove food. And let's cut to the chase here: if nothing tasted as good as thin feels, then how in the world did so many of us get into this fix in the first place?

The implication that being thin is better than actually sitting down and enjoying a meal is counterproductive. I mean, I get the point of the adage. It's meant to help people pass up that brownie, to look at a menu critically in terms of fat and calorie content, just to THINK about what they're putting in their mouths.

But sometimes, you know what? That brownie is *exactly* what you need. And if you don't go ahead and HAVE the stupid brownie, it's all you're going to think of until you end up eating an entire pan of the danged things.

Ahem. Not that I've ever done this myself.

Choke.

The key to this thing we're all doing is moderation. That is absolutely, full stop, the ONLY way this is a viable lifestyle change rather than a "diet". All diets are doomed to failure. It's a simple fact. The only people who lose pounds and then sustain that weight loss are those who learn how to incorporate healthier eating habits and exercise into their lives beyond that timeframe when they're in weightloss mode.

And by "healthier" I don't mean rice cakes and wheat germ. Shoot, just thinking about that makes me want to go dig into the ice cream I've got tucked away in the freezer.

It's all about balance, folks. If you want that brownie, hey, go for it! Just make sure you account for those calories. The problem comes in when it's EVERY day, EVERY meal... and that's also where the solution comes in.

There are so many delicious foods out there that are healthier, and lower in calories and saturated fats. If you're wanting pasta one night and your general standby sauce is an alfredo, try tossing some whole wheat pasta in a bit of olive oil and sprinkling on some parmesean instead. It may have been the carbs bellowing your name rather than the alfredo sauce.

And even if the evil alfredo sauce was the true culprit, then schedule it in on one of the following days. At least you gave curbing the craving with something more healthy a shot.

Absolutely count those calories. I entered today's lunch into my nutrition calculator, even though I knew I'd bombed out. And boy, did I EVER bomb out! I managed to suck down an entire day's worth of calories in one meal. Yep, I hosed it. And I'm good with that.

But I'm not doing it again tomorrow. Do my occasional indulgences affect the speed of my weight loss? I'm sure they have an impact. But I'd rather take the pounds off more slowly with a lifestyle I can sustain past the time when I hit my goal weight than power them off in a burst of speed that cannot be maintained.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. And I'm pacing myself, because this is a race that will last for the rest of my life.

3 comments:

~laurie said...

Totally agree. I'm not on a diet, but i am finally taking care of myself :)
And on Valentines day when my guy cooked me lobster with drawn butter and ny sirloin and angel food cake with berries you bet i ate it and didn't feel guilty. Its life.

Heidi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Choreboy said...

As long as there are Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs all diets are doomed to failure:)