Friday, January 7, 2011

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Don't worry, I haven't started running.  If you ever see me running, there is probably something VERY wrong, and it might be in your best interest to run as well!
What I'm talking about here is weight loss, specifically in terms of 'dieting'.

Diet: verb (used without objects) - to select or limit the food one eats to improve one's physical condition or to lose weight.

Hear me loud and clear... I do not diet, I will not diet, I will not count calories, I hate dieting, and I hate hearing about other people's diets.  I have no desire to lose an exorbitant amount of weight in a month, only to gain it back two-fold.  Even in the definition of the word diet is the word 'limit', yeah that just SCREAMS success.  Nothing gets under my skin more than when people say "all you have to do is cut out carbs and you'll drop weight in a heart beat", or things of that sort (in regards to that, carbohydrates are important to the body's function... you need them to survive).

I spent the larger portion of my adolescence and early adulthood dieting (and when I say dieting I mean starving myself and throwing up everything I ate) and I refuse to waste any more time on it.  The problem with diets is that they set you up to fail.  What good is cutting out everything you love when you know that in an eventual moment of weakness you will break down and eat 5 buttery rolls and 3 chocolate bars?  I think that restriction is absurd.  It just doesn't make sense.  I know that a lot of people have great success with some diets, but haven't we all seen time and time again what happens when the diet stops?  It may not happen overnight, but eventually the post-diet body is worse than before.

I know that I am fairly sensitive to the dieting issue because it can become extraordinarily easy for me to get a little out of control with the diet itself.  But here's the thing, the Good Lord gave us all brains in our heads, can't we just use them instead of denying ourselves the delicious goodness of the occasional treat?!?!  I am certainly not trying to motivate anyone to throw judgement to the wind and eat like a pre-menstrual teenage girl; what I'm trying to say is that if we think about what we are putting into our bodies instead of mindlessly eating, we will all be a lot better off.

I will be honest, I struggle with portion control.  I didn't grow up in a household with wise portions, and food was what brought our family together.  I'm working on it.  A helpful choice to make is to eat off of a smaller plate.  It sounds simple, but a smaller amount of food looks like a lot more on a smaller plate.  Doing this will force you to think more about your portion sizes.  Another tip is to eat what you enjoy and enjoy what you eat.  If that piece of cake isn't TO.DIE.FOR delicious, then stop after a few bites.  If you don't love it, don't put it in your mouth.  Um... you know what I mean.  Thirdly, be active.  If all you have time for is a walk around the block, then do it.  It can be hard to get started, but so rewarding once you get going.  I can't even begin to list all of the emotional benefits, let alone the physical ones, of just being active.  Most importantly, be confident in who you are.  You do not need to lose weight to be beautiful.  Confidence is sexy.  Wouldn't you much rather feel beautiful and love yourself for who you are than to constantly try to be someone who you are not? 

Like I said, slow and steady wins the race.  If you lose weight slowly, your body will have time to adjust and to be able to say "okay, this is the new norm" not to freak out and feel like you are putting it in a concentration camp (which results in your body hanging on to every single calorie eat).  Make a life resolution to be healthy and happy, not to be "skinny".  Know who you are in Christ and be that person.  Be healthy and love yourself.

Remember... you're In Good Company.

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