It doesn’t work.
Did you really think I was going to promote dieting as a healthy way to lose weight? This is not Self magazine. This is real life shit.
A few weeks ago, I launched “Journey to Abs” and the response has been amazing. I got so many messages from women and men who identified with the whole eating and dieting issue. The up and down battle of losing, gaining, overeating but most importantly, that feeling of never being happy with your body.
I realized that a conversation needs to be had about the mind before we can discuss the body. If the mind is not ready for the abs, it won’t happen.
So why do I think dieting doesn’t work?
Because humans don’t like rules, or being told NO, or you’re not allowed to eat that, etc. The inner child comes out and says, “Don’t tell me what to do, I want to eat that doughnut.”
Think about it. If you tell yourself you can’t eat something, you want it even more.
This is the cycle of dieting.
Dec 31st Brain: “Ok, January 1st, I am going on a diet, I am going to eat every 3 hours and only eat protein and veggies etc… I am going to follow all the rules on this paleo/low carb/low fat/low sugar/all juices/starvation diet.”
January 1st Brain: “I am so excited to lose this holiday weight. I am going to eat this egg white omelette and piece of fruit… Oh, it’s actually pretty good. I can sooo do this! Excited for my next meal which is in 2 hours and 25 minutes!! I can eat 7 almonds and an apple. YIPPIE. This isn’t bad at all.”
January 10th Brain: “So excited I am sticking to the plan! I lost 5lbs. WOOHOO. I am on top of the world. Those pancakes look kind of good though… but I am WAY better than that, so no thanks!”
January 12th Brain: *at a friend’s birthday* “Alright, I’ve been doing so well on my plan. I can totally have a little bite of cake.”
January 14th: “Ugh. I had the worst day ever. I’m going to eat pizza.”
January 16th: “Alright, maybe I will have that whole pie, a piece of cake… Oh fuck it, I blew my diet. I might as well enjoy myself. Can I have a margarita?”
Does this sound familiar? Sometimes, the diet cycle will last a few weeks, sometimes you’re on point for a few months or even a year. But at some point, after denying yourself things you crave, you will eventually go back to your bad eating habits.
But what if you were allowed to eat EVERYTHING? What if you actually listened to your body and actually felt hunger in your stomach and it telling you exactly what you are craving? This is the natural way of eating, my friends.
I know, it’s mind boggling.
But think about your naturally skinny friend that eats whatever they want. We all have that one friend that doesn’t seem to worry about their diet.
A few months ago, I went to lunch with this friend and decided to watch her. We met at a local coffee shop and the first thing she said to me was “Oh my god, I am so hungry, I haven’t eaten yet!” To which I said “Are you nuts, lady? It’s noon!! I’m on my third meal already.”
I proceeded to order a kale salad, and she ordered a massive sandwich that was the size of her head. We finally got our food and within 7 minutes, I scarfed the salad. While I was scarfing my food, she was telling me all kinds of stories, slowly eating, putting her food down. She was focused more on the conversation than she was on the food. Meanwhile, I am there chewing the whole time like it was my last meal. She ate half the sandwich and then pushed her plate away, and said “I’m full.”
Wow. Full? What the fuck does that mean?
I realized then and there that in some ways, I was always “full” because I was always kind of eating. Essentially, I would never let myself go hungry. If you don’t experience hunger, than how do you know what your body wants?
Here I was, eating “healthy” diet foods all day every day and I was in the worst shape of my life.
I would go for days or weeks denying myself the food I wanted so when I would allow myself those “forbidden” foods, I would go crazy and eat everything. And no matter how full I was, skipping a meal or going more than 4 hours without eating seemed absurd.
I decided to make a change.
As I mentioned in my first “Journey to Abs” post, I started with a food cleanse. For a week, I ate healthy and clean and followed the cleanse plan so that my body could learn portion sizes. I didn’t look at this as a diet, I looked at it as a way to regain control over my eating habits.
After the cleanse was over, I decided to really listen to my body and what it needed. I also told myself that there was also no such thing as a forbidden food. That everything was allowed. I will be really honest, this concept was very scary, but I knew in order for me to really make a change I couldn’t let food control my life anymore.
After the food cleanse, my body craved mostly healthy things. I think you come to a point where you realize that eating certain foods make you feel good, as opposed to the ones that don’t.
Then I craved pizza. Instead of fighting the craving and ordering another fucking kale salad, I went and got pizza. I ate a lot of it. When I was full and satisfied, I stopped. Then something magical happened. I didn’t think about food for the rest of the day. Before I knew it, dinner time rolled around and I still wasn’t hungry. I listened to my body, and my body said “you’re still full.”
I went to bed.
In the mornings, I try to start my day with something healthy. I learned for my body that eating 2 hard boiled eggs satisfies me and keeps me full till lunch, that I actually don’t really desire eating anything heavy as I know it won’t make me feel good.
The point is, you need to find that balance within you. Every body is different and reacts to food differently. It will tell you, “I want vegetables.” It will tell you, “I want something fruity and light.” You just have to stop and listen.
I will be touching on food in future posts and sharing tips and things that have worked for me.
Also, exercise. It’s so important. Yes, abs are made in the kitchen, but exercise relieves stress, stress makes you eat, and exercise gives you energy. When you’re tired you want to eat high carb foods.
Exercise improves your mood so you don’t need to dip into the pantry for chocolate. Exercise also helps you be more in touch with your body and what it needs. Most importantly, it makes you feel strong… whatever shape and size you are, feeling strong and confident is so important.