When I was 25 or so, I remember going to bed on a Saturday night, sober. My usual weekend pattern involved performing in a show, then going out drinking for 2 or 3 hours, and then eating a burger and fries or scrambled eggs and bacon at 2 am. I am so pretty, I know. Awaking refreshed and headache free was such a distinct feeling, that I've never forgotten it. Because it was at that moment that I realized that moderation could be a handy life tool. However, if there is something I enjoy, it is hard for me to do that moderately. I listen to a CD over and over and over again (there were some confiscated by my dorm mates in college!) I am "in love" by the second date, and oh yeah, there's that pesky overeating thing.I've finally come to terms with my meal/snack/sweet tooth guilt. I want to share it here, simply as a journal entry for myself, working it out, but also it may help other people. I've decided to stick a fork in my food guilt and toss it aside. Because really, I can't think of a bigger waste of my time. Besides watching Scott Baio is 46 and Pregnant - which I have only heard of, I've never actually seen it. Swear. Unless you watch it too - and maybe we could talk about it?
As I've grown up and out (har har) - I remember hearing doctors and diet gurus on talk shows or what have you make this remark about bacon or any other fatty delicious food "Well, in moderation, that is okay." and what I would hear is "Don't ever eat bacon unless you want to have a heart attack 10 seconds after swallowing." Eating healthfully used to only feel like torture by deprivation. And nothing makes me want to do something so badly than hearing no. This lead me to think about why I was feeling so guilty about wanting the chicken and chorizo enchiladas. I think I am afraid that one unhealthy meal will make the 58 pounds come flying back on. Or, that I won't be able to stop at one unhealthy meal, and I'll be back to where I started. But I can. I can enjoy myself and know that the next day, I'm going to be 100% on plan or "back to normal".
Because here's the thing I have realized. I am pretty damn healthy. I've made so many changes to my diet and lifestyle, that they are a habit. A routine. They are sustainable behaviors that I can live with forever, and not burn out. If I went to the gym 7 days a week and only ever ate vegetables and brown rice - I would have given up a long time ago. Compared to this list, a little bacon and cheese in moderation isn't going to do the damage long term that I am so fearful of.
- I pack my breakfast and lunch to take to work
- I eat at least 4 servings of fruit/veggies every day
- I exercise 4 days a week at the gym, and walk the dog on other days (usually)
- I don't smoke or use drugs
- I take my multi-vitamin and calcium supplements
- I drink somewhere between 64 and 80 ounces of water a day
- I recycle
- I call my Mom once a week
- I say I love you every day
Okay, those last three are to be funny, but really - isn't a balanced life what it is all about? Eating healthfully 90% of the time? Of course it is! Do I drink too much half and half? Yes, but so far, my cholesterol levels are fantastic - and they've been given a boost too, with all this exercise junk I've been doing.
So I'm not going to reward myself with food, and I'm not going to stress out about an indulgent evening. I'm going to continue with regularly planned meals and get back on that elliptical and feel good. So if you're feeling blah - write down everything you've done right! You'll feel much better, I promise.