Whatever you do, don’t think about a puppy. Do not think about a cute little pink puppy tummy, just waiting for you to rub it. In fact, do not even think about thinking about a puppy. Stop it. Stop thinking about a puppy!
So, what just happened? No doubt ALL you could think about was the puppy, yes? This is pretty much what you are doing to yourself every time you decide to go on a diet. You aren’t allowed any sugar. Bread is bad. And don’t even think about having that chocolate because you’ll just ruin your day and have to start again tomorrow. As soon as you put these restrictions on yourself, ALL you are going to crave is the very food you have forbidden yourself from eating. It really is a recipe for disaster!
I used to do this to myself constantly – classify food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, punishing myself emotionally when I ate the wrong thing, binging on junk and then telling myself that I’d start again next week. Basically, I wasn’t very kind to myself or my body.
Along the line somewhere though, something changed – I decided to take a little control back, treat myself more respectfully and make a lifestyle change instead of dieting. I stopped punishing myself for eating those ‘bad’ foods and instead starting focusing on things that would nourish my body. Fresh vegetables and salads, good quality proteins, nuts, seeds, fruit and lots of water. And yes, the occasional (and occasionally not so occasional) lolly.
So where am I going with this? I guess I just want to reinforce that it’s ok not to be perfect. If you find you can’t let go of cheese or say no to the occasional mid-afternoon lolly run it doesn’t make you weak – it just makes you human. And as long as you enjoy that chocolate or cheese plate, keep it as a ‘sometimes’ food and combine it with a healthy dose of exercise then I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here when I say that you’ll probably be ok.
I truly believe that life needs to be about finding the right balance, and remembering that what works for you may not work for someone else. Personally, I find that by eating wholesome, fresh, full fat, good quality foods I don’t tend to crave sweets as often as I used to. And when I do crave them? Well, I can’t be expected to deny myself all the time now, can I?
A final note for anyone thinking this post is their ticket to sugar binge-town. FACT – excessive sugar is dangerous and does have a negative impact on the body – think dehydrated and ageing skin, raised blood sugar levels, fluctuating energy levels, mood swings and of course weight gain, to name just a few. So use it sparingly and wisely, but if you do over-indulge, please forgive yourself and move on.
Happy Wednesday – be kind to yourself!