To diet or not to diet.
We are all doing it – exercising and trying to eat well-balanced nutritional meals. I actually stopped using the word “diet” a long time ago. In my teens, twenties and thirties, I was young and very active like most of us. There was no need to count calories or watch what I ate (or so I felt) because I burned it off quickly dancing, working out, sports and a myriad of other activities. Once I hit my forties, there seemed to be a shift in my metabolism making it harder to “just burn it off” by the usual means so I began the round of dieting to try to keep my appetite and weight under control.
We hear all the time that just adopting a particular diet for a set period of time may yield some pleasing results in the short run but in order to maintain the results over the long haul, the way we eat needs to be a lifestyle. So, I gradually learned to do without the sweets that I ate by the handful, without the salt (potato chips in particular), and without the bread – oh no, not the bread! I remember well walking along the street in Paris consuming and entire freshly baked baguette – aromatic, crusty on the outside yet soft and chewy on the inside! Sheer nirvana! There wasn’t a pastry shop I passed where I did not linger in the window drooling over the elegantly arranged pastries and then ultimately going inside for one (ok – two or three) delectable morsels to consume while sitting at an outdoor table watching the pietons (French for “pedestrians”) go by.
Everyone deserves a day “off”!
These days, I am among the community of people who value nutritional, well-balanced, healthy meals full of greens, fresh vegetables, fruits, fish. Yet, like a lot of people, I can easily succumb to the dark side (that of dark chocolate, salty snacks, and sugary sweets) if it is around me. That will power my friends applaud is sometimes hanging on by a very thin thread. So I live by the motto – out of sight, out of mind and see no evil – eat no evil! Therefore, I do not buy it or even look at it. There are no other snacks to be found in my house! Yeah!
Going rogue – sounds like an adventure!
But let’s be honest here. Just between us – yes, I do go rogue on occasion. It may be once every six weeks or so or during a holiday – come on, I am human. But the guilt, the guilt can be overwhelming! For example, my go to treat (I sound and feel like I am in kindergarten saying that) is chocolate. I especially love those chocolate mint cream patties. Yum! One day the heavens parted and I discovered that they came in a small bag of minis. I thought, here’s my chance. I can make the bag last for weeks eating just one yummy nickel-sized bite at a time to satisfy my craving. Really!?! With the minis, for me one or two is just enough to make me want more so I end up sucking in the whole bag. So I just stopped – back away from the minis – mini cookies, mini candy bars, mini, mini, mini! They do not lead to mini me. Now every once in a while when the desire to too great to ignore, I just go ahead and get the regular sized patty and enjoy every single mouth-watering bite. So worth it! I no longer hide in the car and eat it – I do it proudly out in the open – in the light of day! Then I can go back to my salads, veggies and juices just dreaming of the next time when I will go rogue!
Unless you have been medically prohibited from eating certain rogue items that you desire, it is ok to treat yourself on occasion so long as you just balance it by maintaining good healthy eating habits the rest of the time. We cannot spend the journey always longing for a bite of this and a bite of that – just go ahead and do it. It will increase your resolve to really earn it the next time but not doing it too often. By the way, the mini-turtle cheesecake in the photo below – there were two on the plate but while write this post I – well – um – what can I say! It was a moment of bliss! Now back to the treadmill.