Food is nothing but fuel for our bodies, yet it is so much more.
Food brings people together, cultures revolve around food, people look to food for comfort, rewards and pleasure and much, much more. Food is the answer to so many things: do you want to show your appreciation for someone? Buy them dinner. Are you stressed or sad? Indulge in ice cream. Want to lose weight? Stay away from junk food.
Food is so deeply engrained into our culture that it has become so overly-complicated. Over-eating, under-eating, clean eating, dieting… food should be simple yet we tend to over think it and cause unnecessary stress in our lives.
As I’m writing this, I’m having an immense craving for cheese puffs. I feel like I’m going to die if I don’t have one!! In a perfect world, I would just go get the damn cheese puffs but my mind is telling me to resist because I’m going out for dinner later… and that I’m going to Vegas in 2 weeks and I want to look good… and I had an easy workout today. But I want it so bad. Gimme!! How has my relationship with food turned so complicated?!
But in reality, I just went to get those cheese puffs. Why? Over the years as I slid into this healthy lifestyle and as my philosophy on food and fitness evolved, I’ve discovered a new mindset that now comes naturally:
I don’t let food rule my life.
By setting some simple rules for myself, I eat anything I want. I don’t feel bad. I don’t feel guilty. I don’t feel regretful. This makes me happy because I love food.
Here are some basic rules everyone should follow:
- Indulge all you want in anything that grows from the ground or in trees.
- Avoid anything is packaged and contains ingredients you’ve never heard of.
- Once in a while, treat yourself to something “bad” (see above point) if you really love it.
- Enjoy, savor and appreciate every single bite.
Here are some rules I’ve set for myself. This may or may not work for you depending on your lifestyle, personality and many other factors. Everyone has to find their own way and this is my way.
- Eat healthy during the day and indulge at night (because that’s the time I like to eat). People say you should eat more during the day and taper off at night but that’s when I like to chill out and perhaps watch a show while snacking on some good eats. It works for me so why not?
- Or eat healthy during the week and indulge on weekends when I usually go out. I’m too busy working during the week anyway so there are less distractions for me to fill myself up with junk. This is when my willpower is the strongest so I’ll use it to my advantage.
- Cook at home most of the time so I can indulge as much as I want and don’t feel guilty when going out to eat. You never know how much butter and sugar they put into their dishes.
- Exercise lots. This is easy because I love exercise.
- Never feel guilty about overeating or indulging. I can always push a little harder during my next workout. I love food and like I’ve always said, I will NEVER not eat things I love just because it’s deemed unhealthy or fattening. Knowing I have the discipline to make sacrifices elsewhere makes me feel a lot better about food.
How is YOUR relationship with food like? Are you still struggling with it or did you already overcome it?