Mindless eating. That moment when you eat something, and then you wonder why you ate it? Maybe you eat it before you even realize you’re doing it or eat more than you planned.
“I should have never eaten that!”
“I was bad today.”
“Why can’t I ever pass that up?”
“Why did I just eat that?”
“I feel gross.”
“I have no willpower.”
Chances are you’ve spoken one or more of those phrases before. I know I have.
eating habits, mindset, nutrition
When you hear the word diet what do you think of? What kinds of feelings does it bring up?
My immediate response is to think back to 6th grade when I was following Weight Watchers with my mom and eating lettuce with only salt sprinkled on it, cans of tuna, and carrots dipped in mustard.
Not good feelings around the word diet for sure.
diet, freedom, healthy living, lifestyle
I read a devotion every morning. I never miss a workout. I drink all my water. But when it comes to making healthy food choices, I struggle.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been sharing the four pillars of healthy living. I spent too many years buying into diets, gimmicks, and quick fixes and focusing solely on what I ate and how I moved with little to no results. I finally identified what areas to focus on and how to focus on them so that they would not become a distraction of my life but just part of my healthy lifestyle.
Today we’ll address the final pillar which is our food choices. For many this is our greatest struggle. Sure, we may be able to cut out sugar or carbs for a month, but we can’t cut those things out forever. Some may find it easy to plan and pack meals for several weeks and then life happens and time gets cut short and before you know it, the meals aren’t packed and there’s no dinner plan.
Making healthy food choices doesn’t require a lot of time and energy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. We’re talking about a lifestyle here. You have to come up with a way to eat that you can see yourself doing a year from now and beyond.
Is this way of eating going to get you a bikini body in 30 days. Probably not. But then again, what do you need for a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. Okay, I digress. But seriously. If you want to white knuckle your way through a month and deprive yourself by only eating chicken breast on lettuce while your family enjoys pizza night, then you have that right. That’s just not the way I prefer to live. And if that’s not how you want to live then please keep reading.
So, how do you eat so that it is healthy and sustainable and maybe even help you lose weight in the process?
First, you have to become a detective. That starts by just monitoring the food choices you’re making right now. You may need to keep a food journal for awhile. I’m not suggesting you count calories and become slave to a food list. But you don’t know what you don’t know. And the first thing you need to know is how you eat right now AND if it is serving you well.
As part of your detective work, you need to not only monitor your food choices but also how that food is making you feel. When are you eating? Do you feel satisfied and energized by the way you eat? Or, are you always hungry? Do you suffer from the afternoon slump?
Answers to these questions will help you determine what foods are beneficial for your body and your schedule.
If you hear nothing else, please hear this: There is no one-size-fits-all way of eating. And if someone tries to sell you an eating plan or program that is a photocopy of something he or she has sent to a dozen other people, then that is not going to work.
Once you begin to figure out patterns in your food choices and how you’re feeling, then you can put together an eating plan that works for you.
Our bodies are smart. If we listen to them, they will let us know if a food is helpful to us or not.
Even the Bible has tips on how to eat. 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us that whatever we do, whether we eat or drink, we must do it for the glory of God. And just a bit earlier in that same chapter, we read “everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial”. This is basically saying I can eat whatever I want, but I probably won’t be doing myself any favors. This may include food allergies. I like peanuts and can’t get enough peanut butter. It’s perfectly fine for me to eat, and it satisfies me. Peanut butter is also permissible for the person who has a peanut allergy, but it sure isn’t beneficial for her. That person must honor her unique body which, for whatever reason, cannot tolerate peanuts.
The thing here is that it does take some work to adopt a way of eating that is healthy and sustainable. But once you do the work and establish your own priorities when it comes to the food choices that you make, you will be able to sustain that over the long term. We do things that make us feel good. So when we’re feeding our bodies the nutrition that it needs, and we have the energy we need to live our daily lives, then we’re going to stick with it.
Before you go…..
I know you may be thinking “Marsha, you make it sound so simple yet still so vague. I just want you to tell me what to eat and when”. Well, like I said earlier, I’m not going to do that. Really, I just can’t. I can’t do it, because I don’t know everything about you. Only you know you. And in this space, we keep our eyes on our own paper and do the things that honors our unique bodies.
But, I do have tons of tips on how to live out this healthy eating thing on a daily basis. I’m always sharing free tips and specifics in my weekly email that goes out. I will also work one-on-one to help you do the investigative work to come up with a plan that is right for you.
Let me know how I can help.
food, healthy living, lifestyle, tips