Eat Like You Love Yourself
Eating into oblivion is not a form of self-love. Disregarding your reflection in the mirror or biometric markers is not a form of self-love. But neither is a restrictive diet and hours of exercise. These are two extremes on the spectrum of self hate and you will not succeed with being happier if you are on either side of the spectrum.
If you are white knuckling through your diet plan, assuming that once you get to your goal weight all of your misery will disappear, you are mistaken. You must embrace the process now, and that means finding one that is middle ground.
When you’re on a diet, you want results fast. You want them now. So you go to extremes. You eliminate food groups. You eat low calorie. You exercise for hours every day. You’re excited because it’s “working.” Of course undereating and overexercising will work for a little while. But if you are playing the long game of feeling happier and being healthier in a year or five years, then you're on a road to failure by entertaining quick fixes and instant gratification.
Eventually you will get exhausted with the extremes and limitations of low calorie diets and your metabolism will "slow down" (or become less efficient) and you will stop losing weight. Your body is now preserving energy on little fuel and a lot of movement. You eventually realize that you’re hungry and your body is tired so you stop eating and exercising like this and you gain all of the weight back. Is this a familiar story?
Maybe you find a more sustainable program but when you don’t get results immediately, you say the program didn’t work and you quit. You wish you were 15 pounds lighter now, because in your mind, weighing less and fitting into smaller sized clothes means that you’ll be happier. If that were true, then the last time you were 15 pounds lighter, you would have stayed in that body. Something on that last program was off too. Was the diet too restrictive and not sustainable for your lifestyle? Then why would you do it again? If you were truly happier in that body and the way you approached food, you would have stayed there.
Ignoring your health and eating foods that make you feel sluggish and hungover is not the answer either. What you eat does matter. How you fuel your body is a sign of respect. Are you fueling it with love or hate? What part of eating a 10 serving bag of chips and a sleeve of Oreos is love? Stop lying to yourself. If you can’t stand in front of the mirror without spewing hateful remarks toward your body because of where you got it to with all of the cookie eating, it was never self love. You are not broken, but your thoughts surrounding food and weight loss may be.
You’ve heard that it’s about the journey and not the destination. The journey is about nourishing your body with nutrient dense foods that give you energy. The journey of self-love as it comes to food is about sitting down with a meal and being grateful for how it will make you feel in thirty minutes, two hours, and one year from now. It is knowing that you are taking care of yourself by fueling yourself appropriately- because that is a form of love. Depriving yourself of food and conversely dulling emotions with food is not love either. Eat like your love yourself.