When I first started losing weight, I was ready for deprivation (my past experience with weight loss). I ate a lot of frozen dinners. I had trouble getting in enough fruits and veggies. I needed to FIT IN my sweets. I didn’t drink enough plain water (still struggle with that). I ate mostly white grains, but in lesser quantity than before. I struggled with getting activity. I ate fast food.
I still lost weight. I still was successful, because I was doing better eating-wise and exercise-wise than I was while I was gaining.
Over time, I’ve made changes. I now love vegetables. I look for new ones to try and new ways to fix them. I added in whole grains. I will still occasionally go eat fast food, but it’s no longer a habit. Bacon is usually on my menu. Not daily.
My point is that all of us are somewhere on the continuum. We don’t turn over a new leaf the moment we begin a weight loss plan. We shouldn’t expect ourselves to change everything overnight or eat only whole grains or even no grains. We’re given some good health guidelines to help us get there, but no one gets there overnight. We make mistakes. We fall down. We do NOT need judging when we fall. We have our own light-bulb moment when we realize that the egg keeps us fuller longer than a 100-calorie pack.
I am not about to criticize as I have been at both ends of the spectrum and every place in between. You couldn’t have made me eat like I do now and exercise like I do now 35 pounds ago. I didn’t know how to do it. I needed time – a lot of time. This isn’t a start and finish type of deal. Sometimes when we know we are doing something for the rest of our lives it’s both freeing and depressing. And sometimes we’d like a rewind button. Unless you’ve never gone to that rewind button (which for me includes rippled potato chips with dip) then don’t tsk tsk someone else’s food choices.
I urge people who want to do it ALL right this moment and all the time, to be careful. It’s OK not to do this perfectly whatever this is. Just because you’re eating predominately one way (Weight Watchers, Paleo, Jenny Craig, whatever) doesn’t mean you have to do that at 100 percent of the time. You’re changing your life. If weight loss is a part of that – great. If getting stronger and healthier is a part of that – great. If you’re doing it for the heck of it – great. If you look at this as “I’m changing my life” as opposed to “I am losing weight,” you will feel better. Very often the life changing will incorporate the losing. But know that you’re not perfect so you can’t do it perfectly. And don’t be the food police.
The food police drive me insane. Not that it’s a long drive. But really, not a lot is more annoying. I do believe owning up to what you’re doing is important. But be human. Don’t worry about doing whatever you’re doing at perfection level. You won’t last. And on the same note, do NOT worry about what others are saying about what you’re eating. Trust me, they’re eating crap, too. It’s okay. Sometimes I eat too much or really unhealthy foods. But I get to choose. I’m a grownup. I pick what I eat and can say no thank you as well. Don’t be turning up your nose at me looking at me with that “look” of superiority. I don’t have a camera crew in my fridge or pantry and I’m glad you don’t either. People with glass fridges shouldn’t throw chips. Or apples.