I was talking to my silly sissy this morning about her attempt to get everyone in the house to go gluten and casein free for a few weeks. Her youngest son has autism and after this was suggested a while back, she finally decided it was time to try it. Yesterday, her best friend took her to the grocery to get what they would need to start this and she packed everything with gluten and casein and gave it to her best friend to take with her. Her oldest son was already distraught about not having cereal last night. He looked in the pantry and said something like, “You’re making us all go on a diet, aren’t you?”
In our society we equate “dieting” with deprivation and weight loss. We “go on a diet” because we want to lose weight and that means depriving ourselves of what we love and savor. We have names for these diets, too. Low fat diet. Low carb diet. Low calorie diet. Among all those other silly fad diets.
However, we don’t really “go on a diet.” A diet is what we eat. We’ve been on a diet since the day we were born. The word has just been twisted around to mean something other than what it really defines. Every time I’ve “gone on a diet” I re-framed it to “I’m changing my eating habits.” That’s what it really is. We have habitually eaten the All-American diet. You know the one I mean. Burgers, french fries, pizza, hot dogs, chips, fried chicken, soda, root beer floats. Anything outside of the All-American diet and we’re “on a diet.” How messed up is that?
I’m on month 3 of changing my diet. Like I mentioned before, having read what the foods really do to our bodies, I wanted none of it and didn’t even perceive this change as deprivation. Yes, there is a lot I can’t have, but I don’t want it either. It doesn’t mean I don’t crave it. I do. I know the further removed I get from it, the less I’ll crave it. I’ve already tried to have pizza. It left me feeling sluggish and fat. I didn’t have any digestive problems after changing my diet until I had the pizza. Yuck. I don’t really want pizza anymore. I’m hoping if I give in to a Big Mac craving it will make me really sick, then I know I’ll never have another one ever again.
You have to really want change to be successful. My motivation for change was feeling healthy again and trying to get my thyroid working naturally. Know what your food triggers are. I learned a few of mine and it’s helped through the years. When I see people eat, I feel the need to eat whether I really need to or not. My husband likes to snack. Sometimes it seems as if it’s never-ending snacking between meals. My combatant to that is if it is the afternoon and I just have to have something because he is, I reach for my nut and seed mix. So far we’ve been able to avoid the late night food runs lately, so that’s helped me curb that. I got into the habit of late night snacking when I was living in the dorms in college. The combination of staying up later than I was used to to study and having roommates and friends that snacked left me feeling hungry. There was also the factor of being a “starving student.” I would end up eating when the opportunity presented itself. Late night? Okay! Who wants to got on a Bubbie’s run for ice cream?”
I’ve been guilty of the occasional binge because I’m upset. That’s what girls do, right? Binge. OMG! I’m fat! Binge again. I’m never going to look good. Binge again. No wonder we have eating disorders. TV shows, movies and even with our own friends we see the use of food as a way to cope with stress. But, we have pictures of size 0 models and actresses telling us that we should look just like them. Seriously? Do you see the mixed messages we get without realizing it? No wonder we sigh and mutter, “I have to go on a diet.”
Don’t even get me going on the commercials from the food industry telling us that things like high fructose corn syrup are “fine in moderation.” For me, they are just targeting the majority of the population that haven’t read about the effects of high fructose corn syrup on our bodies. We’ve all done it, right? We believed something we were told on TV. They wouldn’t lie to us. They have our best interests in mind otherwise they wouldn’t be producing this. By the way, if you don’t know me and you’re reading this, I’m a highly sarcastic person.
Okay, enough about false advertising. Back on track. Another trigger of mine is talking about food. This is a particularly difficult trigger sometimes. I talk about food. It’s what I do. Ask any of my friends. At least 50% of the conversations I have are about food. I have friends here in Kentucky who have complained that when I come back from a visit home (Hawai`i) I don’t talk about the beaches I went to or the sight-seeing I did, I talk about the food. It’s a family thing. If you take a look at my family’s statuses on FB, a lot of them are about food. We gather around food, we eat, we talk and a lot of it is about food. I have a group of friends and when we all talk, it always eventually turns into food talk. I just love to talk about food. That can’t be bad, can it? It can when it triggers hunger and cravings. I’ve noticed that since changing my diet, I’ve been able to curb the hunger and cravings when we talk about food. Probably because now I’m telling them to give up sugar and refined foods. hahahahaha
If you really want to change your eating habits, find out what your triggers are and then make a plan to deal with those triggers when they arise. Simple, right? Right. Not so easy to put into practice.