In my posts about my transformation story, I wanted to share my excitement about conquering my struggles, and moving beyond the ups and downs of my long lost weight loss adventure at almost 35, by starting to eat healthy and staying active. The most important thing I’ve have learned during this revelation was that “eating healthy and living an active life” is not a short-term decision and it should not be.
March is almost over, summer is here. Everyone is on some kind of a diet. I feel sorry when I see titles, status, labels like “I am on a diet, you are on a diet, we are on a diet.” I want to scream and say “My dear friends, you are on the wrong track.” Since I would not be able to express my deep thoughts and feelings on this sensitive issue with just a couple of short comments, I decided to pen this post on my blog.
“My dear dieter friend, who eats unhealthy for 9 months and tries to recuperate in 3 short months,
This path you are on will take you nowhere. Stop and turn around now! Listen to what I’ve learned from my decade long-dieting vs. two years of eating healthy and staying active:
I was raised in a culture where making delicious homemade food from scratch is a sought-after skill, especially for women. However, packaged foods industry is making its waves in our culture as well. Then it hands us to the diet industry. We take diet pills, drink diet drinks, go to the beauty stores, the esthetician’s office. Even though we might not feel lighter physically, our wallets get lighter for sure.
On one side we are tempted by foods made with processed carbs, cream and sugar and on the other side, we are lured by Victoria’s Secret models wearing sexy underwear and bikinis. We are all confused.
What’s worse is, the next generation coming after us is under worse social surroundings. We are raising a generation, who are observing their mothers and grandmas stuffing themselves with high carb, high-calorie foods one day and going on a diet the very next day. They are hypnotized by ads on TV, on the phone and on the streets targeting them that skinny is sexy and demanded.
I have been there. For years, I made really bad food choices for 9 months and dieted for the remaining 3. Every time a diet was over, I was wrecked. Then back to square one. 9 months of eating whatever and 3 months of diet. One step forward, two steps backward. I was upset. I was angry at myself. I was angry at people around me. I hated myself. Then I started having health issues. I realized that when I ate whatever and did not care about what I put into my mouth, I was damaging my body.
When I realized how my choices affected my body and health negatively, I noticed those pleasures I got from wrong food choices were just short term. In the long term, they were making me sad. They were the reason behind my fatigue and it caused me to be more hungry all the time. I had to make a 180 degree turn.
After completing the P90X program with no cheat food, which I started at the beginning of the year, I was tempted and said oh, come on, it is okay to eat this for one time. However, my body was not too happy about that. I was so used to eating healthy and clean, even one little wrong choice (cheat) was rejected by my body. What I did was wrong. It was wrong to put something unhealthy in my mouth even just for once. If I could not realize that, my body was going to give me signal and it did.
Most of us notice the signals our bodies send us but we tend to ignore them. Or maybe we try to put the blame on someone else instead of ourselves. Of course, how can we be responsible for what we eat, right? It is the fast food companies, companies producing packaged foods, restaurants are the responsible ones. We are not responsible what choose to eat from these places. We complain “Why don’t they sell healthy foods?” Our children’s bodies show reactions to these foods but we say “Oh, it is okay, they are children, if they don’t eat now, they will eat more later.” We place on the shelves at home, at schools the most dangerous foods where children have access to. They are children, when they are older, they will get on a diet, right?
Here is the bottom-line: If you want to be fit, if you want to be healthy, if you want to be energetic, if you would like to shine like a superstar, you have to accept this as a lifetime practice instead of a yo-yo process. You will find pleasure in consuming fresh greens, fragrant reds, and crunchy orange instead of foods made with processed carbs, with added sugar and salt. You will stay away from sugars before you have diabetes, before you have a heart condition, stay away from foods with processed carbs before you have celiac disease. You will learn to respond to people who ask you whether you are on a “diet” that you care about your health, so you eat healthily.
Don’t focus on an end result or a target; focus on the practice. If you keep going, this road will take you to the results you haven’t even dreamed of. Don’t bother with how many pounds you lose in a week, but see the fat to muscle ratio of your body is. Have your blood count, i.e. cholesterol, hormones, vitamins checked regularly to see your progress. If you don’t do this now, at one point, your body will make you do it by falling apart.
When you realize you need your body to stay healthy to get you through your retirement years and proper nutrition and active lifestyle are the keys to it, you question your years wasted doing calorie deficit dieting and rigorous workouts. Dieting and exercising should not be done only to lose weight for a short term.
Whether you are old, young, middle age, male or female even, if I can help one person to see that the best thing you can do for yourself and your family is eating healthy and exercising regularly and making this a lifestyle, it would make me a very happy person.”
I highly recommend you to watch these two videos: