I was a 200-pound 5th grader. It’s not a line that gets me any attention at the clubs, but it’s the truth. I was a 200-pound 5th grader.
I have been drawn and quartered by my love of junk food, health, vanity, and anxiety my entire life. That being said, one of the biggest cuss words in my life is diet.
It has such an ugly connotation to it. Why? Because that word implies giving something up. When our doctors or TV personalities say the word diet, we hear; “party’s over, here’s a celery stick bitch.” Oddly enough, it’s not the best motivator.
Now we’re at a crossroads. We want to fuel our vanity, feel healthy, and eat the Wendy’s "4 for $4." Doctors will tell you that you can’t have it all, that something’s gotta give. Having swum back from the deep end, I’m here to tell you that you can, in fact, have it all. You can. Since you are always hearing from other people about what you can and can’t do, how about you listen to what one more total stranger has to say and then decide for yourself. Here are 4 ways to feel healthy, while fueling your vanity, not depriving yourself, and most importantly taking the "die" out of "diet."
One choice at a time
I think the “Diet” train gets off the rails right when it leaves the station - which is cute.
Once again, diet implies that we need to make our lifestyles do a complete 180 in a day and then keep it that way until the end of time, no pressure of course. I’m here to tell you that this train of thought is WRONG. You can’t look me in the eyes and tell me to give up my Flaming Hot Cheetos. I would trade my firstborn for a bag of Hot Cheetos. Hell, my first born is probably going to be named Hot Cheetos (and y’all thought Saint was a weird first name, look out).
My point is - and I do have one trust me - is that no one wins if you feel deprived. So have your Hot Cheetos, Steve, or that Twinkie, Karen, because the way to lose weight and keep your sanity is to think choice to choice, not lifetime to lifetime. Maybe instead of a meatball sub at lunch, you have a chicken salad. Then when you get home, you can eat that twinkie like no one is watching. Or maybe instead of an entire bag of Hot Cheetos for a snack, I pour myself a small bowl.
One healthier choice might not seem like a lot, but imagine if instead of dieting, you vow to make a healthier choice when food options come your way. Those choices add up, even the littlest ones. Understanding the gravity of making small improvements, rather than totally overhauling your lifestyle, will lead you to any even healthier life one step at a time.
Half it out
My mom used to tell me that I never gave my brain a chance to catch up with my stomach. I didn’t know what she meant by that, so she explained “Danny, you eat so fast you aren’t giving yourself a chance to feel full.”
No lies detected. I am a serial fast eater. But oddly enough, what she said next paid off in spades for my body. “Take your meal and cut it in half. Eat the first one and wait at least 30 minutes. If you are still hungry, go back to it. If not, put it in the fridge and save it for your next meal.”
One adolescent eye roll later, I took her advice, divided up my chicken fingers, and waited 30 minutes like I was at the YMCA waiting to swim after I ate. Sure enough, my mother was right. The shock that my mother was actually right about something aside, the logic checked out. I ate a meal that filled me up, had a portion of leftovers, had a meal lined up for dinner, and cut the number of calories I would have eaten by one whole meal. Now it’s like I get two meals for the price of one with the amount calories equal to one meal.
Granted, sometimes this doesn’t always work. You are allowed to be hungry enough to eat a 20pc chicken nugget and a medium fry. There is nothing wrong with that. At the same time, no one gets hurt if you half it up, and give your body time to decide if it needs food. Worst case, you spread out digestion, which is better for you anyways. Best case, you can stretch one meal into two sittings and take off a meal's worth of calories. I see no loser here, except of course the chicken.
“Wisdom is situational” - Me
My mom may have had some food wisdom with halfing, but she was terrible about drinking water. Leslie drank Diet Coke like a fish with a drinking problem. Guess what Diet Coke doesn’t do? Hydrate or help you in any way shape or form. Water clears your skin, aids digestion, hydrates your body and pushes toxins out of your body. It’s the best fiber in nature’s arsenal, and if you are in the 1st world, it’s easily accessible. One of the easiest weight loss changes to commit to is to drink the amount of water your body needs based on your build.
Having all the tools to build a house is great. But if you roll up to the lot and all you have is tools and no plan, that house isn’t getting built. Taking the tools and focusing on goals gets the job done. Decide what you are working towards and then make a series of small goals to accomplish that task.
Telling you to build a house is one thing. Telling you to lay the foundation, run plumbing, wire electric, add siding, and a roof is a different thing. My overarching goal could be (is) to look like Kim Kardashian.
But if I don’t sit down and look at how to get there step by step, Imma keep lookin’ like an upside down triangle instead of a bombshell. Sit yourself down and think of a goal. Take that goal and break down what it would take to get there. Then break that down into something a normal, human person, who has a job, and a life can accomplish. Your goal by the end of a month could simply be to lose 3 pounds. Progress is progress. Kim Kardashian wasn't made in a day, that took several surgeries and a hefty workout routine to maintain. God I love that woman 😍
Instead of calling it a diet, let’s just call it changing. Not a big change, not complete and total change, but changes; little and progressive. Rome and Kim Kardashian were not built in a day. We need to take diet out of our vocab all together, learn to embrace who we are, and understand that if we want to make some changes, we can start off small. Build a healthier you one step at a time so you can learn to love yourself as much as I love Kim Kardashian.