These are the three words I heard repeated over and over in my Weight Watchers meeting on Tuesday.
The meeting topic was deprivation and what to do when you’re feeling deprived. Many of the women said they try to distract themselves or eat a fruit or veggie when they’re feeling deprived of their favorite foods or are having cravings.
Next, they talked about the guilt the feel after eating something they “shouldn’t” or “can’t”.
Last, the fear came. Fear they would fall of the diet, fear they would gain back some weight, and fear of what others would say about their food choices. Fear that someone might say, “I thought you were on a diet. Should you be eating that?”
Then, the cyle begins again.
If you ask me, guilt, deprivation and fear don’t belong in a healthy lifestyle change. If the Biggest Loser and other weight loss shows have taught me anything, it’s that you have to change your mental health along the way in order to change your physical health. Beating yourself up over and over again doesn’t do any good.
The way I see it, if you’re feeling deprived or having a really strong craving, it’s best to eat what you really want…in moderation. I’ve found that the craving goes away, but even better, once I start eating it I realize it usually isn’t as good as I remembered.
If we stop beating ourselves up over being human, the guilt will subside. Do something about a choice you aren’t fond of, such as going for a walk. Not to “erase the damage” but to do something to make your mind and body feel better. Make no apologies, just acknowledge that it was something you needed and move on without further thought.
Truly, what is there to fear? We all fluctuate a few pounds here and there and it’s natural. Every day is it’s own adventure and by not fully living life and enjoying the things around us be cause of fear, we aren’t experiencing things the way we should. Those snide comments from others? Who cares?! Dismiss their comments because deep down they are either saying it to make themselves feel better by belitting you OR because they think these comments are helpful. Sometimes, it’s because they want your advice on getting healthy and losing weight but they’re scared to ask for it. See the vicious cyle popping up again?
Sure, by getting rid of the guilt, deprivation and fear, I haven’t lost weight as quickly as I’d like to. After all, we’d all like that magic pill that takes care of it for us. But, I can say I’ve experienced what my day has to offer and enjoyed it. I’m happier and FEEL lighter because of the freedom of not being a slave to these negative feelings.
If I want ice cream, I eat it. Just less than what I would have eaten before my lifestyle change. Do I fear that I’ll gain weight again? Nope, but I acknowledge there might be a temporary fluctuation. Am I having fun? Absolutely! Am I healthy? Yes!
These things go hand-in-hand with my previous post about playing like a kid. Do what feels right for you and your body. As long as you’re healthy (by this I mean good numbers where the doctors are concerned: blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol, etc.), then you’re doing something right!