I think I’ve tried every diet under the sun – going on my first diet at 14, I got a pretty early start. I’ve been a vegetarian and tried Atkins, I’ve eaten for my blood type and gone full Paleo. I’ve eliminated, cleansed and detoxed. I’ve been low fat and low carb. And I’ve just not eaten all together.
I never imagined that my day to day life would revolve so much around food and diet – but here I am. I started playing with my diet – like most women – because I wasn’t happy with my body and wanted to lose weight. Lucky for me that although my life and my job would keep me in the diet loop, I was at least going to be smarter about it. In naturopathic school I learned a lot about a whole foods, more natural way of eating that seemed very nourishing. At the same time, I became more and more interested in metabolism and fat loss, and I learned how to manipulate this or that to affect a certain hormone. This was awesome because I was able to see big changes in my body, but it did bring up some old diet demons. I’ve been thinking about what went into my mouth for nearly as long as I can remember. The more and more I got into the diet and fat loss world the more twisted things got for me and I started actually being afraid of food. We’ve all been there right? Afraid of this carb or that fat and worried constantly about how what we’re eating is making us fat. I am grateful for my past dieting experience because I learned a ton and of course, much of what I learned I now use not only for myself, but with my patients as well…but things get a little weird when you start having fear around food. For the past 6 months I’ve been trying to shift my focus from fear to nourishment. In my late twenties I finally learned how to cook, and good thing I learned before I moved to Manhattan where anything can be delivered and people use their ovens for storage. The thought of cooking for myself in the past just made me tired – the grocery shopping, the prep work and then still needing to cook it…ugh. Seemed like a big hassle and a ton of work, but when I shifted my focus from dieting and started to look at food as nourishment (Novel idea huh? Since that’s what food actually is!), cooking for myself became a lot easier and it felt a lot better. If we view taking good care of ourselves as a chore it will always be hard and we’ll always want to make it easier by eating more quick, processed foods and take out. If we view it as doing something loving and nourishing for ourselves the process of cooking itself can be as healthy for us as the good, nutritious food we’re eating. I’m not saying I get to eat whatever I want. I will always have to watch my carb intake or my insulin resistance will rear its head – and my rear will suffer the consequences. I will always feel better when I avoid gluten, dairy and soy. I will always have less cravings and be more satisfied when I eat a ton of vegetables. And I’m not saying I won’t tighten it up from time to time as I still work towards my body comp goals. But from now on I’m opting for keeping my wits about me and coming at it from a place of nourishment, not punishment. Here I don’t feel restricted and I don’t feel like I’m on a diet.