In our last podcast, Ally and I discussed running and staying (or getting) in shape.
For years, I had maintained that exercise and healthy eating were for overly-conscious people who didn’t enjoy life’s little pleasures. A piece of cheesecake, a couple donuts, a giant cupcake. I now find that that was an unfair assumption and I am trying to resist these things myself. Not because I don’t enjoy life’s pleasures, but because I was — simple put — unhealthy.
The equation, “eat less, move more,” is easy to understand and even easier to say, but DOING it is beyond difficult. Whenever I hear anyone, particularly celebrities say, “It’s all about moderation. I eat what I want, but in small portions, I don’t deprive myself of my cravings,” I have the urge to jump out of my chair.
Maybe it’s my metabolism, maybe it’s my taste buds, but I have never been able to follow this rule. If I were to eat what I really wanted to eat — in moderation — I would be backpedaling on my journey to fitness. Guess what? I do have to deprive myself of a cookie, a piece of cake, a late night snack. If I’m itching for something sweet, I have something small, but moderate portions of everything I actually wanted to eat? Forget it.
Keep in mind..I don’t deprive myself when I’m hungry. I eat until I’m full (Remember that whole listening to your body trick? When you tune everything else out, it actually works!) but I don’t indulge.
It’s hard. It’s annoying. It sometimes makes me irritable and on rainy days, I hate forcing myself to go for a run and eat a couple eggs for lunch when I really want a burger.
But you know what? Slowly, but surely, these decisions start lining up. First you stop ordering dessert everywhere you go, then you stop grabbing a snack when everyone else is eating “just to be social.” You realize that you were reaching for food you didn’t want and your body didn’t need. It becomes a lifestyle. Somewhere inside of you, your body is changing and understand what you’re trying to do.
Suddenly I find myself craving an egg white instead of chicken tenders. I reach for a banana for breakfast instead of the pop-tarts. Sometimes I still reach for a candy bar but I eat half and find myself giving the other half away.
It starts working and that feeling is better than any feeling a creme-filled donut, an ice cream sandwich or a basket of fries can give you.
Here’s to life’s pleasures in forms other than cinnamon buns..