A few years ago, a diabetic woman came to see me for a nutrition consultation because she was ready to lose weight and improve her health. She had been dependent on insulin for most of her adult life; she was more than 100 pounds overweight and had many other symptoms from diabetes making her daily activities challenging.
As we discussed her diet, it turned out that she had a confession to make. She knew that she should be avoiding sweets because of her high blood sugar. She admitted that she was regularly eating candy bars and using extra insulin to lower her blood sugar. Self-sabotage isn’t always this obvious; it can be expressed as guilt or regret, which is a common issue I hear my patients talk about.
How many times have you started on a diet or a new way of eating only to be tempted by something your friends, family or coworkers have put in front of you?
Have you eaten sweets just because they are in your house or at your office? Or finished all of the food on your plate even though you were full? Only to look in the mirror later or try on your pants which have gotten too tight and then regretted it afterwards?
Loving your body and loving your food are two ideas that go hand in hand. Make the connection between what you are putting in your mouth and how you will feel afterwards. When you are selecting food to put on your plate, try taking a small portion of only wholesome, fresh foods and then sitting down to eat. Eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly and enjoy the flavors and aromas. Stay present and aware while you are eating and don’t multi-task, as this can lead to mindless eating.
Choose your food carefully by planning ahead and filling a small cooler with colorful fruits and vegetables. Vibrant colors and bite-sized pieces make snacking on healthy foods inviting. Plan ahead by having the right foods in your kitchen and it will only take a few minutes to prepare. Once you start this healthy habit it can easily become your way of life.
Avoid self-sabotage and make decisions in advance about what you are going to eat and stick to it! Make good choices and then keep making good choices. If you ‘fall off the wagon’ step right back on without guilt and without wallowing in self-deprecation. Remember, the more frequently you can make healthy food choices, the easier it will be to make that your new way of eating.
Keep your body fit and flexible. Do something nurturing for yourself like getting a massage. Have fun with exercise that you enjoy, such as dance, yoga, tai chi or walking. Be mindful of your breath; practice deep breathing as a way of reducing stress and calming your mind.
When you see yourself in the mirror, accept yourself for how your body looks right now. Remember you are a perfect expression of all that you have been through, which is completely individualized and distinctively you. When you choose your next meal, imagine you are feeding the most special person in your life, because you are!
Remember beautiful food = beautiful you!
If you’d like more health tips, check out Samadhi’s book, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Healthy You.
Originally published in “A Better You” of the Orlando Sentinel newspaper on February 21, 2016. Reprinted with permission.
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