Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June 18th, 2014 My Food Philosophy

June 18th, 2014 My Food Philosophy

Today was one of those rare days where I didn't snack. I'm getting away from the "snack because it's time to snack" mentality. If I'm hungry, I have something prepared and ready. My snack bag remained untouched today. I'll have something small before bed as my #lastfoodofday, but really, if I'm satisfied and not hungry, why would I eat? My three meals today were enough.








I rarely have cravings but today I did. For some reason, I was craving fresh homemade guacamole. I was thinking about it on the elliptical at the Y. I decided, okay--guacamole it is! Since I started weighing and measuring everything, I'm a little less apprehensive about calorie dense foods--and guac can get that way quickly. Taking the guess work out of the equation has helped me expand my food variety.

I've mentioned it before but it's important to point out again: I eat what I like. And the choices I'm making are made because it's where I am, now. I previously lost 275 pounds eating much differently. It wasn't right or wrong then and my eating habits are not right or wrong now. They're simply reflective of where I am today. I like what I'm doing. It's working for me.

And that's key, in my opinion--finding what works for you. Discovering what you can do, what you like and how you like it. I don't like labeling anything "right or wrong-good or bad." Food is food. When someone asks me for advice on what they should eat as they get started along this road, I always tell them the same thing: Eat what you like, just set a budget and consistently stay within the budget. Trust that your choices will evolve in time. 

If you've been a regular reader of this blog from back in the middle of my initial weight loss, you might remember days where a Snickers Bar, Ice cream, fried mushrooms, cake, fast food cheeseburgers and Taco Bell all made their way into my budget. I don't look back on that time and think, wow--I didn't eat very well. I look back and think, that's where I was and needed to be at that time. Having been 500 pounds for so long, I instinctively knew that I wasn't going to change a lifetime of habits overnight. And I felt like if I tried, it would end up another failed attempt. In my opinion, the "nothing is off limits" philosophy is still valid and important, because it allows us to be where we are, be ourselves--growing and developing in a naturally organic way.

We learn about ourselves along the way. I've learned that I can't do sugar. It took until just recently to arrive at a place of acceptance with this personal truth and for me, it's made a profound difference. But not everybody is a food addict or addicted to sugar, so giving up sugar may not be what's right for you.

The main reason why I've always been a proponent of simplicity when it comes to food is because along this road it's about so much more than food and exercise. The mental/emotional/psychological elements in play are all bigger and more challenging than "what should I eat?" In my opinion, if the greater focus is placed on the food and exercise instead of the mental/emotional/psychological dynamics--then we end up facing the biggest elements unprepared.  If you've ever heard someone say (or said it yourself): "I don't know what happened--I was eating as clean as possible and working out twice a day and I just crashed." It's my experience and opinion, a misaligned focus is to blame.

There are no right or wrong foods. Eat what you like and allow yourself a natural evolution of good choices along the way. The practice of maintaining the integrity of a calorie budget can have a powerful impact on this evolution because we're trying to get the most value for our calories.

And never compare what you're eating to someone else's food. Remember, we're all different. And sometimes the biggest mental hurdles come when we compare what we're eating to our own expectations or what we perceive to be what we should be eating. My best advice is to let it go. Just be you and give yourself room to grow and develop.

Thank you for reading,
Strength,
Sean

10 comments:

  1. your blog seems interesting but I cant get past the ugly layout

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    1. Ugly layout, beautiful content. Look deeper dear Anonymous, and you will be blessed with life changing insights. :-)

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    2. Superficial, much? Plenty of "pretty" blogs out there, Anonymous--enjoy those and thank you for stopping by!

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  2. Well said Sean,

    Along my own journey of no artificial sweeteners and sugar I always eat what I want and enjoy the food more with my new eating habits than I did with my old eating habits eating all that sugar. In regards to my old eating habits, allowing me to maintain over 500 pounds, were eating habits that are considered very normal in today's society. It's just I consumed a lot more of everything. With my own changed eating habits recently loosing over 80 pounds these past few months, it has not influenced my family and long known friends to change there own eating habits, which goes back to say they eat normal for today's society. My new eating habits, no AS, very little added sugar, very little processed food and cutting out most of the grains, it is very much different, rare, not social friendly for the average American. While I try to encourage my own family and friends to cut out the sugar, knowing it would help them considerably, I am not to judge being just six months removed from a lifetime of bad eating habits myself. However I do blog my own story on spark people, hoping to target individuals overweight there entire lives like me & and take some credit for helping Shawn convert to no sugar. My theory, the heavier, more overweight we are the more likely sugar may be causing the continued hunger issues and why people like myself and Sean notice great results cutting out sugar.

    What I also have learned along my own journey is my way is one way and everyone is different. I have enjoyed reading about great weight loss success story's that had completely different eating habits. What works for them will not work for me and vice versa, which is why it's so important for each of us to learn what works best for yourself. Having said that I do believe no AS, no sugar and limit most processed foods is going to be most helpful for individuals like myself & Shawn who have been much overweight most of there lives. Getting as far away as what is considered normal eating habits in today's society and replace them with completely different much healthier eating habits. My motive is lead by example, I will continue to set my own standards, influence family and friends along the way. When individuals like myself and Shawn loose all the weight and then keep it off for a number of years people will take notice. Through example your putting yourself in position to help others which can make a difference.

    Jon L

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    1. Jon-- great comment, my friend. I couldn't agree with you more. Finding what works for us is definitely an individual specific/customized type thing. You have absolutely been instrumental in tipping me into giving no sugar an honest effort--and wow--- I can't say enough good things about the remarkable difference I've experienced in two months. It's fantastic, Jon!! I plan on visiting your blog this afternoon. Take care and thank you!

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  3. I really like this post, especially the point about individualism. I DO believe some foods are "healthier" than others. And some people can jump right on that and do fantastic. Others (like me 'n you) must allow it to evolve for us, as we become healthier in our thinking and therefore are ready and willing to make more and more changes as we go along.

    I realize the food police have a cow when someone talks about how they kept within their calorie range but "spent" it on a snickers. But I get it. We do what we are able at the time, and get better over time. I mean sheesh, I used to down a gallon of ice cream in a day. I don't do that anymore! But I started out eating those crummy artificially sweetened store bought low calorie ice creams as a substitute, like a BRIDGE to the better choices that came later. Some people just can't understand why others might need bridge foods for a time.

    I agree with your philosophy. When one is on a quest for improved health, we need to just be supportive, and trust that over time as they are ready they will gravitate towards healthier and healthier food choices, as their INNER "mental/emotional/psychological dynamics" gets healthier and stronger, and as they learn more.

    If I had to describe your coaching approach in one sentence, I'd say it's a supportive "build 'em up" approach, not a knock 'em down style. :-D

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    1. I love your term "bridge foods." That is an awesome descriptor!!! I agree with you--absolutely some foods are healthier than others, for certain--I mean, obviously.. What I've noticed is, when we apply a label of "bad" food to something, the emotional/psychological damage after consuming it becomes for greater than the actual physical damage--and all because we decided a particular food was "bad" or "off limits." You're very right, food is food--some choices are healthier than others--it's the self imposed labeling and negative perceptions that seem to trip many of us the most. Just being us and being okay within limits and allowing ourselves to evolve naturally--just seems right and good to me. I also agree with you on the "some people can jump right on..." It all comes down to knowing ourselves--perhaps trial and error.. I was never one of those people! :) Thank you Retta!!

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  4. Great post! You're absolutely right - it is a journey and there are no right or wrong foods. I know my way of eating is very different than others, but it works for me and helps me (most of the time!) stay on track and in control. I don't know if I'll ever figure myself out - it's an ongoing process that I expect will last for the rest of my life.

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    1. Yes indeed, LM--for the rest of our lives! Our long, happy and healthy lives! ;) It's worth the effort!

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