Let’s face it: If you’re on this journey alongside me, you know there are some things you have to say “NO!” to and others you have to say “YES!” to if you’re going to survive the brainwashing, manipulative, subversive messages out there. No one is going to protect you like you.
No More Weight. Scales in your home, be gone! Scales at the doctors’ offices? Kindly ask them to not share the number with you. (If they laugh, tell them you’re serious. If they ask if you’re serious, gently tell them you used to have an eating disorder and the number is not important to you.) Protect your mind. Those numbers get in there and they screw with you. Somehow they have power over you. How good you are. How healthy you are. How good you’ve been eating. Whether you should do more or not. These numbers are NOTHING. They are meaningless and they don’t deserve a place in your head. Once they get into your head, they find a way into your heart too. Not worth it.
No More Calories. When you want something to eat, eat it. Don’t question the calories or fat – trust your cravings! I’m a label reader, by trade, by profession, by obsession. Back in the day it was calories, fat, sugar, protein, and carbohydrates. I absorbed it all and calculated totals with the enthusiasm only an accountant could muster. Now I read labels to know ingredients only. Can I pronounce them? Are they real or synthetic? Is this going to please my body for both the short- and long-term? So, please, read the labels so you know what you’re feeding your body, but ignore the other stuff. Those numbers are for people who actually believe we are machines composed solely of calories-in-calories-out. We know better.
No More Low-Fat-No-Fat Games. Fat is good! Haven’t you heard? Whole fat milk, yogurt and cheese will bring you all the enzymes needed to break down the food and distribute the nutrients accordingly, while satisfying you sooner. Low-fat and fat-free versions are going to give you all the sugar needed to make sure you don’t get the most out of the food you’re eating (and probably crave more). You deserve better. You deserve fat. Cook with coconut oil. Drizzle foods with olive oil. Enjoy an avocado and cook your egg in a pat of butter. Do you know that your brain NEEDS fat? It’s 60% fat and thrives on fat. I’m not talking about trans-fats (deadly) or fast food fried fats (yuck). I’m talking about real, natural, healthy, wonderful fats like those that come naturally from or with foods (dairy fat, beef fat, chicken fat/skin, healthy oils like coconut, grapeseed oil, olive oil and the like). When you opt to leave out the fat, you’re only hurting your brain, not helping your figure.
Yes to Positive Body Image Media. Read all the articles you can about the Health at Every Size Movement (HAES). Watch videos about Photoshopping models and air brushing famous people so they can look “perfect”. Educate yourself on the un-attainability of such perfection, so you can be FREE from it. You’ve worked hard to accept yourself and love yourself and feed yourself. You deserve to be free from the dieting commercials and media that brings you down on yourself. So, click on the uplifting articles floating around Facebook, not the “how to lose weight” advertisements. Tell me you’re over it. I’m over it, but if I catch myself looking or thinking curiously what they’re up to, I turn elsewhere, because it’s my mind and heart at stake and frankly, they don’t care about me.
Yes to Movement. Please don’t go for a run because it will burn “x” amount of calories. Don’t grab those weights because you know that muscle burns more calories than fat. Say yes to movement, not exercise. Stretch because you’ve been sitting at the computer for an hour and it would feel soooooo good. Walk around the block because the air is crisp and your lungs would love it. Play tag with your daughter because laughing and running together are memories you want to make. Sure, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther from your destination than you need to, and take that Zumba class you’ve been eyeing, but do it for your heart, your life and your happiness, not your weight.
There may come a time when you glimpse the scale at the doctor’s office and you can’t get the number out of your head. There may come a time when you start counting calories without even meaning to, or ban yourself from a food because you haven’t been eating “good” lately. It’s normal. You’re not alone. But beware the slippery slope; reach out to me or anyone who’s aware of your journey and don’t get sucked in. Remember: it’s YOUR journey and you control what information gets past the gates of your mind and into your heart.
One last tip: be careful who you put up on the expert pedestal. I have read and followed many nutritionists, health experts and doctors. I admire their research, tips and advice. Often times, I will repost articles and concepts I’ve learned from them and I appreciate all of it. And then, the moment comes when they start posting “lose weight” or “burn more calories”. I sigh. I “unfollow” them and I move on. I think these types of headlines are alarmist and misleading. They play into the false hope of women everywhere that there is a magic pill, diet or food that will suddenly make them lose weight and achieve everything they’ve always wanted. I can’t buy into that and I hope you won’t either.
I’m going to say this clearly: I’m not going to sell out. I may be a holistic nutritionist and I may try to build my website, my followers, my client list, and my portfolio, but I’m not going to sell out and start advertising weight loss strategies. I’m not going to promise you pounds or inches. No matter how many more “clicks” I’d get if I made those promises, I won’t do it to you or myself. Ever.
I’m going to offer you peace of mind, self-love and freedom. Always.