I have spent most of my life in a less-than-perfect relationship with food and a self-sabotaging approach to eating, and in my quest to be “thin” have tried to deprive myself skinny. Since tweenhood and maybe even earlier, the way in which I have viewed my body is neither as gift nor temple but as something to be changed and improved upon.
I am now on a mission to change this, and Weight Watchers is helping me. See, the problem is that when you have swung between overeating and deprivation for as long as you can remember, it is challenging to know when and what to eat in order to be healthy and moderate but still enjoy food.
I approached my journey with Weight Watchers as a way to aid in healthy eating in order to maintain a healthy body. As Weight Watchers’ new hedonic hunger research tells us, we are bombarded with temptation and it takes a conscious approach to food to help make sure we do not overindulge. This way we learn to listen to our body and what it needs instead of having an emotional response to food. And it has been working. I am down over 15lbs and feel much more in control!
This makes it sound simple but it really is complex. I want to love my body. And I’ve made a conscious decision to change my point of view: I want to focus on what I like about myself, instead of what I feel is wrong. I am on this journey to give myself the gift of a strong and healthy body: not a number on the scale, not an image from a magazine. I want to be strong and healthy because I feel better in every way when I am. I don’t want to deprive myself but I also don’t want to overindulge because that doesn’t feel good either.
So, I have made changes to my spaces and routines, ensuring I track everything I put in my mouth. The biggest change is that we simply do not have temptation in the house. There are certain foods I can’t resist and I know this about myself. Put a bag of chips in my pantry and it will be gone before you know it. The rest of my family doesn’t need these foods around either. There are lots of opportunities for treats.
Buying ingredients instead of finished meals.
Another thing I have been doing is buying “ingredients” instead of finished meals. My husband and I are very busy and our kids are involved in tons of activities so convenience has always been a priority. But what I have found is that I can make some very simple meals and feel good about what goes into them. I made an asparagus pasta with a little balsamic and garlic and my son said it was one of his favourite meals. My daughter and I made homemade chicken fingers and she declared them to be better than the packaged kind. And our breakfasts for dinner are always a huge hit. Being involved in preparing my meals and thinking about what goes into them has made me more mindful and aware of what I am consuming.
Of course, this is all a work in progress and I am still a ways off from looking in the mirror and celebrating but I know that I can and I should and I am trying. One day soon I know I’ll look at my body and see it as an amazing gift that has taken me through my life’s journey.
Here’s to an ongoing commitment to a healthy mind and body!