Peggy relates what happened to her diet of deprivation, processed diet foods, and diet coke when she joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to Morocco.
Diet coke was only available at the US Embassy snack bar, six hours away from the small town where she was assigned and low fat, processed foods were non-existent. With no other choice, she decided to accept her situation and began eating the locally available food - real homemade food. She ate bread, fruit, yogurt, soups, cookies, and delicious tangines (meat and veggie stews).
Ending the Food Battle and Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle Instead
Putting aside her fear of losing control and gaining weight, she ate what she wanted when she wanted - effective waiving the white flag and ending the food battle. An amazing thing happened - she lost weight and felt great.
She was forced into a situation that allowed her to develop a healthy, pleasurable relationship with real food. She stopped struggling, stopped dieting, started enjoying real food and lost weight!
Studies show again and again that diets don't work - they actually lead to weight gain. Yet we continue to be bombarded with diet after diet that more often than not, lead to feelings of deprivation, and obsession about food, hoarding, overeating, and bingeing - the exact opposite of ending the food battle.
My Paris Experiment
I had an experience similar to Peggy's when I first visited Paris years ago. I decided to throw caution to the wind and eat whatever I wanted - baguettes and butter, rich full fat yogurt, chocolate mousse, croissants, wine, cheese, bouillabaisse, and cassoulet.
The food was incredibly fresh, of high quality, and deeply satisfying. I felt nourished in a way that is impossible on highly processed diet food. I walked a lot, had a wonderful time, and didn't gain an ounce. I defied the diet gurus. I indulged in 'fattening food' and didn't gain weight. I've been enamored of French Weight Loss Secrets Ever Since.
Might the 'diet experts' be wrong? Absolutely. We are not machines. We are complex beings with bodies, minds, and souls. Consequently the issues of eating and weight are not simply a function of calories in and calories out! Though they're important ingredients, the recipe for healthy eating is more complex.
Are you ready to begin the process of ending the food battle? I know it can be scary to let go of your old beliefs, to begin to trust yourself, and let go of the need to control your body. The rewards are so worth it. Food is not the enemy. Food is one of the great pleasures of life and deserves to be treated with love and respect. When nothing is forbidden, attraction often diminishes. You really don't want as much ice cream as you think you do!
Trust + Discipline + Pleasure
The key is to tune into your body and learn to eat when you are physically hungry and stop when you are physically satisfied, slow down, and enjoy your food, celebrate it, and find pleasure in it. Another is to develop compassion for yourself and find alternative ways to deal with emotional issues that may cause you to eat when you are not actually hungry. And you must move your body, engaging in physical activity you enjoy - walking, gardening, swimming, playing tennis, dancing. Focus on cultivating vibrant health, not some perceived perfect number on the scale. Don't let yourself get overly hungry, eat in a way that supports your health, at regular intervals to prevent blood sugar dips and mood swings.
I encourage you to give ending the food battle a try. Take a small step. This approach to eating is liberating, life affirming, enjoyable. Since I gave up dieting several years ago and instead decided to commit a healthy balanced lifestyle, my weight fluctuates a few pounds, but nothing drastic. After indulging, my body naturally wants to eat less, seeking its own healthy equilibrium.
When you end your battle with food, each day is an opportunity to pay attention, gain insight, enjoy eating, and relax into yourself.
- Positive Thinking and Weight Loss Success
- The Slow Down Diet
- 7 Things You Can Do to Lose Weight That Do NOT Include Food or Exercise (Organize Yourself Skinny)
- 45 Reasons French Women Don’t Get Fat
- What Weight Watchers Can Learn from French Food Rules
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