How are you today?
…As I was getting my usual daily must-have indulgence (a large cup of coffee with 1 tsp. of sugar, lots of skim milk and LOTS of cocoa powder) a few days back and I ran into a good friend of mine. We had a little chat about staying in shape and she asked me how do I manage to stay so thin… Well… What can I say? It took me awhile to figure myself out. (Because I think that it’s all it is – being able to manage your own mind and with that – your overall appearance.) But I can now probably say that I’ve been pretty successful at it, since shape-wise I am generally where I want myself to be… (5’5 and 107 lb., just for the record).
I really wanted to help my friend because I am definitely no stranger to all these body-image issues…
- there were times when I HATED what I saw in the mirror…
- there were times when I felt TOTALLY out of control…
- there were also times when I struggled to lose even one pound a week without feeling deprived and “tortured”!
But… It all started when I had that crush on that young man in college… Oh, those teenage heartaches! 🙂 This is when I have become a “skinny trend” victim and began my journey toward making myself “the best version of me”.
Now, this journey wasn’t always healthy (just as some of the relationships that induced it… Sigh…). Being a perfectionist that I am I struggled to reach that “ideal appearance” that in our culture most of the time means “being the lowest weight you can be and to be still losing even more weight”. I’ve learned it a hard way that being skinny doesn’t mean being beautiful (because healthy is beautiful; and sickly… is not).
But at that same time with all the ups and downs on that treacherous journey I did figure a few things out and had developed some “tools” that I now use to regulate my bodyweight without feeling tortured at the same time.
I hope that my simple techniques that I’m about to share with you will help you to finally become “friends” with yourself. But the most important tip (learned a hard way!) that I want to give you to begin with, is to please remember that yes, you CAN be the best version of yourself… But please, please, please! Make sure that it will be the HEALTHIEST, not the SKINNIEST version of you. Because trust me – when you aren’t feeling well – your beauty will start fading away…
So, as far as my “tools” go… Let me just begin with describing the “process” that helped me transform myself from a junk-food junkie to a healthy-foods addict:
- The first step was the hardest…. I just stopped eating the junk. But going “dry” curbed some of the cravings since I slowly started getting “unused” to the junky taste of the junk food and began enjoying how it felt to have a “cleaner” body. And you know what I’ve learned? You CAN change what you crave. It’s difficult at first. But if you just do it – the “bad” stuff will start losing its appeal. And then… you will start craving that sweet and crunchy apple because you will just KNOW how GREAT you’re going to feel afterwards!
- But it wasn’t that first step that helped me feel like I was really in control. I’d still “slip away” sometimes and what’s worse – hated myself for that. But then… I figured out that there ARE ways to make a healthy lifestyle enjoyable and easy to maintain. I’ve realized that HEALTHY doesn’t have to be plain or boring! It doesn’t have to look like this: (I DON’T LIKE GREEN SMOOTHIES! NO MATTER HOW HEALTHY THEY ARE!!!) And my diet doesn’t have to look like that: But if I just put my mind into it, I can make things both healthy AND tasty! And I can have so much FUN whipping it all up (vs. plainly going to a store and buying it. How basic is that?)!
- Finally I’ve realized that it’s not the junky food that we crave! It isn’t any type of food that we crave most of the time… What we crave is the COMFORT that a certain ROUTINE gives us. Yes! It’s all about having something good to look forward to! Because those little pleasant moments that we anticipate (and unpleasant ones that we all have to deal with) are really what our daily lives are made of… Think about it: we all deal with stress. At times it drains us out of our energy. Some things upset us, or make us anxious, or worried, or just make us feel down a bit. Right? But we also have this pre-installed mechanism inside us which helps us deal with all those every day troubles: it’s a set of “pleasant habits”, things that we do for ourselves every day to beat the negativity, and to make our lives fun. For some it’s the shopping therapy. For the others it’s smoking or even drinking (I won’t be even getting into saying how bad that is). For most of us though, the easiest thing to look forward to during the day is the food that we are going to eat. …Because if you know that after a long day, or on that coffee break or before that long day begins you can have something yummy – that little thought instantly makes you happier human being, right? And it’s not even the consuming of that thing, it’s the ANTICIPATION of getting a hold of it is just as good, and maybe even better than the actual eating part. But what if you can “reset” your habits? What if that thing that you’ll be looking forward to is a HEALTHY dessert or a small peace of chocolate instead of a 1000-calorie ice-blended or a glass of wine? Understanding of this was what really helped me take full control over myself. I’ve “reset” my habits!
I hope that my hard-earned “wisdom” will help you a bit… But you may also develop your own “tools” that will help you gain control over yourself! And if you already have or you do, I’d LOVE to hear about them from you!
The main thing is: you CAN do it!
… And here are some of my healthy-but-yummy (I hope you’ll like them too!:) ) creations to try out and to hopefully prove my point:
Here is something for those days when you want to indulge: check out my Healthy Banana Brownies or the Healthy Low-Fat Cupcakes …
OR for the days when you’d LIKE to indulge, but you FEEL like you should hold yourself back a bit: my super-indulgent, and super-low-calorie (but all natural, too!) Low-Calorie Marshmallow Dessert to Loose Weight and the Low-Calorie Breakfast Mousse!