The turkey has been cooked, Black Friday has come and gone and the decorations are up; and the holidays are in full swing now! How does this make you feel about your health & fitness? Do you love to see the holidays come but dread the extra temptation that brings with it the possibility of extra pounds? Does the turkey dinner, the free samples at the market and the barrage of goodies at the office send you into a food coma that begins with the Halloween candy and continues through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve, with the final insult being even more food at the Super Bowl parties? And of course, let’s not forget Valentine’s Day! Does the glow of the pumpkins in mid-October trigger 5 months worth of bad behavior that leads right up to the shorts and (gasp!) swimsuit season? Overwhelming sometimes, isn’t it? Don’t worry, take a deep breath, because with just a simple change of mind; you can take control of your eating not just during the holidays, but for the rest of the year as well.
The first step is a mental one, so no workout required, yea! Well at least for now. This is the perspective that I have incorporated into my lifestyle and it works well for me! The first step to regaining control of your eating is to cultivate a new perspective of how you view food and it’s purposes. Food satisfies us in two ways. First and foremost, food provides nutrition and fuel for our bodies to run and secondly, as human beings, food provides a sensory fulfillment for our souls. Once you realize that you must satisfy your needs in both ways, and then you can seek the best way to “edit” your eating patterns by making better choices to fulfill both of these needs.
Before we get started, let me ask you a question to ruminate: “Are you a gourmet or a gourmand?” This is a very important question because it will reveal your viewpoint about food and therefore your relationship with food. Depending on whether or not you have chosen a more healthy or less-healthy relationship with food, will determine how difficult or easy your pursuit will be to obtain your health and fitness goals. So are you a gourmet or a gourmand? Webster gives the following definitions:
Gourmet – A person who likes and is an excellent judge of fine foods and drinks.
Gourmand – A glutton, a person with a hearty liking for good food and drink and a tendency to indulge in them to the excess.
A gourmet is one who enjoys good food and is selective about what they consume. They choose what pleases them and consumes in limited quantities. A gourmet is concerned with quality foremost rather than quantity and celebrates the art of eating well by choosing the delicacies that most nourish their bodies and fulfill their senses. A gourmand focuses more on the quantity of the food they eat instead of the quality. A gourmand starts with the Halloween candy and will more than likely end up in self-disgust by spring break. A gourmand is going to sample most everything on the buffet line. And for a visual: a gourmet is more likely to wear better fitting clothes that are tailored while the gourmand enjoys expandable waistbands that are on sweatpants. A gourmand desiring to be a gourmet will eventually reform their thinking to set their sights on behavior that leads to more fitted apparel; and with application, their goals will most certainly come to pass over time.
Want to become more of a gourmet? Want to become more in control? You bet you do! Then take some time to think about what thrills your senses. To satisfy my senses, my daily consumption requires that I include items that are crunchy and sweet. So almost daily, I have a salad of sorts that contains apples, celery, Craisins, pecans, grape tomatoes and carrots sprinkled with Nellie and Joe’s limejuice for calorie-free dressing. There is a lot of crunching and chewing with this dish and I get the sweetness from the apples, Craisins and carrots. Not only is there a lot of fiber, but also there is a lot of satisfaction because my sensory requirements have been met. As a gourmet, you must know what pleases you. Know what pleases your senses; include it daily so that your cravings will be appeased.
This is very important because if your cravings aren’t quenched, then you will eat and snack until they are! This is like the Halloween candy syndrome where one would keep eating inferior candy looking for a sweet tooth satisfaction as opposed to eating just one piece of something wonderful, which in my case would be something like a wonderful Lindor Truffle that would delight your craving. You eat one truffle, s-l-o-w-l-y and savor it, then you are satiated and then you can stop! Everybody knows that a silky chocolate truffle with a soft chocolate filling that melts in your mount trumps a bag of candy corn or “Smarties” any day! Now of course if you eat the entire bag of truffles, then you need to take 2 Midol and call me in the morning, lol!
I’m here to tell you that yes, a Lindor Truffle, a couple of Andes Mints, a York Peppermint Patty or double chocolate biscotti is going to be on my daily menu, because as a perpetually single woman, I have needs too. But seriously, I plan the rest of my day’s food around my sensory treats to make sure I get enough protein, good fats and carbs in addition to my treats. I’m eating 1,200 – 1,300 calories a day including my treats and I feel satisfied and not cheated, so therefore I won’t over eat. If you are satisfied, you won’t over eat!
Bear in mind that you need to also be satisfied with your fuel and nourishment needs in order to remain in control. If you eat ½ of your daily allotment on sweets, then it will not allow you to have enough nourishment and energy to make it through the day, so then, what are you going to do? You will fill up the hole because you need the energy and will end up over consuming for the day. It is all about balance. Make good choices to nourish your body and to titillate your senses and make them count!
Starting today begin to seek the foods that best fulfill both of these needs. Learn to administer food in proper proportions like medicine and your body will be healthier and fitter. You will begin to feel empowered because you are controlling your eating; your eating will not be controlling you! A discriminating gourmet who is in control will not as likely get sucked into the holiday eating spiral that begins in October. As a true gourmet you will celebrate food as never before because your food choices satisfy both your nutritional requirements and your soul. This is power! Make this first change, take the first step in how you deal with food, then the other elements of weight loss: portion control, exercise and achieving the proper balance will be so much easier to incorporate into your new healthy lifestyle!
You can do it, I believe in you and your desire to become healthier and fitter. Start thinking about the changes you can make starting tomorrow. Come up with at least one food edit that you can start with. As you do that, more will come to mind. Before long, you will become a discriminating gourmet who is in control of your food because you are making choices that suit your needs. Congratulations! I look forward to hearing about your success and hearing your comments.
It is my hope that you enjoyed my first post and I look forward to sharing with you as we begin and grow this online community. If you like this blog, then I invite you to subscribe and you will be notified whenever there is an update.
Thanks for spending your time with me here today. Until next time, be fit, be healthy and be happy!