Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Does This Make Me Look Fat?"

Admit it; you know that we've all had "fat" days. Whether we're male or female, skinny or "plump," we have those days when we're feeling less than thrilled about how we look. Fat days are never going to go away, no matter how skinny we get.
So how do we deal with this in a healthy way? Your physical health is connected to your mental health. When you don't feel good about yourself, you are more likely to make poor choices. For example: "I'm already fat...one more muffin won't make a difference." Or, "I already blew my diet today, so I'm just going to eat whatever I want."
This negative self-talk will set you up for failure, 100% of the time. I'm not perfect; I've had my battles with negative self-talk, and feeling guilty over food. Talking yourself up instead will encourage you to make better choices. "I had a few too many treats at lunch time, but I know I'll feel better if I eat a little lighter for the rest of the day."
I read a great quote the other day, though I don't remember from where. It goes, "Brown rice eaten in guilt is worse than chocolate cake eaten in ecstasy." So true!
First, recognize that you are human. Enjoying a treat here and there is not "bad," and is more likely to keep you from bingeing. You only live once; so eat your cake!
What if you died tomorrow? At your memorial, do you think people would say, "he/she was so thin, and looked great!" Ummm, no. People are only going to remember YOU! "He/she was so compassionate & caring, & really loved his/her friends & family." No one really gives a crap if you weigh an extra 5, 10, 50, 100 pounds, as long as you're a decent person. Don't worry about weight; focus on feeling strong and healthy. When you're not obsessing over your weight, your body will find its happy place.
Think about it; when you're hungry, does your temper get shorter? Wouldn't you rather weigh a little bit more and be happy, than weigh less and be a miserable person? Sure, you'd be skinny; but no one wants to hang out with a negative person, no matter how skinny they are.
Eating a mostly raw diet has helped a lot with my self confidence. It's hard to feel bad about yourself when you're feeding your body good foods. Try to change your thoughts from, "there's no point in trying, I'm just going to eat these donuts," to "I love how good I feel after a {insert healthy food name here}. I'm going to have that instead." With raw foods, there is no guilt; but there's all the taste, flavour, and texture.
That being said, don't treat it as an all or nothing approach. Extremes are not healthy, either. Gradually add healthier foods to your diet, as you get more comfortable with them. And if you really, really, really want something that is less than perfect, have a little bit. Savour every bite. Enjoy it. And remember that you deserve treats, and remind yourself how much you take care of yourself. Have cake, have salad, and love every bite :)
I find yoga to also be very calming, relaxing, and grounding. It takes you away from life's stresses for a short while. It helps you connect, love, and appreciate your body.
Below, you'll find my new mantra. I hope you find it as encouraging as I do.

"Be Extraordinary

When we feed ourselves the right nutrients from whole uncooked fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, we look, feel, and perform at our best. Listen to your body. Only you can know what you need to be your best. Choose to be happy, compassionate, strong, lean, vibrant, and healthy.

Look beautiful.
Live green.
Be extraordinary!"

-Ani Phyo

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