Lately I've been having trouble with my diet. I've been either over eating or under eating or not eating good things or just not caring about what I put inside me. This hasn't been very productive, and I was upset with myself because I had all the information at my fingertips. In my skills binder, I have all the information of what I should be eating. My problem was that I was focusing so much on the "can'ts" that I wasn't paying attention to the "musts." What do I mean by that?
I noticed that most diet plans all rotate around the "can'ts:" Can't have this, can't have that. Can't have sugar, can't have fat, can't have meat, etc. Different diets have different can'ts. I found that I would slip up, have something I "couldn't" and then it would lead to a lot of guilt and frustration. It's really not helpful when you're either trying lose or maintain your weight.
I decided that I needed to focus on my MUSTS HAVES. This list would be the bare minimum of what I HAD TO HAVE in order to eat healthy. I could have more of an item BUT NOT LESS. I could have items not listed if I chose to, but I had to get this food into my body. Here's my list:
3 liters of water
1-2 cups of fruit
4-6 cups of veggies
1/2 cup complex carbs (whole grain wheat, beans, oatmeal, etc)
1/2 cup dairy
90 grams of protein
30 minutes of physical activity
This whole week I have been implementing this and so far, I have noticed some really positive changes:
1) I feel more in control. I know what I need to have and I make my plans around that. When I have everything listed out and check it daily, I feel that I am in control of my food, and my food is not in control of me.
2) I feel more positive about my food choices. You'll notice that there's nothing mentioned in that list about CAN'T HAVE. I can choose to have anything I want, but I need to focus on what I should have. If I do have something that would be considered bad (like a piece of candy) I don't feel guilty about it because I know that it's not one of my must haves so it's not going to be in my diet every day. The MUST HAVES focus on the positives, not the negatives
3) Record keeping is so much easier. I keep records. My records are not to guilt me into submission and my records do not control what I eat. My records now are simply to help me insure that I get all my must haves in.
I shared this list with my parents and my dad had one addition to make: Take Time Love Your Self. We spend so much of our day saying negative things. "Oh I'm so stupid" when we make a mistake. "I shouldn't have eaten that!" when we have a cookie. "Ugh I feel so horrible." It's hard to actually take the time to say "YAY FOR ME!" for whatever reason.
"Yay I went for a walk!"
"Hey, I'm pretty awesome at this!"
"I deserve a hug!"
"I deserve a healthy body!"
I hope this is helpful for some of you. So far, it's been amazingly helpful for me.