There is a long list of things I (hypothetically) don’t eat. As I’ve come further and further down the road of weight loss, I’ve limited myself more and more. Yet, when I go back to the beginning of this whole thing, back to when my weight loss was actually the most effective, I had much fewer rules about what I wasn’t allowed to eat.
I can’t help but think that maybe I’ve taken a wrong turn.
I guess it’s natural, when you’re trying to lose weight, to think about what needs to be removed. After all, you’re trying to remove excess fat. The train of thought just seems logical. So, I went with it and never second guessed it.
A while ago I read the book Why Women Need Fat. There was a lot about this book that I really liked. Firstly, I loved the legitimate analysis of why men are so attracted to the hourglass body type. Secondly, it took a very different look at why women retain weight as they get older and how that relates to the first item. It was a really interesting read that I’d recommend to anyone.
It didn’t completely drop the calories in/calories out paradigm but the emphasis was different. It asserted that we retain fat because we aren’t getting enough of the kind of fat (Omega 3) that our body actually needs. In an effort to do so, our bodies hold on to every bit of fat it can. It made a lot of sense.
In other words, we don’t gain weight because we consume too much; we gain weight because we don’t get enough of what our bodies actually need so it retains more to compensate.
It made a lot of sense to me. Granted, I’m not a scientist and I don’t have anything more than impression and intuition to back it up, but the concept works in my head. Maybe the problem isn’t that I’m eating things I shouldn’t but that my body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs because I’m not eating enough of what I should.
Rather than depriving myself, maybe I should be thinking about giving my body what it needs. So, I need a new approach and a new plan. I mean, I could be wrong about this but what I’ve been doing has obviously not been working.
So, what does this mean in practice? I mean, the “in practice” part is what I’ve been so miserably failing at for the last year or so.
I’m going to focus on nourishing myself.
Orienting my thoughts toward giving my body what it needs instead of what it can’t have may help deal with cravings and the feeling of unfairness when everyone around me seems to be able to eat a few french fries without gaining a bajillion pounds like me.
Okay, so I don’t actually gain a bajillion pounds from a few french fries but usually I feel like that will be the end result. I’m bad at moderation. I prefer all or nothing.
But, all or nothing hasn’t been working for me. It’s time to try something new.
I’m going to purposefully choose foods that are high in nutrients.
No more “low carb” or “low cal.”
I’m going to let myself have whatever else I might want after the fact.
If I’ve given myself all the nutrients I need, if I want some cake I’ll eat some cake. I’ve spent too long feeling like I can’t have things, food being one of them, and I don’t think it’s very good for either my body or being.
“I can’t have” is a phrase I no longer want in my vocabulary.