Sunday, July 29, 2012

Speaking Volumes!

Two years ago I set out on a mission.  I was looking to do something away from my full time job as a school counselor.  I knew I wanted this to be something that had nothing to do with my school job and it had to be something I had a passion for.  

Today, two years later.....MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.  

The following reflection from my latest client SPEAKS VOLUMES as to why I chose to become a Certified Health and Nutrition Coach.  
For the past 3 months, in the wake of moving and losing control over my home environment, I decided to take back some control where I could: my body, and in particular, what I put into it.  I started with wanting to eat fewer processed foods; however, I also wanted to lose 15 pounds this summer, which would involve also limiting processed carbohydrates and sugars in my diet.  I took up the challenge.  So far I have lost around 10 pounds, and it's been surprisingly easy.

When I hear someone lost weight, the first thing I ask is "What did you eat?" Sure, I ate Brussels sprouts, kale, Swiss chard, green beans, lettuce, asparagus, cauliflower, and broccoli, among other things.  Lots of broccoli.  Spaghetti squash instead of pasta.  I skipped the chips.  No buns during a cookout.  All my burritos "naked" and without rice.  BUT.  What else did I eat?  While certainly not all-inclusive, I'll give you a list:

cupcakes (I baked 'em . . . )
cake (Yep, I baked this too.)
dinner rolls
cheesecake (The awesome chocolate mousse cheesecake at Ruth's Chris.)
beer (Light and not-so-light . . . )
margaritas (I make the very best.)
pie: peanut butter, peach, sugar cream
strawberry shortcake (Especially the AMAZING one at Ted's.)
fig newtons
s'mores (Another specialty -- chocolate graham crackers with strawberry marshmallows.)
frozen yogurt with oreos, cookie dough and hot peanut butter . . .
funnel cake
spiral spuds

In writing this list, I am actually shocked.  Mostly because I'm sure there's more. 

So, how did I do that?  I managed to eat well and follow my "plan" 90% of the time, but didn't get completely hung up on being perfect.  You only go through life once, and if there's good peanut butter pie, well, you have to try it.  So did I eat *all* of each of these?  Usually not.  Food is so much a part of our social experience that many times, you wouldn't even consider eating something if you were by yourself.  But if the dessert comes out with 4 spoons, you can do that.  By making no foods overly forbidden, then you can get by with sharing or having just a sliver.  Especially if your dinner plate was mostly greens with some lean protein and good fats.  And before that your lunch was a mixed greens salad with grilled chicken.  And before that your breakfast was Kashi Go Lean with blueberries and unsweetened almond milk.

Mostly, for me it is about trying to limit sugars in foods that really shouldn't have sugar, like a salad (the dressing) or yogurt (especially flavored).  If I'm going to have sugar, it should be intentional and deliberate, not the sugar that sneaks in when you're not vigilant. It's also a matter of frequently making a choice that perhaps has more calories, but is *real food* rather than a science experiment, as in the case of Sugar Free Syrup versus Maple Agave Nectar.  Or commercially prepared "low fat" peanut butter versus the natural foods peanut butter that is nothing but peanuts.  I'd rather take in a few more calories than hear 10 years from now that the mystery syrup ingredients cause cancer.  Also, if you're going to take in a splurge, make sure it's intentional and actually tasty.  If it's camoflage, e.g. looks great but tastes anywhere from so-so to terrible, that gets a fail.

I'm thrilled to have a better relationship with food and to feel nourished and well rather than hungry and out of control.  I hope that you too can figure out how to eat food without your food eating you.

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