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Day 87: Guilt-free Fat Grams

Posted Apr 29 2010 4:09am

Most people think “unhealthy” when they think of pizza, fried rice, french fries, and ice cream.

I think YUM.

In the short two months since I re-started my weight loss journey, my relationship with food has changed. I used to be one of those people who thought pizza was evil, that pizza would make you gain 10 pounds overnight. Completely not true. The way I view food now is drastically different, and I am in a better place mentally because of it.

Why is this time different? What has changed?

My relationship with FAT GRAMS as well as my refusal to feel guilty about the foods I eat.

I used to be terrified of fat grams. I would only buy fat-free or super low-fat things. Fat-free yogurt, skim milk, fat-free cheese, you name it. Back in February, a “high” fat day was anything over 15 grams.

Low-fat was ingrained into my brain in 2006 because of weight-loss camp. I was taught that the only way to lose weight was to eat less than 20 grams of fat a day. My low-fat diet yielded some amazing results. At camp, I lost 50 pounds in 8 weeks. But I did NOT have a healthy relationship with food. Everything not low-fat was “bad”. My off-limits list was endless. No chocolate, nuts, avocados, real cheese.

However, in my mind, “off-limit” things are always better. I would crave everything on my “can’t have” list. Eventually, I would binge, feel guilty, and repeat. I punished myself with guilt.

But that mentality is quickly fading away. I’m starting to not fear fat grams. I bought reduced-fat instead of fat-free cheese the other day. AND IT ACTUALLY MELTS! I eat almond butter, which has 18 grams of fat for 2 tablespoons. And I like it.

I’ve stopped having a “NO” list because I realized that there is nothing I can’t eat.

It’s not the end of the world if I eat a brownie. Even if I have one scoop of ice cream, I’m not going to gain all the weight I’ve lost back. That one scoop will satisfy me and make my little heart happy. That one scoop is comforting because it means that nothing is off-limits, that I’m not on a diet. My liberation from low-fat is amazing. I feel as if a heavy burden has been lifted. In the past, every time I ate something “high” in fat, I would feel horrible. I would feel like I’ve failed myself, when in reality, I was far from being a failure.

Lately, my fat grams have been around 35 grams daily, roughly 20% of my total intake. And you know what? It rocks. My skin is nice and soft. My hair is healthy and not falling out. Believe me, when you eat extremely low fat, your hair does NOT grow well. You know what the best part is? I can eat REAL CHEESE. Ok, maybe not the entire block at once, but man, do I love cheese. Particularly goat and brie.

Sometimes, not all of my food choices are the best for my body. And I’m ok with that. I really like Rice Krispie treats. By really like, I mean love. A Rice Krispie treat is not going to help me run a marathon, but it certainly appeases my mind. It might not be the best fuel for my body, but it’s necessary fuel for my sanity. Without that lingering, nagging feeling of guilt, I can move on with life and re-discover the magic and joys of food.

It matters that I don’t find my food boring and repetitive. It matters that I have minimal restrictions. It matters that I don’t wish to be eating something else. It matters that I’m happy when I eat.

So I refuse to feel guilty about foods that I put into my body. Guilt is a negative emotion that breeds negative thoughts. It is a bad feeling, it is regret. Well, I’m not about to regret eating the best steak ever. I’m not about to regret eating a Double Double Animal-styled from In-n-Out. These things might not be the best options for me physically, but they satisfy a void in my mind. They make me feel like I did not sacrifice the ability to live and enjoy life, like I’m still connected to the world.

I’m no longer jealous of people who can eat chili cheese fries. I’m no longer jealous of people who can eat carne asada burritos and nachos. Because I can have those things too.

If I really want it, I’ll MAKE it. Nothing is cheaper and better than homemade.
If I can’t make it, I’ll PORTION it. Fine, maybe I’ll only eat half of that Double Double.
And if I fail at portioning it out, I’ll ENJOY every bite of it. Tomorrow is a brand new day.

In the past, I would beat myself up over one bad choice, one bad meal. That transformed into more bad choices, more bad meals. I got caught up in all the negativity and was too busy focusing on all the things I did wrong instead of celebrating all the things I did right.

So screw feeling guilty. Screw feeling upset and down about that one extra cookie you ate. It’s ONE freaking cookie, and you know it was damn delicious. It’s NOT the end of the world. It’s NOT the end of your journey. Instead, celebrate how far along you’ve come. Praise yourself for everything you did, and are doing, right. Applaud yourself for all of your hard work, for all the sweat that you’ve poured, for all the positive changes you’ve made, in your life and in others’. That way, you’ll find it much easier to let go of that extra cookie. That way, you’ll find it much easier to resume what you were doing before: being awesome.

No regrets. NO GUILT.

What are THREE things that you have done WELL today? This week? This month?

 

THE DAILY BITE

Cauliflower Soup – Dinner: cauliflower, onions, carrots, chicken broth, parsley, thyme, and milk topped with bacon bits and mozzarella cheese.

 

Consumption: 1772 calories, 18.1g of fat. (pedometer not worn)

Of course, on the day I decide to blog about my fat gram revelation, they’re on the extremely low side. Oh well. I managed to eat an entire head of cauliflower for dinner and it was actually yummy!

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Workout: Chest. Triceps. Bosu push-ups.

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