My Food, My Choice

31 Jul

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One of the things you’ll notice on your weight-loss journey is the way people nitpick at your own food. After you’ve lost a significant amount of weight, friends and family will pay more attention to your diet.

Once upon a time, you’d eat half a pizza and a dozen wings by yourself. Now you’re fine with a slice or two and some water. You used to be the one who’d order the giant steak with a side of butter and dab of potato. Now a shrimp salad and dressing on the side suits you just fine.

Your diet has changed; good for you. One if the hard parts now is getting the rest of your peeps to accept that when you decided to go on your weight-loss journey, you made a life decision. You changed the way you live your life, and that’s difficult for others to accept.

You may have heard: “You’re eating half your dinner? I could never do that. That must be why you’re so skinny.” Or even: “You’re making me feel bad. I’m ordering the lasagna while you’re just getting the salad.”

The thing is your food choices are yours alone. You’re not eating to make others feel bad. If your dinner companion is hungry for a pound and a half of steak, then that person has every right to eat it, just as your salad with a side of sweet potato fries are your digestive right.

People who try to make you feel guilty for not eating the way you used to are only projecting their own issues with food and weight-loss onto you. Don’t let them get into your head and make you regret all the good work you’re doing.

I’ve been told several times that the way I eat isn’t  for another person. That may be true, but actually I eat what I want. I just don’t have a strong desire for bad things anymore. 

That all goes back to the concept of perception versus reality. The memory of how you used to be doesn’t quite jibe with what your friends and family see before them. It’s a hard concept for some people to grasp. To many, being mindful of your health means giving up everything. Not only is that untrue, it’s bad press.

When I began my weight-loss journey, it was like being in training. When you’re training, you cut out some things altogether. When you’re maintaining, you can add a few indulgences back into your diet. You’re just more mindful of what you’re eating. I can mentally estimate how many calories I’m consuming versus the amount of exercise I’ve done to burn them. But that took years of practice.

If that’s not for you, try a food journal. If you know what you’re putting into your body, you’ll know how much work you need to do to maintain or work off the pounds.

So enjoy your small plates of food. And remember, no one else is fueling your body but you.

How have you changed the way you eat? Have those close to you been positive about it?

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