For the past month or so, my husband and I have been living like modern day nomads. While waiting to move into our new house (which is only 5 days away!), we have had to live with various people. Most of these people, I had only met once before or not at all. For someone who thrives when life is in order, I can tell you this has been quite a challenge. I always knew I was a person who likes order, but I never realized the extent of how much I relied on it until it was gone. Fortunately, we have been blessed to meet some really great people who define hospitality. I can’t even begin to express the gratitude I have for these people and how much I have learned from them during this experience. I now have a whole new understanding of what it means to be hospitable and flexible.
With all that being said, I can tell you that if this experience happened a few years ago, I’m sure it would have gone very differently. Before I became a mindful eater, I had to know what I was going to eat and when I was going to exercise in advance so I could plan my day around it. If I did not have time to exercise or ended up only having time to get some fast food for dinner, I would become very frustrated and anxious.
While living with our various hosts, I had to be at the mercy of their schedules. I had my normal work schedule, but I was not in charge of when and what would be for dinner and whether or not I would have the ability to work in exercise. While practicing mindful eating, I was able to spend my time being grateful for the food and the hospitality of the people we were living with, instead of worrying about the fact that I was eating pizza again or that I wouldn’t be able to do yoga because I did not have space to do it. Now don’t get me wrong, I had my fair share of breakdowns, but I am thankful that food did not have to be an added stressor during this time of “chaos.”
The practice of mindful eating is constant and changing. There will be times that you feel like you have mastered it and there will be times that you will think you have forgotten everything. It is important to look back on the principles of mindful eating when you find yourself feeling “out of practice.” The principles are relevant for any situation and the peace they can bring is invaluable.
To celebrate International No Diet Day, I’m sharing one of my previous posts. Enjoy!
Happy International No Diet Day!
Today I want to properly celebrate this day by writing about fad diets, specifically how to spot one so you won’t be easily lured into it’s false promises.
I’m sure most of you have been on a fad diet or 2…or 5…or 15. I know I have.
Let me tell you a story about one of my experiences on a fad diet.
While I was in college, a couple of friends and I decided to do the cabbage soup diet. I don’t remember the exact rules of it, but I know you could have all the cabbage soup you wanted and every day we were allowed to add a new food to our diet in addition to the cabbage soup, such as fruit and meat. At the time, I was still living in the dorms and my friends were renting a house together. So to begin the week, we went to the grocery store to purchase all the ingredients for the cabbage soup and returned to their house to cook a HUGE pot of it. I put some soup in containers and took them to my dorm. I placed them in my tiny refrigerator and was set for the week. The first few days weren’t bad, but I started getting lazy and didn’t take my container to the microwave down the hall every time. So after a while, cold cabbage soup was just not gettin’ it, but I was determined. That weekend I went home and went shopping with my mom. Everything was going pretty well, except for my unpleasant mood. (If you’ve heard of the term hangry, that’s exactly what I was.) After shopping, my mom asked if I wanted to get some lunch at Panera. My eyes immediately teared up. Panera is one of my favorite places to eat but it wasn’t on my diet. The more I thought about it the more upset I got until I finally called my friends to ask if they thought it would be ok if I stopped the diet. They laughed and said they already had because they couldn’t take it any longer. I was free!! We then went to Panera and I’m certain is was the best thing I have ever eaten.
I have listed some of the criteria for a fad diet below. If you are following a diet that exhibits any of these qualities, please stop! Save yourself the torture and get back to eating the things you love. In a mindful way of course. ; )
It might be a fad diet if you are…
- Instructed to eat less than 1200 calories a day
- Guaranteed to lose more than 1-2 pounds a week
- Not encouraged to exercise
- Not allowed to eat certain foods, such as carbohydrates, sugar, fat, etc.
- Skipping meals
- Taking certain pills, powders, shakes, etc. or using them as a meal replacement
- Not making a lifestyle change, but only doing it for a certain amount of time
Do any of you have a fad diet story you’d like to share?