In Regard to Healthy Eating is not about weight loss, although sometimes it is an unavoidable side effect. This series, by Dasha Smirnova, approaches healthy eating by making small changes, eating more vegetables, adding movement and self-care into our daily routines. Over the next six months, we will learn about why diets fail, how to navigate the sea of new health trends, and approach healthy eating in fun and tasty ways.
I’ve been trying to lose weight for seven years. Each time I was motivated enough to start the diet process, but not to follow through until the end. I attempted to go to the gym; I gave shakeology a try; went to one hot yoga class and never returned; almost signed up for belly dancing; went back to the gym once but paid for 3 months; tried paleo then vegan; tried keto and whole30; then almost signed up for ballet; signed up for 5 yoga classes and only went once; signed up for 10 more and only went to two more; finally tried keto again. Here I am today, back where I started. All of this came with tiring weight fluctuations, which result in an array of clothing of various sizes that together, as a wardrobe, never fit correctly.
These are three solid conclusions that I came to after seven years of dieting fails:
First, and probably the most frustrating part, is that there are many diets out there. Some contradict each other and yet there’s “scientific proof” why each is best for your health. This makes it incredibly difficult to figure out what is the right thing to do.
Also, I recognized that I am extremely encouraged in the first month when I lose about 10-15lbs, and then get discouraged when things become stagnant after the initial push.
The last truth is that each time it becomes harder and harder to start, to follow through, and to stay committed. I begin to expect failure which made me come to the realization that perhaps this is not the approach for me.
If this is something you can relate to, I hope you follow along. I am done dieting and chasing that mysterious ideal weight. I am ready to abandon the scale and to stop judging myself by pounds gained or lost. I am here to make lifestyle changes that are good for my health. Each month I will make small attainable changes. I will not worry about pounds and inches and will learn to be more comfortable in my skin knowing that I am healthy.
The common denominator in all healthy eating advice out there is to eat more fruits and vegetables and get out there and move a little! This seems like a good place to start. The USDA recommends 2.5 cups of vegetables and 1.5 cups of fruit per day for women between 30-51, and that’s my category, so it seems like a good start for me. If you don’t fall in this category, check out www.choosemyplate.gov for more information.
"I will commit to one restriction, and that is to follow the recommended servings."
I am not denying myself anything this month, but I hope that these serving of fruit and veggies will replace some unhealthy choices I might make throughout the day. I will commit to one restriction, and that is to follow the recommended servings. I know there will be days that I want to eat potato chips, but I will be mindful that a serving is about 20 chips, not half a bag. I know I will bake many Christmas cookies this month; and it’s ok to have a cookie, as long I leave some for Santa.
There are many people with a certain fire in them, that live for exercise, that strive for a physical challenge, and it benefits them physically as well as emotionally. I have great admiration for those people. I, too, feel the euphoria of accomplishment after a hike, or shoveling our long driveway; but, that rush of endorphins is not enough to motivate me. Again, a small commitment is all I am ready for this month - just to be outside for 30 minutes each day: walking, shoveling, snowshoeing - the specifics do not matter.
I hope you join in and share your thoughts; I will write again next year. See you in 2019!
By Dasha Smirnova