In a desperate attempt to stay thin, I spent too many years of my life deprived of all my favorite foods. Prior to settling down and getting pregnant, I had managed to keep myself in tip top shape by exercising often and eating as healthy as possible. So where was the problem in all of this? I wasn’t truly happy. In fact, I was downright miserable at times because the self image that I worked so hard to uphold was tiring and becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.
I remember watching those around me eat whatever they wanted and would envy their ability to simply accept themselves how they were. Here I was struggling more than ever to love myself and my body; in fact, I struggled with an extremely negative body image for many years despite the fact that I was at a very healthy weight (at the time). On the outside to others, I appeared to have incredible will power but on the inside, I felt weak and powerless.
Because of my effort to cut out nearly all indulgences such as desserts, I would binge-eat quite frequently and feel extreme guilt afterwards. This vicious cycle continued for many years until I realized I needed to make a change. For me the transition came after I had gained 50 lbs in my first pregnancy. I knew that I had no choice but to begin to love and accept my new body while working to get back into shape. Since the old way wasn’t working for me physically or mentally, I decided to include a little bit of everything in my diet as long as it was in moderation.
I still cut out certain foods from time-to-time to give my body a chance to “reset” and cleanse but It’s usually temporary so I do not feel deprived when doing so. For example, I recently decided to give my body a break from all animal products with the exception of fish. I manged to keep this up for a couple of months and felt great but had to forfeit it mid-way as we found out we are expecting baby #2 (more on that later!). Because I wanted to ensure I was getting enough nutrients for myself and baby, I began to reintroduce animal products into my diet. This of course, included dairy which was fine by me.
I’ve learned that you can still be healthy while enjoying everything that you love, as long as you don’t go overboard. Moderation and balance is key to everything and there are always “better options” out there when it comes to our unhealthy favorites such as ice cream and cake.
I’ve always been a sucker for frozen yogurt so while I was at Jewel-Osco the other day, I picked up a couple of pints of the Kemps Yo² Frozen Yogurt for my hubby and I. They had a few different flavors to choose from and I selected the salted caramel cookie crunch, and the chocolate peanut butter fudge. Let me just say, GAME CHANGER! forget everything you though you knew about frozen yogurt. This stuff tastes like pure, creamy ice cream.
What I love about it is that the label is clean. It is free from artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and contains absolutely no artificial growth hormones. This was a dessert I could feel good about–in moderation of course!
I am happy to say that today, I enjoy all of the foods that I love and have very little guilt because I enjoy them in moderation and in reasonable portions. It’s helped me maintain my weight for the most part and prevented me from the horrible binge eating I endured for many years.
What I’ve found that’s worked for me is buying and using smaller plates, bowls, and cups. This helps me control the amount of food/drinks that I am consuming and prevents me from going overboard.