Sep 23, 2013

Coming Clean

I have been living in denial for the past 2 weeks.  I’ve been going through the motions, getting my exercise in every morning like I’m supposed to, and then shoving everything in sight into my giant pie hole to completely undo all of the hard work I put in every morning.  I am, without a shadow of a doubt, a serious stress/emotional eater, and I’ve really struggled with that over the past few weeks.

Why is it that a salad is so emotionally unsatisfying!? Especially when the option for pizza…or bread…or any form of carbohydrate (or chocolate!) really is right there, readily available. 

 
I finally decided to step on the scale this weekend, and I was not happy with what I saw (though I wasn’t really that surprised).

 

Over the past 14 days, I’ve gained back 4 and a half pounds. 
Gross.

So I came to 2 major conclusions over this past weekend.  I’ll save one of those for a separate post, but today I want to focus on my revelation on clean eating…and why it’s not for me.

I know, blasphemy, right?! I really struggled writing this post because it makes me feel like a failure…like everyone who’s anyone in the weight loss and fitness industry screams EATING CLEAN IS THE ONLY WAY TO EAT!!  So I’m giving up too easily, right!?
 
In my opinion, no….so just hear me out. For me, I know I will never be one of those people who eats food for fuel and never for pleasure.  I have formed too strong of an emotional connection with the eating process,  and at 30 years old, I’m not sure that’s something I can ever truly break.  Now, that being said, I’m not totally throwing in the towel, I’m just going to try to find something that works for me, and maybe a few of you out there will find some inspiration from my modifications and try to do the same.

I’m an architect, so I’m going to relate a few things to my design world for a second here, bear with me.

To me, clean eating is like modernism (or modern architecture): characterized by simplification of form, and an absence of applied decoration.  To many, modernism represents “clean lines”, but to others, it can feel too harsh, coming across as cold, sterile, and impersonal.  Modernism started the trend that houses are “machines for living” but most people (myself included), don’t want to live in machines, we want to live in warm, comforting environments.  Clean eating is sort of like this for me…very simple concepts, but a little too strict/harsh for me to follow all of the rules (eat to live, not live to eat), which leads to me TOTALLY falling off the wagon.

My personal style is contemporary..similar concepts of modernism with clean, simple lines, but with a more organic, subtle, and warmer touch.  Simply put, it’s a style that’s a little more “homey” and a little less “museum gallery”…a style you could actually see yourself living in.  This is the style I need to find for my diet.  Less harsh.  More comforting.  Livable.

So what would contemporary clean look like?

For me, I think I need to allow myself to have a little indulgence every day.  I’m not talking a huge one, but this whole cheat meal on the weekend thing is detrimental to me.  I feel so deprived that when it comes time for my cheat, I eat like a fat kid at a buffet, and it never stops at one cheat meal, it turns into a weekend long gorge fest.  And then there’s weeks like I’ve had recently, where I feel so stressed, and I feel like I’ve deprived myself for so long, that I DESERVE to have that bagel (cookie, ice cream, pizza, pasta…you name it!).  Ultimately, I think I need to have a little something every day so that I don’t feel deprived, and so that I don’t let it build up for so long that I go buck wild when it’s time for me to “cheat”.

And there’s that word again….cheat.  Why do we have to label foods as BAD or GOOD? Why can’t all foods be ok just in moderation? I really can’t imagine life without chocolate…or ice cream…or pizza…so why do those have to be BAD foods? Can’t they just be considered foods that are ok occasionally/in moderation? The whole mental aspect of “YOU CAN’T EAT THAT” just makes me want it even more!
 

 
So I don’t know if I have all of the answers just yet, but I’m going to experiment a little this week to see if I can find something that works for me…something where I feel like I’m not depriving myself but still following relatively healthy guidelines the majority of the time.  Progress, not perfection, right!?

I’m still pretty crazy at work, so stress is a huge factor, but life will always be stressful, so I’ve GOT to find a way to fix this broken relationship I have with food, and fast!

Let me know if you have any thoughts or comments on this, I’m always interested in how others deal with these same issues!
 

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