Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Veggie Tales

I have been eating nothing but vegetables and lean protein for the last two weeks.

No wait, that’s not right.

I have been trying to eat nothing but vegetables and lean protein for the last two weeks.

And you know what this little science experiment has taught me? I don’t like vegetables and lean protein nearly as much as I thought I did.

Isn’t “getting healthy” a drag? Notice my use of quotations that question if it’s really working.

The main issue? I don’t like to deprive myself. Partially because I think women should be judged on an array of factors other than what they may look like naked, and partially because, when I limit myself, I simply disregard all the rules and do what I want anyway. In a weird bi-polar, lose-lose situation, half of me is completely satisfied and the other half feels worthless for having such abysmal willpower.

I may have some issues to address with a psychologist. Who doesn’t nowadays?

A couple weeks ago, with a trip to Las Vegas around the corner and the threat of swimsuit season on the horizon, I decided to start eating healthy. Not that I wasn’t eating well before – we regularly cook at home and some of my favourite recipes are waistline conscious – but I decided to take it a step further, towards the diet zone, without the full commitment of a diet. After all, how could I ever take myself seriously again after buying into some ridiculous 500 calorie/day diet featured in a magazine?

I decided to cut out processed foods, bread, pasta, and junk food. My moral superiority argued that most of these foods are unhealthy for a plethora of reasons besides simply making you fat; chalked full of chemicals I can’t pronounce and an overdose of sugar and salt. I told myself I wasn’t just some silly girl attempting to get skinny for bathing suits and night clubs, I was getting healthy!

If you’ve read carefully you’ll notice I started this program when it hit me that Vegas+Summer = Swimsuits. Clearly I’m just as shallow as everyone thought.

In order to keep myself on track I decided to make ‘getting healthy!’ into a competition. The idea of living longer and having more energy hasn’t worked in the past so this time I was going to earn points for breaking certain bad habits and making healthy choices, and then reward myself with shoes and a new curling iron once I’d accumulated enough points. No, I did not reward myself with food – I’m not a dog. I set up a calendar on my fridge and promised to keep track for 4 weeks before taking off to Vegas.

My main goals: to pack a healthy lunch, drink more water, skip Starbucks in the morning, and avoid snacking in front of the tv at night.

I know it’s wrong and oh-so-materialistic but in my defense I belong to Gen Y – don’t we do silly things like this? Darn you MTV and marketing execs!

Turns out being wrong never felt more right because I’ve been sticking with my eating plan and for the most part I’ve eliminated a large amount of gluten and refined foods from my diet. I also feel really good – who’d of thought? The curling iron and shoes are a nice perk but I’ve actually noticed some fundamental changes in my eating habits that make me want to stick to the plan more than anything else. Most noticeably, I’m not reaching for a snack every night.

I know beauty magazines love to preach that we should lose weight for ourselves – not for anyone else and not because society tells us to – and although I completely support the message, for me it comes down to being healthy. If the threat of a bathing suit helps me chose a salad instead of cake, so be it.

I am planning to give myself a long weekend off while in Vegas and then hop back on the wagon of veggies and lean protein as soon as I get home. My goals for this next round are going to focus on maintaining the eating habits I’ve established while adding in more time at the gym.

I’m sure I’ll dread every minute as much as I did the last 4 weeks. 

So what about you? Any pointers?

Happy Tuesday,

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