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12 Ways to be in a Healthy Relationship… with Food…

1) Love yourself: Diet because you’re awesome… and want to stay awesome for a long time. Don’t make it about anyone or anything else. Dieting for a vacation, or a reunion, or your significant other DOES NOT WORK LONG TERM. Ask anyone who has ever tried it. Once they put down the gallon of half-eaten ice cream they’ll tell you. This is a marathon: Slow, challenging, and extremely rewarding if you’re willing to put in the time and effort. Starting at a sprinters pace will do nothing but give the medics something to do/laugh about. “Started the marathon at a full-blown sprint, huh? Man, is this guy new here, or what? I’ll get the smelling salts”…

2) Don’t lie: This is huge. I find my clients/friends/family/everyone asking me the same questions over and over and over again. Why? I’m assuming its not due to some short-term memory loss epidemic but rather that people simply don’t want to hear the words, “Dieting is hard”. They want to believe its as easy as taking a pill. Its not. If you could be doing more, or trying harder, or eating less from the kids shelf in the pantry… YOU KNOW IT. Be honest with yourself, always. If you’re not, you will never trust yourself, and trust is everything (Refer to #3).

3) Trust is everything

4) Stay sweet: When you have moments of “Give me chocolate now, or die!”… Don’t take it out on people. No one should have to suffer because you choose to live a healthy life. You shouldn’t suffer either. The things we want are often times NOT the things we need. Learn to differentiate between the two. Put the kitchen shears down. Take your husband out of the choke-hold. Everything will be fine.

5) Forgive and forget: When you decide you are going out with the girls and having ONE margarita. Do it, then forget about it. Own your decision. Go for it, have fun, then get back on track without any guilt or any self-loathing. When you choose to have seven “margaritas” (aka straight shots of tequila) every night with your girlfriends… well that’s when you need to re-open this email, re-read each item on this list (preferably once sobered), and re-asses your plan.

6) Never talk about break-ups: Who cares what has happened in your past. You tried every diet on the planet and none of them worked? Who cares? You’re gonna give up on dieting because you’re convinced your body doesn’t respond to any of them. Sounds like a crutch to me. By “trying Weight Watchers” does that just means you attended meetings but never actually counted points? By “trying Atkins” does that mean you read a book about it while eating an entire box of wheat thins (ahem… that’s a carb, by the way)? By “trying the Paleo Diet” does that mean you dated a Cross Fitter? Sigh… (See item #2).

7) Never say it’s ok when it’s not: Do not give in to temptation. The things we convince ourselves are true to justify our lack of will power are amazing… and hilarious, actually. To clarify… Goldfish crackers are not an excellent source of protein, vanilla BEAN ice cream is NOT considered a legume, and last time I checked you actually can get antioxidants from other food choices, NOT JUST WINE!

8) Keep your word: Don’t just speak. Do. Don’t say anything about dieting, or wanting to be better, or eat healthier, or get on a program if you don’t intend to. From now on, do yourself, and everyone around you a favor and consider your words the next item on the endangered species list… Preserve and cherish them… Limit their usage to what is actually true rather than fiction (that’s what books, Cosmo magazine, and Disneyland are for are for… make-believe).

9) Don’t compare your past with your present: You used to be able to eat whatever you want and never gain weight??? Good for you. You also used to pee in a diaper. Move on.

10) Give and take: Give everything you’ve got and take away complete success. Give half, get half. Give nothing, take nothing away from your dieting experience. I feel so many of my clients are so close to what they deem their “ideal physique” and also a couple glasses of wine away from a very clean diet. See the correlation? Of course you don’t because you REALLY REALLY REALLY enjoy that glass of wine. DO YOUR BEST and I guarantee you will see THE BEST results. Its really quite simple.

11) Beware of his/her feelings: Be aware that you have an emotional attachment to food… NOT vice versa. Food doesn’t give two cents about you. Perhaps that is an indication of the unhealthy nature of your one-sided relationship with food. If this were about some-ONE rather than some-THING (food), all of your girlfriends would be huddled around you, handing you tissues, and chocolate, and saying, “F*ck him! You are SOOO much better than him”… Well wouldn’t that same argument work for the food we feel we can’t live without? Break it off! Eat food that treats you right.

12) Don’t be the perfect one, be the right one: You will never be perfect. You’ll die trying. Why not LIVE knowing that you are human. Set your standards high and take the first step towards reaching them. If you stumble, learn your lesson, dust yourself off, and continue placing one foot in front of the other, slowly and steadily. Setting low standards may lead to “perfection”, but of what? Aim to accomplish something great. Who cares if you show up a little dirty. Will you really be cheering and patting yourself on the back if you win the “Winner of Achieving the Lowest Standards Possible” award? I hope not. (See item #1)…

 

Yours in health, happiness, and dieting, to have and to hold, til death do you part,

Verity Somers

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