I used to think that “healthy” meant eliminating everything that tastes good. I was convinced that weight loss meant a sad, bland diet. I would allow myself plain oatmeal, fat-free half-and-half in coffee, bland cereals, cottage cheese, salads for dinner, and grilled chicken. I talked myself out of good food all the time. Never pasta, never pizza, never ice-cream. Friday nights meant ballet class and a famous NYC-tossed salad in a plastic bowl. I actually used to go out with my friends to ice-cream parlors and not order anything.
I talked myself out of good food all the time. Never pasta, never pizza, never ice cream. Friday nights meant ballet class and a famous NYC tossed salad in a plastic bowl. I actually used to go out with my friends to ice cream parlors and not order anything.
Don’t get me wrong. If there was a special occasion or a holiday, I would allow myself to eat the good stuff. I would overdo it, though. I would eat catered meals until the point of not being able to breathe. When dessert came around, I would behave my absolute worst. I once had 4 cupcakes in one sitting, and I’ve lost count of how many cookies I ate.
I would take out leftovers at midnight just because I wanted to enjoy the taste of the foods I wouldn’t normally have one more time before bed. All inclusive vacations… forget it. I would eat every meal twice and just eat because it seemed like a “now or never” situation. I wouldn’t have a problem getting back on the healthy wagon on Mondays, but it was a struggle after stretching my stomach at all those parties.
To make the long story short, going about these out of control habits led me to gain nearly 25 pounds after losing 15 pounds on my plain, bland diet. I still danced and cross-trained throughout this weight loss and disastrous weight gain. During this time, I felt my absolute worst physically and emotionally.
After a terrible three-week diet of no gluten or dairy and deciding to train for a half marathon, I lost 10 pounds. I began to welcome back some of the foods I really missed, like BREAD. I also fell in love with this book called Eat It To Beat It by David Zinzencko. He is the reason why I make good choices in the grocery store. This book allows me to have my ice cream and eat it too, and I do! Same goes for cookies. Kashi FTW. I practically live off of those alone.
I fell in love with food again so much that I actually began my own blog and food/drink media publication called Foodie Out Loud. I actually find, and eat, all the food that I post to help the public discover restaurants near them.
How can I promote doughnuts, pizza, cookies, and breakfast of champions as being “the best around” if I don’t eat them?! I get this question all the time. “How do you eat all of that and stay so fit?” The answer is exactly that — to stay so fit, I eat the food I want. Eliminating foods was the worst thing I could possibly do.
But how do I eat and stay so fit? I never stop moving. I make it a point to do something physical every day. I do 4-5 workouts per week in addition to dance classes, auditions, and rehearsals that my schedule demands.
Many times, that workout is running to a restaurant. I eat small portions quite frequently throughout my day and get very comfortable in the plank position. I stay away from cheese, only having it on my absolute favorite junk food, pizza. I took coffee creamer out of my life and replaced it with hot sauce. I love kicking up eggs and guacamole with hot sauce. I don’t eat fried fast food ever.
Being a foodie who has to maintain her aesthetic of a dancer, I have finally found something that keeps me fit. Having a life and enjoying food like every normal human is in style. Not every day, but when I crave doughnuts or pizza, I go for it. Since accepting this thinking, I have managed to lose 30 pounds and maintain it for two years without eating salad in a plastic bowl.
Always rejecting your guilty pleasure is not always the answer because you will lose control during your next allowance at that birthday party. We have to celebrate things and have gatherings with our families. Food will always be a part of those rituals.