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Friday, October 22, 2010

Lifestyle: Weight Loss and Guilt

I feel like this weight loss issue is becoming a bit of a series, but I imagine it's a good idea to get it out of the way so that we can focus on other aspects of the anti-anxiety lifestyle. Eating according to these standards in no way guarantees weight loss, however, if you are overweight and you eat small portions of this healthy food, I imagine that you will lose weight. This isn't a diet in the way that those other fads are diets, which is exactly why it works so well. It's not difficult to live with or to follow.

I guess what made me think of all of this was my recent foray into diet consultation with my friend...I think what makes this whole thing so much different is that it can't be approached the same way that fad diets are. You aren't denying yourself anything. You aren't forcing yourself to live without. When you choose to make a lifestyle change for your mental and emotional health, you are finding new and better ways of living. It's rewarding in and of itself because you will feel better, and soon enough, you wont want what you aren't supposed to have.

The anti-anxiety diet isn't about deprivation and therefore, if you are trying to lose weight or if you are trying  to address a health issue or if you are just trying to eat a little better, guilt shouldn't be a part of it. Being raised in a religious background, I've often felt the burden of all sorts of unnecessary guilt, as though everything I did was somehow encroaching on someone else. A lot of this attitude made itself evident in my eating patterns, until finally I became so overwhelmingly frustrated that I just quit caring how I ate.



But the point of choosing to change your lifestyle is learning to live a new way, and it's <i>your</i> life. You have to do what works for you. If easing into it - cutting out one "bad" sort of food at a time - works for you, then do it! If making a radical change all at once is more your speed, then more power to you. But at the end of the day, you must remember that what you are doing, you are doing for you.

It's not an easy thing, rethinking everything about how you eat, and how you eat is a huge part of how you live. No one can make you feel bad about that (especially you!), regardless of your way of doing things or how many times you slip up. It's brave, and you shouldn't deny yourself that.

I would encourage you to approach your new lifestyle with determination and confidence, but most of all with flexibility. Life is ever changing and unpredictable. Stubbornness can be quite useful, but you should temper it with adaptability...life requires both.

Stay tuned next week for more pragmatic posts about eating complex carbs and high volume, low-calorie foods. And...some seriously awesome recipes. Have a great weekend!

The Calm Cook

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