I'm starting this New Year off with a new rule and a new attitude toward food. In my last blog, I wrote that I was going to really think about things before I acted upon them. The biggest problem for me is how to eat without overeating and how to keep my weight down so I physically feel better and I'm not endangering my health.
I would be lying if I said I needed help or expert advice in this area—I don't. I know what to do. I watch The Oprah Show , I listen to news reports on obesity in America, I read the countless articles on women's health and I know that heart disease is the number one killer of women. I read the pamphlets in my doctor's office while sitting in the waiting room—pamphlets on diabetes, strokes, hypothyroidism and the importance of doing cardio and weight-bearing exercise every day. I've read countless books on low sex drive and how eating the proper foods would improve my sex life. Heck, I wrote a book about that topic called, Okay, So I Don't Have a Headache ! It was a best-seller. You would think I would take my own advice.
To lose weight, I've tried vitamin therapy, juice fasting, colonics, eating raw foods, eating nothing but pineapples, eating nothing but protein, eating nothing but vegetables…eating nothing! I've tried every diet on earth for a lot of years. I've lost thousands of pounds (okay I'm exaggerating)—collectively, more than 100 pounds during my life. Somehow, with all this knowledge and experience, you would think I would be able to put this dieting issue to bed. Maybe that's the issue—it's a diet. From what I've observed about myself and everyone I know who's ever been on one— diets don't work .
I even tried calling it a "lifestyle change" and that doesn't work either because my pants size hasn't changed a smidge!
So, I started thinking about why none of it works. I didn't have to think too hard. I'm a smart person, I know what I should and should not do when it comes to eating. After a lifetime of searching for answers I have come to the simple conclusion: If we know that we don't have to eliminate any foods from our daily diet and that we can eat all the foods we enjoy, it will set us free—but making this approach work is not an easy task.
How to develop new (and healthier) eating habits
I think that when I order in a piping hot pizza with all that gooey melted cheese and everything on top, I'm only going to have one slice. Wrong! This is what happens: I eat the first piece and before I know it my arm, which seems to have a mind of its own, automatically reaches for another slice of pizza. The pizza doesn't even make it to the plate—I've unconsciously folded it in half and I eat it standing up. Okay, maybe it's not too much damage, but then I start to pick at and eat the toppings off the pizza that's still in the box, with the long stringy cheese still attached to it! By the time I've picked the top clean, I start on the crust—which no one likes anyway—and I munch on those or dip them in the salad thinking that eating a salad will some how justify all the pizza dough I just swallowed.
When I really stop to "think about it," the best way to handle this pizza dilemma is to eat a large portion of salad first. Then, by the time I finish the salad, the "edge" has been taken off my appetite, so I don't have to wolf down the first piece of pizza and probably not even want a second piece. Most of the time, I'm so hungry by the time the pizza arrives that I eat the first piece so fast I don't even taste it. I don't want to eat like that any more.
I'm going back to the way of eating that keeps me from overeating. I will carry in my purse, at all times, a small plastic bag with raw almonds, walnuts, raisins and a small piece of fruit. When my blood sugar gets low, I snack on it immediately and I recover from my mad desperate search for the nearest Sprinkles Cupcakes store! If I keep my blood sugar level up, I don't seem to have the desire to overeat.
I have a niece who just won the Victoria Secret model search, and I asked her what she eats. She told me that she eats five meals a day and two snacks. She eats a lot of fruits and veggies, huge salads and protein. I watched her eat over Thanksgiving, and her plate was full with everything. Then she ate dessert, including my pumpkin cheesecake! When we all stared at her in disbelief, she pointed out to us that she doesn't eat like this every day and because of the way she eats during the week she can indulge and does. Okay, yes, she's only 19 years old and has to do insane workouts, but her eating habits are doable.
So here's the deal and my new rule—I'm going to be spending a lot of time writing and sharing stories and recipes with you this year. I'm going to make better choices for myself during the day so I can indulge a couple of times a week in foods that should not be in my diet on a daily basis, and we all know what those foods are. I'll be adding a second rule soon, and that's exercising.
Maybe we can do this together. Let's help each other make better choices and see what happen. I would love to hear from you about your progress. If you go to my video section of Oprah.com, you'll see I have many recipes you can try, including some that are indulgent, but as you have heard time and time again, "Anything is okay in moderation."