All tagged food

How to Eat Pancakes Without the Side of Guilt


(I do see this is a cheeseburger.)

Look, I understand it's early in the week, and you have #goals to hit, and you're "supposed to be" eating nothing but chicken boobs and vegetables. If you're recovering from diet culture, the prospect of a, "fuck it, let's go get pancakes," Sunday like I frequently mention may seem terrifying. You might be thinking, "if I did that, I'd eat candy and mac and cheese for the rest of the day. I'd rather stick to the plan."

First and foremost, I think coaches who say, "it's just one day!" are giving lazy advice (similar to, "just love your body!"). Like, if that didn't send you into a spiral of anxiety and frustration in the first place, you'd be there already. NEXT.

You Can Put It All Down.

The process by which each woman comes to a place of peace with food looks different for almost everyone, but it begins with knowing that we have so much more to do than worry about how many minutes of cardio we did, how many grams of fat, and how many rolls we let show this week.

Fitness and nutrition are important because they show us that we can do hard things: that we can work toward a goal, find a process that lights us up and makes us more alive, and discover layers of ourselves as yet unintroduced.

A lot of times, that looks like trying a few things out before we get there. The part we often forget to talk about, though, is that it often also looks like disconnecting, going inward, and trusting ourselves to figure the shit out. You don’t have to be (or have ever been) a bikini competitor or varsity letter athlete to get started; you can start right where you are. You’re the expert on you, and I’m here to guide you along the way.

4 Clicks to Peace With Food

In short, many of us are running on fumes, and one of the very last things we feel like doing is overhauling our entire lives (unless it's to set them on fire and start over on an uncharted island all alone, with The Rock on scheduled visits. No? That's just my escape plan? Okay...), because pizza and Subway are about all we can muster right now. 

And I get that. I *EVER* get that.

But, here's the thing: we deserve to be taken care of too.

And you know this, because we all know you can't pour from an empty cup, and you're a better coworker/partner/friend when you take care of yourself. But also, you deserve to be taken care of too...because you're a living, breathing, feeling human being worthy of care, just as you are. Not in order to *do* something. Just because you exist and are worth it.

Want a Hot Dog on Labor Day? Choose It.

Get real: we don’t *have to* eat any particular way. We don’t have to stick to any one diet; we aren’t being force-fed vegetables; we are under no obligation to eat all the ice cream. All we have are choices to make.

There’s power in owning this choice. And it’s magical, because, all of a sudden, we can examine ourselves in our fullness (no pun intended). We get to ask, “am I choosing the hot dog just because that’s ‘what you do’ at a barbecue, or am I choosing the hot dog because it’s what I actually want?” Avoiding the spiral starts with choosing the indulgences we’re truly excited about and owning that decision.

Before we continue, I’d like to point out that the scale isn’t always a measure of our progress. So many of us wrap our worth up in that number (been there), and it’s a far more fun (and lasting!) process to realize that we’re in these bodies for life. Fitness, whatever that may mean to each of us individually, is about exploration: we’re learning what movement we love, what foods serve us, how we can balance rest/relaxation/exercise/food to yield the greatest – and biggest! – possible life. Much like Mother Teresa, Wonder Woman didn’t sit around worrying about the size of her thighs; she had shit to do (and probably wanted them to be huge anyway). And so do you. So, before we go into what many of us worry about, I’d like to take a moment to pause, reflect, and get to the bottom of what we say we want: is our body change about feeling good, or about some arbitrary number we think will lead us to happiness, once we get there?

Nailing down the real reasons for our goals will help us sort out this dissonance- promise.

Knowing that I can choose be happy right this second, despite my circumstances, allows me to be grateful for all opportunities to improve. Knowing that I can choose to accept my body while still wanting it to change allows me to relax into the process and take an objective look about my methods.

Knowing that what I’m trying to do is feel more energetic, and certain foods make me feel bloated and tired, will help me to avoid those foods (dairy, nightshades, gluten, whichever potential allergen) to choose not the pizza (full of all 3, coincidentally) but a turkey burger instead. It doesn’t feel like deprivation (“I’m trying to get skinny, so I can’t have pizza” is a sad, sad statement.) but a benefit (because, “I’m trying to not feel like a beached whale every time I eat something I enjoy and would rather find something that I can enjoy and feel normal afterwards” is a much more fun mission). Hence, the exercise here: getting to the nitty gritty.

Bunless Burgers v Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter: A Lesson

Our mindset when it comes to nutrition is vital to our success.

If we think of eating well as a chore- as many of us do, because “diet” is the worst four-letter word I know- we’re unlikely to experience success. You know the drill (so do I): we think of “getting back on the wagon,” we cut out the foods we love and opt only for the boring stuff we sorta hate, we crave sugar so jazz up a rice cake with some peanut butter and pretend to be happy, we see success for 4-10 days, then we’re face-first in ice cream, because rice cakes and peanut butter after dry chicken and loads of steamed broccoli aren’t cutting it.

What if, instead of examining this as a chore, we explored ways to serve ourselves?

What if we looked at our nutrition from the perspective of athletes who want to nourish our bodies, our minds, and our performance?

How would our attitudes change?

Imagine: we’re out to eat, and, while we know that no situation will be perfect, we’re aware of what “ideal” looks like for us. We know we need to prioritize protein for muscles, a few starchy carbs for energy, and a lot of fibrous, watery veggies to feel full and get our vitamins. We don’t have to skip a meal with our friends, because we know that the FOMO will lead to a regret-fueled, “I deserve this, because I sacrificed my social time” potato chip binge, so we navigate the middle, go out, have a glass of wine, a salad, a bunless burger, and maybe a French fry or two. We come home and feel satisfied, neither bloated nor deprived, we take the dogs for a short walk, and go to bed to wake up feeling rested and refreshed.