Note: I’m gonna go ahead and call this post “The Way I Eat Now” because to be perfectly honest, I use these methods on the regular to help prevent myself from engaging in the “not so enjoyable” let me eat the kitchen sink NOW mentality.
Here’s the thing, this method took me a long ass time to figure out, along with a ton of screw ups, mishaps and wins, like I’m going to be discussing here, but it’s totally achievable and I’m going to give you some tips that’ve worked for me long-term to help you right along. Cool? Legooo….
Let me first use the analogy of a McDonalds super size meal to explain.
So, I’ve openly discussed how I would often hit the drive-thru after a meal out with my friends because I was still hungry. Yes, I know, this might be odd to some of you but if you have eating issues you totally get me here. Anyhow, my typical dinners would be something like a salad with dry chicken and dressing on the side. No bread, no butter and definitely no fat. Of course I would still be hungry, duh! So, yes, I would hit that drive-thru like it was going out of style to get my fix and it looked like this,
“Hi, welcome to McDonalds, can I take your order?”
“Umm….yeah, hey, can I please have 1 small cheeseburger?”
“One small cheeseburger is that all?”
“Wait, umm..no, can I please change my order to a Big Mac with a large fry and Diet Coke?” (Because a Diet Coke would make all the difference right? Lol.)
“You want to biggie size that?”
Here’s the deal-io with this….Can you see what I did here?
- I first made the mistake of not ordering enough food at the restaurant with my friends to begin with. So as I mentioned above, of course I was going to be hungry!
- I went through the drive-thru with intentions to just get a small cheeseburger.
- That deficiency mindset creeped in and I thought, “Oh crap, I have to get more because I don’t know when I will have it again!”
- Annddddd so I ordered the whole shebang, just like William Hung once said.
And so we start down this mental rabbit hole and all the insane thoughts we tell ourselves when it comes to eating. We see *restriction* as an accomplishment and *overabundance* as failing. Case in point, I thought by restricting at the dinner table was an achievement and I couldn’t hang on, I then went in for the kill with the “binge” mode and basically told myself F it, I’m here so I might as well dive in head first.
Point being, we feel the need to EITHER be 100% tight and rigid with our food OR say, eff it, I’m all in.
The example is the McDonalds analogy right? Either I eat a salad with dried chicken and no dressing and that might be considered “super clean” and rigid or I go ALL IN with the biggie size meal. HMMM….definitely no “middle ground” there huh? My question is why can’t we give ourselves permission to meet in the middle with our cravings and hunger? Not saying we have to go binge our heads off like I did at McDonalds NOR restricting like a mofo at the restaurant?
Ladies tell me all the time, “Oh, I’m either all in or all out. There’s no middle ground. What’s that?”
Isn’t it interesting we’re so fixated on trying to get it just right or find the perfect way to eat (which doesn’t exist BTW) that we lose sight of eating balanced to take the edge off our cravings?
This is a happy-medium, a mid-range solution to achieving ultimate eating success.
Finding the middle ground isn’t failing. It’s a highly successful solution.
Because we know that the more we feel deprived, the more likely we’ll binge later. Eating is not on-or-off. It’s not black-and-white. It’s not all-or-nothing. It’s not a biggie size meal or dried chicken.
THE SOLUTION IS FINDING THE MIDDLE GROUND.
Here’s the key: Eating balanced 4-7 days a week far out wins jumping from plan to plan and eating rigid 5 days a week and full on binging for 2. (All or nothing mindset yes?).
K, let’s dive in……
1) When eating out:
Instead of feeling the need to eat everything in site because of a birthday, anniversary, etc. how about stopping for a minute and being mindful of the middle approach? Let’s look at our goals: if the goal is to binge a few days a week followed by a handful of days in deprivation mode, then by all means have at it. However, if we’re in line with the “middle ground” approach, how about we look at the menu and see what sticks out for us. Maybe we don’t air on the side of the salad with no dressing and maybe we don’t dive right into pasta with the heavy cream sauce. What if we found something more in line with our ultimate goal. (Think less obsession, more balance, etc) Maybe that can look something like a fried chicken salad with the dressing on the side? (Little fat, little starch to hold you over) or maybe you do that pan seared fish entree with some steamed veggies? Of course when we dine out the food always tastes so much better than if we cook it at home due to the added oils and such but don’t stress about it. Seriously. Feeling satisfied like this will help the binge later, that I can promise.
The more we can focus on achieving this balance with our food, the less likely we will be spending hours on end obsessing about our next meal. Why? Because we’re satisfied and sure, this feeling might feel foreign to us because we’re used to restricting and thinking about food constantly. But I can tell you, in the long run this is the spot to be.
This one is a biggie. I get it, we go out, drink and play but I have so many of you asking me about alcoholic beverages. Honestly, I know some people that will literally starve all day just to have the calorie lead way later in the day. Of course this isn’t healthy so let’s chat about the more balanced approach. This is what I typically tell my clients: If you want a drink or two at dinner, skip out on the dessert and bread. You don’t need all 3 and then feel the need to exercise it off tomorrow and you also don’t want to deprive yourself if you know you’re in the mood for it.
Here’s where the confidence factor ties in to our food choices and getting our head out of the black and white mentality. Find the balance and remind yourself that nothing is perfect and it never was. Maybe you have a drink or two and forgo the bread as I mentioned above or maybe you just have 4 oz. of wine instead of 6. Those trade-offs are huge in the big scheme of things because over time those mindset shifts will begin to happen effortlessly and without much thought.
3) The mindset shift:
I think so many of us still live in either the “bodybuilding diet” mindset or the “gorge and re-feed” mindset. Food doesn’t need to be hard core, over the top rigid or so structured you can’t breathe. In turn, food is meant to be enjoyable, effortless while habit forming in a healthy way and something that’s sustainable long term. This took me years to figure out and that’s why I’m super passionate about helping you figure it out sooner to save you the hassle and mental mind eff.
To me, balance is a forever lifestyle, not a quick fix, short term game that’s going to fall apart at some point again. It’s about showing up, making mistakes, falling flat on our face but picking ourselves back up again and gaining those small wins for ultimate success.
Be my guest, program hop and find a new meal plan every 4-6 months but I’ll plan on seeing you in a few years. :).
To be perfectly honest, I find meal plans lazy. I’m sure I’ll get backlash for this and I’m okay with that. Listen, I get we all have to start somewhere, especially when we’re still untrusting of ourselves but the more we continue to rely on others to tell us what to eat, the more the cycle will continue.
Why on earth should we have to eat based on what a sheet of paper says? Guess what? WE DON’T.
And this is my teachable lesson. Again, I know we all have to start from somewhere, but after a while at what point do we say, “enough is enough!” I don’t need that extra chicken breast today because that sheet of paper told me so.
You guys, I’m so ridiculously passionate about my 21-Day Food Obsession Course because this is all the stuff we will be diving into. I’m going to be teaching you at such a high-level on how to be successful long term with your food.
You can ABSOLUTELY have a successful eating routine without obsession and STILL be in shape. AHHH! I know right?! How did you even think that was possible? Ha! Neither did I until I finally quit the all or nothing diet mentality and began to listen, coach and teach myself how to intuitively eat without the obsession. And my weight has been the same for 3 years now. I’m not slaving at the gym to get “rid” of the food from the day before nor am I binging myself sick.
THE STICKY STUFF IS ALL IN THE MIDDLE. THAT’S THE SOLUTION RIGHT THERE.
My FREE new course is all about teaching you how to eat without the all or nothing mindset. It’s about taking personal responsibility and owning your struggles and working through them together to quit the obsession once and for all. Listen, I’ve been there and it’s my duty to help you achieve ultimate success to break free from all this diet B.S. and you can still get results!!!
As always, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions!