Most of us who have visited Green Mountain at Fox Run have heard this pearl of healthy eating wisdom before. And why do we understand this concept? Because we’ve lived it successfully many times. When we diet by restricting certain foods and calories until we can’t take it anymore – we tumble down the slippery slope of deprivation right into a vat of cookie batter.
I was reacquainted with the brownie analogy recently, because I was forced to battle with some dietary restrictions that were beyond my control. Over the last couple months I could only tolerate very low fat and at times non-fat fare. Foods that were easily digestible (can we say fresh fruits and vegetables?) and in small portions. These restrictions were placed upon me prior to some surgery – not because I chose them for myself or because I was trying to lose weight.
Now that the surgery is over and I’m regaining my appetite, what I am experiencing is that old familiar feeling – food cravings – foods, which years ago, I would have labeled as ‘bad’. Although, I no longer buy into the good/bad food theory, I can’t stop thinking about them. I am craving…
Salty chips (from my favorite Mexican restaurant)
Chocolate (does it matter?)
Cake (or chocolate cake!)
Spare ribs (slow cooked and messy)
Chili hot dog (or corn dog, preferably bought from a carney at the fair)…huh?
Cashews (by the handful)
Cheese! (preferably melted on everything)
So, what’s wrong with any of these foods? Nothing, really, but you can see how I’ve begun to glamorize them. Obviously, some may not be the healthiest food choices, but none that couldn’t be integrated into a balanced diet w/ little or no harm and in moderation. Its how I’ve started to think about them and how I approach desiring them that’s important.
There is something very powerful in allowing yourself to feel no food is ‘off limits’. It takes the power away from the food and gives it back to you. Prior to my ‘restrictive diet’ period, I would allow any and all of these foods in my diet and still manage my weight pretty effectively.
Let’s be honest, one brownie never made anyone fat. Its how we feel about never having one again that’s at issue. So go ahead, give yourself the opportunity to enjoy your favorite high fat, high caloric treat once and awhile. I bet when you give yourself permission to do so – you’ll actually enjoy it – and you won’t care nearly as much about the next one.
PS: If you’re going to have a brownie – have a good one and check out these websites: