Doing the Right Thing, because it is the Right Thing to Do
Thursday, August 01, 2013
Today I have felt somewhat bored by my food choices and wishing I could just "eat like everyone else". The "everyone else" may indeed be mythical but I did venture down the "poor me" type of thinking (rabbit hole).
It then hit me that why should I feel deprived for making healthy choices and doing the right thing for my body and my family. This will ultimately affect the quality of my life and my ability to earn money, enjoy vacations, do more with friends and family - in short - participate in life more. I often feel as if I am in the sidelines, watching the parade go by, and I am expected to clap. That too, is "poor me" thinking, and dangerous at that, as I completely dismiss the experiences of others as "better" than mine, and I haven't a clue what battle they are fighting. I need to be able to be happy for others and less disgruntled about whatever situation I find myself in. There is always a gift of learning.
I don't feel deprived that I have to follow a speed limit. It is the right thing to do, and driving rules are in place for a reason, so that destinations can be reached as safely as possible. I don't feel deprived that I would only take a recommended amount of medication. That is necessary for it to function and not cause adverse effects. I don't feel deprived that I had to study to pass course material and submit only my work, etc. Students are held to a standard for the benefit of themselves and society. (I want the surgeon doing my C-section, to be proficient). These rules when you take them out and look at them, are obvious, and logical.
Why should I feel deprived, because I have finally chosen a different path? I have chosen to do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do. Ignoring my body's signals was oblivious behaviour.
I want to pay more attention, to life. I want to live, not just exist. I want to be engaged, not just tread water.
So when I have a treat I will work it into my tracker, and when I do not, I will not feel hard done by.
I will be glad when doing the right thing is effortless.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Loved this post! Thanks for sharing your insight :)
1361 days ago
Great blog! Thanks for sharing!
1361 days ago
Great blog~thanks for sharing!
I too like to do the right thing when comes to my health & wellness.
I also fall down the rabbit hole when I see others having & enjoying donuts My daughter always reminds me that I have lived that part of my life & enjoyed "many Donuts", it's my time to eat healthy & do the right thing when it comes to my health & wellness.
1361 days ago
I can really relate to this. I especially noticed it a few years ago when I was advised to, for example, cut out caffeine and sugar for my mental health. It just fed into me feeling like I was not normal, was less-than, and why me? How come I can't be like everyone else? Everyone else can have coffee and soda and cookies and whatnot and they are operating fine...
But it's definitely backwards thinking. Aside from the bad *emotions* about those choices (and we can work to change our attitudes), it's really not that big of a trade-off to feel better in general and eat fewer treats in order to achieve that. Sort of like, if the treats gave you super bad heartburn for five hours, you'd severely limit them, because who needs that??
But, I also have a few tips that work for me. Start to parse out which treats are worth the calorie binge, and which are not. Like for me, a latte can leave me feeling not deprived all day, even if I'm super diligent with everything else. But whipped cream? Holy cow, I mean, it's yummy, but it doubles the calories (or more). I'd rather have a latte every day than a latte with whipped cream once a week, and "deprive myself" the rest of the week.
So, figure out what really, really makes you happy. Stop feeding yourself anything else. If you REALLY love bakery cupcakes, and a Kit Kat bar just satisfies a chocolate craving but is actually kind of... ho hum? Get a bakery cupcake, even though it's probably 100 calories more (or more). Then find something else that'll satisfy that craving that you also like, that is lower calorie (like a hot cocoa... adding a bit of milk makes it creamy, gives protein, and adds few calories) that you can have for more of your chocolate cravings, rather than a cupcake every single time.
You deserve to be healthy and feel good and also enjoy food. It just takes work to get all three. Like, I'm still figuring it out all the time! But it's worth the effort.
"I will be glad when doing the right thing is effortless." Well, that's a pretty tall order in general. But for me (erm... 10 months in?) it is getting there. I definitely still have issues with temptation and social eating, and would rather just eat socially less often and have what I want than have to "diet" at restaurants constantly. I have trouble sitting at a table while 3 people eat burgers and I, like, don't. I can't do that still.
But on a day to day basis, I don't feel deprived anymore, and I don't feel like I "can't" have treats. Your tastes and appetite and emotions and attitude and perspective will all change, over time, making things easier for you.
You said something in another blog entry that struck me - about how you were doing eating "wrong" before (unless I'm mixing you up with someone else). I don't agree, exactly. I think it's important to think of food as nutrition... we need to eat to live, and we need to eat well to live well. But I think if we start ascribing morality to food ("bad" food, "wrong" food, "wrong" ways of eating) then we are in trouble. There's no good or bad food. There are foods that should not make up too much of your diet... and other foods that should. By all means, decide that a food is doing you a serious disservice, and drop it entirely. But do it because you genuinely realize it, and not because it's a "treat."
Or, at least, this is what helps me. If sugar is not "bad" then I can't be "deprived" of it, I can't "fail" when I eat it, I can't have guilt about it or beat myself up over it. I can choose to minimize it because I've noticed I generally feel better when I do. I can take the consequences when I eat too much, too often, and then recommit to minimizing it again. But I don't need that to mean guilt or failure or shame. It just was - I ate more sugar for a week, then I felt less good, so I backed off again. So you're right. Track it, and don't feel hard done by. :)
I agree about not ignoring your body's messages. :)
[I think your article shows you're really thinking along the right lines! I use the "you" here sort of third person-y, and very abstractly. I'm not criticizing you! Just sharing my own thoughts on the subject and what has been helpful for me.]
1361 days ago
It will happen. One day you will wake up and realize that you're eating healthier than ever before in your life and you feel great!!
1361 days ago
A good way to look at things for sure. Doing the right thing may never be easy, but that it's the right thing, should make you feel better about it.
1362 days ago
Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.