Saturday, March 2, 2013

Diet. A way of life?

This morning I was shocked to learn that the word "Diet" is derived from the Greek "Dieter" which means, "A way of life."

Seriously?  My purpose for writing this post this morning was to suggest that we stop dieting in order to find a better way to manage eating.  How many people have said that they don't want a diet, they want a lifestyle, and now I discover that lifestyle used to be synonymous with diet?

Let's take this a little further- "Dieter" is Greek, so I guess we're talking about a Greek diet here: olive oil anyone?  Have you read the latest study on the Mediterranean diet?  The word is that it can reduce strokes and heart disease in at risk populations.  Whoops, there's that word diet again.

Alright, let me come back to what I wanted to convey today.  As I look back at what has worked to help me release fat and keep it off over the past five years, I can see clearly that what foods, and how much of them I eat are  the primary factors in how much fat I store.  I have through study, trial and error, luck, and dogged persistence discovered the foods that serve my purpose of living a vital happy life.  I have the knowledge I need to create my way of eating.  If you are willing to pay close attention to you needs, desires, and behaviors around food you can gain the same wisdom when it comes to what you eat.

My purpose when I write about eating is to convey techniques for applying our wisdom.  If you're like me you know which foods work for you.  If you don't, I'm urging you to spend some time exploring how you react to the foods you eat.  Recently it has become clear to me that that the recommendations we get about how to eat and move were established for people who have no difficulty with their weight.  Eight servings of whole grains a day might be just dandy for someone with perfect insulin sensitivity and no excess adipose tissue, but for someone like me who experienced her first bread binge at age five,  even one serving might be too much.  The idea of going on a diet in the conventional sense, especially the Standard American Diet, is something I simply won't accept any longer.

I never release fat for long when I follow someone else's diet.  I release fat for good when I use my best wisdom to help me manage my day to day eating.  How do I manage eating?  Each morning I take some quiet time to write down my menu for the day.  The behavior I use really is that simple.  Sometimes I'll track my menu on line as well, but it's that time with my notebook in the morning that is most effective. Once my plan is written down I don't need to fuss over what I'll prepare.  Later, I may pull something out of the freezer, chop vegetables, or bring out the slow cooker as needed.  I can relax and do what needs to be done to support my purpose- which is health, vitality, and happiness.

Sometimes I eat out of bounds.  Stress, avoidance, and unexpected emotions can knock me off of my chosen path.  Is this a disaster?  It can  seem like one, but these episodes always teach me something valuable about my relationship with food.  When I don't stay faithful to my choices I find the reason why,  and look for a way to diffuse the feeling that pushed me off course.

So now I see that my diet isn't my lifestyle because I no longer follow a diet.  I choose what I will eat based on my personal wisdom, and then I follow a plan.  If the amount of fat you store on your body has never been an issue, then you don't need this technique.  If it has been an issue, I encourage you to give morning planning a try.

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