Keep the Yummy Stuff in Your Diet
Author: Shannon Miller
My philosophy on staying healthy is to keep everything in balance.
- Have a slice of pizza, don’t eat the whole pie.
- Have a brownie; just don’t eat the whole pan.
- You have to enjoy life and enjoy food.
If you start making certain food or food groups “off limits” you may deprive yourself of essential nutrients. And you will almost surely crave what you cannot have which can lead to overeating.
After retiring from elite competition, I quickly gained a good amount of weight on my 5’1” frame. I felt sluggish and was embarrassed by all the extra weight. I felt like I had let people down. I did not look like an Olympic champion. Nor did I feel like one. I was sluggish, lost confidence in myself and quickly realized I was shying away from doing the things I once loved.
One morning when I couldn’t fit into my favorite pair of “relaxed fit” jeans, I sat down in my closet and wondered how I had not seen this coming. What had I done and how could I turn things around? In gymnastics, if I wanted to learn a skill I would map out all the things I had to do in order to make it happen. And now I had to put those skills to use again.
Over the next few years, with much trial and error, I sculpted a healthy lifestyle plan for myself. At first I tried almost every diet I read about. Not one of them worked and they certainly weren’t something I could stick with for the long haul. I was too focused on getting thin, not healthy.
Hitting an all-time low in my self-esteem, I chose a new strategy.
I would not deprive myself of my favorite foods. Rather, I would cut down on portion size, eat a more balanced diet, and workout 4-5 times per week for 30-45 minutes.
All of this seemed doable and I resigned myself to try it for at least 12 weeks.
I didn’t lose the weight overnight but I was seeing results. Not only was I looking more toned, I was also enjoying food! And the best part is that it was a lifestyle I could maintain.
Bottom line…don’t hesitate to reach for dessert. Remember portion size and don’t forget about the fitness portion of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
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