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Managing food struggles one bite at a time

By Sonia Salfity , Family Flavours - Sep 11,2022 - Last updated at Sep 11,2022

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

By Sonia Salfity 

 

Tell me I’m not the only one who “cheats” when I think no one is watching! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve promised myself I would stay away from sugar, only to succumb to my favourite chocolate. My plan to quit sugar crumbles before my eyes and I’m back to square one!

Being honest and authentic about our current condition empowers us to move forward in the right direction. The opposite is also true. When we hide the challenges and struggles and attempt to conquer them on our own, we set ourselves up for failure. Keeping it real is good for the soul. It also helps us to stay accountable even on the hardest days when we’d rather “cheat”.

I can go for a long time without craving treats to the point where I think they are no longer dangerous. This causes me to believe I can handle my favourite chocolate and be sensible about my portion. You and I both know we didn’t become Desperate Dieters by being smart about portions! Except, of course, when it comes to things like broccoli and suddenly we are taking out the measuring cup because, heaven forbid, we eat an ounce too much!

There are two choices we get to make when we make poor selections: 

•Stinking Thinking: We decide we might as well succumb to all our cravings since we already messed up and “who cares anyway”. We end up doing way more damage when we decide not to choose option 2.

•Forgiving ourselves and moving on: We decide to be intentional about getting over this negative situation and move forward by taking tangible steps to remedy the damage. 

 

These steps include any of the following strategies:

•Drinking at least two cups of water (but don’t forget to reach eight by the end of the day!)

•Doing a short workout routine or going for a walk (weather permitting), or even going up and down the stairs for a few minutes that will get your heart rate up

•Reading your favourite book or calling that friend you’ve been meaning to call and seem never to have time for

•Taking a relaxing shower and listening to your favourite music

•Breathing: Taking slow breaths as you count to four, hold it for four seconds and exhale on the count of four; repeat for five minutes

•Asking those around you to help you stay accountable. It may mean asking your family not to bring junk food inside your home. It may mean asking a friend to walk with you instead of going to that restaurant

•Watering your plants! If you don’t have any, get some and enjoy caring for them, even if you aren’t a gardener. Despite being a terrible gardener, I’ve been enjoying my indoor plants and flowers. I keep just what I can manage to take care of because they bring joy to my soul and brighten up our kitchen. I also find that the more I tend to my plants, the better I feel about managing my own self-care. It’s a win/win! 

•Giving yourself a break. Find new ways to reward yourself that have nothing to do with food and everything to do with joy. One of my favourite short breaks I have come to enjoy is playing the WORDLE of the day on my phone. It’s free and there’s a new WORD to solve daily, giving your brain some good exercise. Type WORDLE in your browser and choose The New York Times option and you’ll get obsessed with figuring out the word instead of obsessing about the munchies! You can also download the free app if you want to solve more than one word daily. This is also fun with the whole family and creates healthy bonding as you try to see who solves it first!

 

Here’s to a healthier mind, body and soul as we renew our dedication and increase our capacity to manage our food struggles one bite at a time, one meal at a time, one day at a time.

 

Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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