Spokane Medical Research

A Field Day of Cookies, Part 1

Filed under: Diet — Tags: , , — Rudolph @

I am a nutritionist and I eat Chocolate chip cookies! Don’t gasp, it’s OK!

In my last article, I spoke about the 80-20 Rule, and I’d like to revisit it in light of an event at my child’s playgroup the other day.

I was gorging on someone’s chocolate chip cookies (we never have them at our house, and it’s like a field day on the rare occasions I get to have them), when one of the other mothers commented, after briefly watching me with amazement.

“Wow,” she said with hope alive in her pretty brown eyes, “I’m glad to see a nutritionist eat like that!” I cracked up, and reassured her, “I couldn’t keep a healthy weight if I couldn’t have treats sometimes. I eat well 80% of the time … and 20% of the time….” I simply munched on a cookie to vividly illustrate the ending to that sentence. She seemed incredulous that I had not shamefully slinked off behind one of the many trees to eat my treasure unseen. No! I was proudly and thankfully indulging in a rare treat.

It was sad to me, though, to realize that my overweight friend had let one of her obstacles be what I call the “all-er-nothin” syndrome. It’s either eat well all the time or none of the time. This is truly the way so many struggling people have it bleakly etched in their minds. They see someone like me with a healthy weight and think we must eat perfectly all the time to stay in shape. No wonder so few try and so many who do try, fail.

I know this firsthand, for I used to think the same way. I’d be so “good” for so long, and then something about daily life would punch me in the stomach, rendering me “who cares?” I’d scarf up a piece of cake or bag of cookies, then it was as if none of my previous hard efforts had any validity at all. I was back to being “bad,” so why bother?

When I finally got committed instead of interested in obtaining a healthy weight, I knew one thing: I simply had to allow myself, for the rest of my life, to enjoy, guilt-free, a treasured treat sometimes.

This has probably been one of the top three reasons I have remained committed to staying at a healthy weight for more than four years now. Since I know there is no food in the world I cannot enjoy at some time, the desperation is gone. It’s kinda like going to a movie to me. I am not a frequent moviegoer, but when I do go, I thoroughly relish in the whole experience … more so, in fact, than if I did go often. For, it is the rare that we treasure the most intensely.

Here are four practical ideas to ensure you design your life around the proper 80-20 eating principle:

1. Remember that the only sustainable motivator is to gain health, not to lose weight. Therefore, this will be your filter for every decision.

This leads to research on such questions as, “what does the latest expert knowledge illustrate is the healthiest way to eat?” You then incorporate this knowledge a bit at a time. For example, it is well-known by now that different colors in fruits and vegetables are evidence of different phytochemicals, all with different health benefits.

Therefore, in your quest to gain maximum health (a quest which, properly approached always results in a healthy weight), you will want to surround yourself with good choices such as a wide array of different-colored fruits and veggies.

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