A dietitian’s shocking confession
Do you remember that scene in the movie Jerry Maguire, where Jerry went out on a limb writing his own mission statement and distributing it to the entire office in memo-form? The mission statement, titled: “The things we think and do not say”, ended up costing Jerry his job because he was too honest. Well, I’m about to go out on a limb right now and pull a little “Jerry Maguire” of my own, in hopes that three things will happen:
1. You WILL be inspired
2. You WON’T “fire” me for being too honest
3. You WILL feel empowered to make a change in your life
So, here goes…I am absolutely, positively addicted to chips.
Whew, that felt good! I want you to understand that just because I’m a nutrition professional, doesn’t mean I’m a flawless eater. If any dietitian (or person for that matter) tells you they are, or leads you to believe they are, you’d better watch closely because their nose will begin to grow just like Pinocchio’s!
We all have our food vices (our “drugs” of choice as I like to call them), that’s what makes us human. Salty chips happened to be mine. I’m not picky either- barbecue, blue corn tortilla, SunChips, you name it. If it crunches and as is made from corn or potatoes, I’m hooked!
Now I know what you’re thinking- just don’t buy them! That’s an option, but not one I opt for because I have a husband who enjoys them and, unlike me, can eat a handful and be done with it! I envy him. How does he do it? I can easily devour half a bag of tortilla chips and then feel guilty and disgusted with myself. Why can’t I stop? Can you relate? What is your “drug” of choice? Chocolate chip cookies? Doughnuts? Doritos? M&M’s? Whatever it is, remember, you control IT, it doesn’t control YOU.
Here is a 3-step plan for making peace with your “drug” of choice. It works for me and will work for you too. Beware however, you must follow all steps or you’ll be doomed to “relapse”:
Step 1: Don’t deprive yourself
Forbidding yourself of ____________(insert “drug” of choice) only makes it worse. It’s sort of like the child in the grocery store check-out line who wants a candy bar. Mom says “no”, child screams louder. Your obsession with your “drug” of choice will only scream louder if you tell yourself “no”.
Step 2: Control your environment
You’ve just given yourself permission to eat your “drug” of choice, but that doesn’t mean you should go hog wild on it! You have two options when it comes to controlling your environment: 1. Simply just don’t have it in the house or 2. Pre-portion a single serving. I practice the second one by filling little snack-size sandwich bags with just a handful or two of chips. That way when I have a taste for it, I grab a bag, eat it and am done. There’s something about getting to the end of the bag (even a sandwich bag) that tells me- “OK, you’re done!”. The fact that it’s a small sandwich bag just means that I controlled my environment. How about that? You can do this with just about any food: cookies, M&M’s, jelly beans, etc. Just be sure it’s a snack size bag, not a freezer bag! Remember, YOU control your environment, it doesn’t control you!
Step 3: Understand and believe in your “why”
This is the most important step! How do I stop myself from eating the entire bag of potato chips (even though I want to!)? I understand and wholeheartedly believe in my “why”, which is: To keep my body healthy and free from disease. That’s why I work out, eat fruits and vegetables every day and avoid trans fats and other things that are bad for my body. I know that potato chips are nothing but high sodium, empty calories and eating the whole bag goes against my “why”. What is your “why”? What made you read this article today? Are you searching for better health? To fit better in your clothes? To have more energy? Whatever the reason, that’s your “why”.
Are you with me on this journey? Your emails and comments are 100% welcomed and encouraged, so please let me know how it goes!
Make it an energizing day!