Last night, I was thinking about the whole "diet" versus "eating healthy" thing because the other day, a couple co-workers and I were talking about a cake that someone else had brought in and left on the table in our break room for others to enjoy. I said I was going to avoid going in the kitchen and one of my co-workers (she is a summer intern, so she is new) said, "Oh, you can’t eat it because you are on a diet?" I said, "No, I am not on a diet, I just eat healthy!"
I actually wanted to scream and say, "Just because I am CHOOSING not to eat a piece of cake doesn’t mean I am on a diet. People actually can CHOOSE not to eat crappy foods." But I chose not to say that.
In the past several months, since I began this journey and started losing weight, I have had several people ask how my "diet" is going. I always explain that I am not on a diet. Instead, I have chosen to start eating healthier foods and really watch my portion sizes. Yes, I do still eat cake and chips and ice cream and such, but not all the time and not huge portions.
Yes, my eating has drastically changed. But I am not on a diet. I don’t take any pills. I don’t use shakes or other types of drinks as a meal. I don’t use pre-packaged food I buy online or in the frozen food section. I don’t use any type of meal replacement bars or anything else that people who want to lose weight quick use. This is how I now eat. Period. It’s not for a couple of weeks or couple of months or for a couple of years, for that matter. This is for life.
I eat real food. Food that is prepared by me (or most of the time, my husband!). I literally weigh and measure most of the food I eat. We typically don’t use oil when cooking or if a recipe calls for it, we usually cut the amount in half and we always use extra virgin olive oil. I don’t use butter – ever. I don’t use ranch or other creamy-style dressing on my salads – unless it’s the fat-free version. I don’t use mayo or whatever that stuff is called – unless it’s the fat-free kind. I buy 45-calorie wheat bread. I buy light-style English muffins. I use low-calorie, low-fat, high-fiber tortillas to make wrap sandwiches, tacos, fajitas, etc. I use fat-free sour cream. I use low-fat cheese. I eat 100-calorie light yogurt. I eat 60-calorie Jell-O. I like baked chips. I typically don’t eat at fast food restaurants. We only use chicken breast with no skin, no bones and all the fat trimmed off. We only use top sirloin steak because it is one of the leanest cuts. We eat pork tenderloin and turkey tenderloin and ground chicken and turkey and when we eat hamburger, we try to only use the 90 to 95 percent lean. And, we usually only buy our meat when it is on sale. My husband is the best grocery shopper around. I am lucky.
I could go on and on about the foods I eat. Like I said, my eating habits have drastically changed. But it’s not because I am on a diet. It is because I want to be healthy. I want my family to be healthy. I truly LOVE eating healthy. Since I started my healthy eating journey, I have only averaged .9 – that’s point nine – pounds lost per week. If I was on a diet, I would probably be losing two to four pounds per week. I haven’t even lost an average of one pound per week. But I am happy about that. I did it right this time. I learned how to eat and how to do it right. Oh, and I do incorporate some exercise in there…for sure three days a week, but I try to do five days per week.
And I do have to give kudos and tons of credit to Weight Watchers. They teach their clients how to change their lifestyle and still enjoy their lives. Thanks, Weight Watchers! (For more information about WW, visit the website at http://www.weightwatchers.com.)