I love my food, and I am not just talking about it in a general sense.
I love the food that I am eating NOW as I work my way down in body fat percentage, girth, and scale weight this autumn.
Yes, how about that? I love my clean eats.
This was not always so.
Many times in the past I have held my nose, suppressed my gag reflex, and bolted down various solids and liquids in the name of improved body composition and athletic performance that tasted more like chemical waste to my additive- and preservative- sensitive palette than actual food. Some of these things made my scalp crawl (GNC’s creatine and glutamine powder). Others gave me headaches (all faux fruit-flavored supplements and chocolate mint protein powder) or brought on a strong feeling of nausea (EAS Myoplex MRP shakes, most of their nasty bars, and a host of other protein powder brands). Still others, while technically classified as whole food, simply grossed me out with their natural taste and texture (Cottage cheese anyone?).
I tried to be logical. I’d tell myself that this was the price I had to pay in order to get the body I wanted in the most efficient way possible. I’d attempt to convince my brain and body that these sacrifices were only temporary; eventually I’d reach my goal and be able to cast the vile-tasting “health” foods and supplements aside and return to meals that liked. I just needed to stick it out for 8-12 weeks.
And hey, maybe if I had it often enough, I’d come to enjoy some of these (vile, nasty) substances!
Does this actually work?
You be the judge:
I forced myself to stick with cottage cheese for months and months when I first started Body for Life in 2004 because everyone else seemed to love it so much. Skwigg may even remember me whining about it in my posts on her BFL Women’s group on Yahoo. Eventually I did build up a tolerance to some degree by going from hiding CC in other recipes, to eating blended CC with fruit and nuts, and finally graduating to the small curd stuff straight out of the carton, but within a few weeks of adaptation my conditioning would break without warning, and I’d be back at square one. I’d suddenly be looking at my CC and fruit snack at work one afternoon and be physically incapable of taking another bite without wanting to throw up. This happens EVERY 6 months or so when I venture to add CC back into my diet for convenience.
I don’t care HOW optimal cottage cheese may be as a pre-bedtime snack because of it’s high casein content; it makes me bilious, and I will never be able to eat it for more than a week or two in a row without shuddering internally. The same goes for 99% of the supplements, bars, and protein powders out there. Maybe using them would give me a *slight* edge in my workouts and body fat reduction goals, but if the thought of ingesting them fills me with dread and resentment, I am that much more likely to rebel somewhere in the middle of my program and go looking for an off-plan item.
What I didn’t realize back then was that I had it all wrong. Instead of forcing myself to eat things I couldn’t stand and setting myself up for failure and misery, I should have been circling all of the foods I truly liked on the approved list and building my menu from those. For this reason I have dropped cottage cheese (surprise!), bananas (blech), celery, watermelon, storebought MRP shakes and bars, and all protein powders except chocolate and vanilla Dymatize Elite and vanilla gemma powder from my nutrition arsenal. Fortunately, I like almost everything else left on the usual lists of healthy foods, including most lean proteins, veggies and fruits, so I still have a huge selection to choose from each week.
Thank goodness I finally opened my eyes and saw the light. It has made it so much easier to stay on task with my diet in the past 6 weeks.
Take a look at your menu right now and see if there are any items on there that fill you with anything other than joy to eat. If so, review your program’s list of clean foods again and *make some smart substitutions* before your subconscious mind decides that a Kit Kat bar would be a perfect alternate choice for the chocolate protein shake you had scheduled for 3 pm. Healthy and sustainable for life are much better targets to shoot for with food than optimal but barely edible for 12 weeks.
1. 60 g oats and raisins, 3 egg whites, 1/4 c. mashed cauliflower, 5 pieces pickled chili radishes
2. 3 oz. cranberry chicken breast, 1.5 c. broccoli and bok choy in oyster sauce, 1/2 c. brown rice (cooked volume)
3. 10 almonds, 20 g raisins
4. 6 oz. tofu pan-seared on both sides with olive oil, 1 t. Szechuan chili paste, 6 baby carrots, 1/2 c. natural applesauce
5. 2 boiled eggs, 1 peach
6. 4 oz. salmon filet, 1 c. green beans
Water: 16 cups
Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, 6 fish oil capsules
* HIIT Treadmill Run using BFL Intervals (30 min)
* Recumbent Bike (Level 9, 20 min)
* 100 Push Ups W5D2 (19/22/18/22/63 max)