I need to be real with you. As I'm writing this blog, I'm enjoying a home made peanut butter chocolate chip cookie and a cup of tea.
A COOKIE! NO! You may gasp.
"But you've worked so hard, don't screw it up!
"Didn't you lose 70lbs? Aren't you afraid of putting the weight back on?"
It's a cookie. Plain and simple. Nothing more, nothing less.
It's not a treat for working hard all week. It's not a sympathy cookie to make me feel good. There is no emotion or happiness or guilt or judgement... it's just a cookie.
You see, months ago, I would never say this. I would eat the cookie and then completely beat myself up for doing it. I'd berate myself for being weak, giving into temptations, "ruining" my fitness plan, screwing up.
You name it and I said it to myself.
I'd strive to "eat clean" ALL. THE. DARN. TIME.
So where does the cookie fit in?
We've been conditioned to believe that eating clean is a picture of this slim, skinny supermodel slowly placing a grape or strawberry or carrot stick in her mouth, and claiming in the most recent fitness magazine cover spread that she keeps so svelte and slim by "eating clean."
She wouldn't dare be caught dead eating a cookie!
No wonder why we are completely petrified of "eating clean." No wonder why we place such a high expectation on ourselves to stick to the plan. It looks completely unobtainable.
"Clean eating" is known of adopting a lifestyle of eating whole foods, real foods, and those that are not processed or refined.
I like to think of clean eating as simply being mindful. I like to think of clean eating as being good to my body AND my mind.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you to eat a giant Big Mac and Fries and convince yourself it's OK. But what I am saying is:
The STRESS and EXPECTATIONS that you place on yourself, can do just as much harm as eating that Big Mac and fries.
One of the main reasons that people eat well, exercise like crazy, and can't seem to lose any weight is STRESS.
I'm not talking about being fired from work, getting in a car accient or getting divorced stress. I'm talking about chronic, day in and day out stress. Our bodies simply weren't made to handle it.
Our bodies can understand acute stress.
In past eras, it was running from a dinosaur or hunting for your next meal, but chronic stress raises cortisol and wreaks havoc on our body.
When the hormone of chronic stress- Cortisol- is out of control, it's a jerk!
It decreases our ability to burn fat, increases the rate in which we store fat, and makes our cells less sensitive to insulin, which in turn can cause diabetes and abdominal fat.
Psychologists actually call this the "Defeat Response."
For me, I'd rather eat the occasional cookie, enjoy, and move on. Beating myself up about it can actually cause more harm and damage that eating the darn cookie!
We all need to live a little.
Work hard, be mindful, and for Pete's sake, cut yourself some slack.
Focus more on getting rid of the things that make you crazy, and the people that you are giving entirely too much head space to.
In case you were wondering, here's the delicious recipe we used to bake the healthier cookies.
Ingredients: 1 cup of unsalted almond butter, 3/4 cup of raw sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp of baking soda, 1/4 tsp of sea salt, 3 oz of dark chocolate broken into small pieces.
Directions: Preheat over to 350 F. Stir in first 5 ingredients. Mix in chocolate pieces. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto parchment- lined baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes and enjoy!
Nutrients per cookie: Calories: 110, Total Fat: 8 g, Sat. Fat: 1.5
g, Carbs: 10 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 7 g, Protein: 2 g, Sodium: 55 mg,
Cholesterol: 10 mg