I know Junk Free June is almost over, but you still hear about it pretty much daily. At least here in New Zealand. I’m not sure if it’s a worldwide challenge or if it’s an NZ one, I haven’t looked into it too much. I’d like to start by saying I totally support those that do the challenge, and they’re doing it for a great cause. The idea of it is pretty great.
So why am I not doing it? Well, I’ve tried to go on diets in the past, and sure, I might get a bit slimmer and lose a bit of those love handles that annoy me so much. But at what cost? Does it make me happy? Maybe briefly, but in the end, it doesn’t. If anything, I find myself being less happy, and that’s something I’ll do everything I can to avoid.
Eating foods that I like does make me happy, and I don’t think that I should have to cut them out. I believe in the saying ‘Everything in moderation’. Sure, the moderation part can be quite tricky, but I don’t think cutting them out completely is the way to go. I think it’s better to reduce portion sizes than eat something you don’t enjoy just because it’s ‘better for you’.
I have no idea what diets actually work well for your health and which don’t, but as long as my doctor is happy with my weight and my cholesterol levels, I don’t think I have to worry too much.
I remember when I was a teenager, I used to read those magazines where they always focused on how skinny and good looking celebrities were, and how ‘fat’ some others were. I hated seeing things like that, so I said to myself ‘I will never go on a diet and I will always eat whatever I feel like’. That obviously didn’t work in the long run, seeing as back then I didn’t really think about the fact that you can be unhealthy on the inside even if you look skinny on the outside.
I was told a few years back that my cholesterol levels were too high and quite concerning. My doctor recommended a diet, and I went along with it. I did manage to bring my cholesterol levels down, which is great, but I was pretty unhappy during the process. I then had a chat to a different doctor and told him I wanted to check if my cholesterol levels had gone down to an acceptable level. He took a look at my previous results and looked at me like I was crazy. He said that the levels were slightly higher than recommended, but far from a concern and that a diet was a bit extreme.
So after I was told that, I basically went back to eating what I felt like, but I cut out a lot of fast foods that I realised I didn’t actually enjoy that much, and just ate them because it was convenient. I started cooking at home a lot more, which really helped.
So I guess my point is that too many people diet because they feel like they should, when in reality they probably don’t need to. Cutting back is often enough, rather than cutting out. And my second point is that you should do what makes you happy. Yes, I have a bit of extra chub around my hips and there are certainly no abs to be seen, but at the end of the day, that’s totally OK as long as I’m happy and my doctor confirms I’m healthy.