Eating clean hasn’t been the most natural thing for me. In fact a long way from it. When I was a kid, my diet would consist of an 18 multi pack of Walkers crisps and usually half a packet of chocolate digestives!
Up until the age of 8 or 9, meal times were home cooked and compulsory. When this stopped, I discovered all the badness I was previously protected from. And I loved it! Just like any young child high on additives and E numbers.
Diets and binges continued this way until I reached my 20’s and discovered I had Coeliac Disease… My whole world was turned upside down.
Since then, I’ve made an effort to read labels and discover the real content of what we’re eating!
After this, there were still ups and downs and times when I just couldn’t resist that French stick! It’s taken me quite some time to have the self control to understand my actions; why I crave things and why sometimes I give into temptation. And just because 90% of the time I can resist, it doesn’t mean that I am a an angel all the time by any stretch of the imagination. And I certainly don’t find it easy! Just a lot easier than it used to be…
So, staying on track… Here’s an example of resisting temptation on vacation.
In case you weren’t aware, Rome is gelato central! I was unaware what this really meant until I landed and took a look around. Ice cream is literally every where. It’s like the Roman equivalent of Starbucks! And I don’t mean the rubbish Walls stuff you get in England. I mean the really tasty creamy Italian kind.
The first one I came across was directly next door to our apartment building… And the one after that was across the road from our apartment building… Needless to say, I was in ice cream hell.
It’s so easy to make excuses and rationalise your choice to indulge, especially if you are with friends or family that like to do the same. You become a crutch for one another. This has to stop! You’re not helping yourself and you aren’t helping your friends or family.
Here’s some quick tips to make sure this doesn’t happen:
Stop thinking about it
If you see something that you want or crave that you know isn’t good for you, then just stop thinking about it. Don’t give food more power than it deserves. By contemplating your choice from every angle, you create something out of nothing.
Just say no
If putting it out of your mind seems like a huge task, try saying “no” out loud to yourself. It doesn’t need to be loud enough for anyone to hear but by saying the words you put the notion out into the real world which helps your brain recognise the command.
List the cons
If you still need a little more help, try listing the reasons why you shouldn’t indulge rather than rationalising why you should. And by cons, I’m not talking about ‘a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips‘ type stuff! I’m talking about serious health implication. Here’s some examples; this could contribute to me developing diabetes, I could have a heart attack, I’m too heavy/unfit to play or run after my children, this isn’t the role model I want for my children. There are lots of other more personal reasons that I’m sure are more relevant to you. It’s not all about looks! Far from it in fact.
Try some water
Usually dehydration can be mistaken by hunger. Try having a little water, wait a bit and see if you still want something sweet. At the very least, this may distract your mind long enough for you to forget about it.
Give yourself a break
If you really want to have a treat or if it’s a special occasion or even if you had a terrible day… Go for it! Just make sure these occasions are few and far between and that you keep your portions tiny. It might even help if you get a small portion between you and someone else. You get to satisfy your craving as well as sharing some quality time with someone you love.
In order to save me from losing my mind, I used most of these tips myself! On a daily basis!
I had planned to have a small scoop of ice cream at some point and I did so on the Saturday. We had met up with friends that were in town and one of them had promised me there was a famous gelato joint just down the road from the Trevi fountain. It didn’t disappoint. One rum cocoa scoop and one honey – I loved it and appreciated it more than I would have if I ate it everyday!
That evening we met up again for dinner in celebration for J’s birthday. We had a great time and all enjoyed a yummy dessert to finish it off. Perfect.
The more conscious you are of the decisions you make the better. You are aware of why you have or haven’t chosen to do something and you can enjoy it.