Do you ever find yourself in a position where you have no control over your food? Like, you are a guest in someone’s home or you are travelling for work?
I once spent a year travelling with a theatre company. It was an entire year of being an honoured guest in strangers’ homes, of banquets and new countries with culinary specialities that HAD to be tried.
The average weight gain among the women in our cast was 20lbs.
And it was a total mindfuck in a situation where you could lose your part if you suddenly didn’t – ahem – fit into your sequinned costume.
So now I’m in a position where I coach hundreds of people on how to sustain a healthy lifestyle. And sometimes my clients face situations where they don’t feel like they have control over their food.
This is what I tell them – and I wish I had known back in my touring days (when, yes, I totally gained those 20lbs):
1. Consider Whether Or Not You May Be Full Of Shit
Considering whether you may be full of shit is probably always a good exercise – but especially in when you hear yourself doing mental negotiations about why you get to wiggle out of a commitment to your health.
People will say they don’t have control over their food but actually they are using the circumstances to deny responsibility for the choices they are making.
Like when was the last time you heard a vegan say that they had NO choice but to eat the meat? Like, never. Because when your commitment to your lifestyle is absolute, you figure out a way to make it work. Always.
I could give you examples of people who figured out how to eat healthy at airports, hospitals and Bubbie’s house. It’s all possible.
And I’m not saying that you should always be so rigid about having a healthy lifestyle. I probably didn’t have to gain the standard 20lbs that year in my theatre tour but I still remember the how delicious the frites were in Belgium. #noregrets.
But at least own the fact that you are making a choice not falling victim to circumstances beyond your control.
It’s a mindset shift that puts you in the driver’s seat and is much more empowering.
Saying you have no choice is just being a weenie about your life.
If you are a guest in someone’s home, I bet they would love for you to offer to bring a healthy salad. Like, what psychopath would say no to that?
And no- they won’t be ‘offended’ if you don’t eat the dessert. If they are, that’s their shit.
If you are on the road and you find yourself starving at a rest stop, check out my Nutrition 911 blog post about what the best choices are a McDonalds, Tim Hortons and Starbucks.
You always have choices.
Which brings me to my next point:
2. If You Don’t Have Control Of What You Eat, You Always Have Control Of HOW You Eat.
Let’s say you are in a situation where you really feel like you don’t have any choice about what is served to you.
In that situation, remember that you always have the choice of HOW you eat.
1. Eat slowly.
2. Chew your food and actually taste it.
3. Enjoy the fact that someone made you this food. You are pretty lucky. That’s pretty rad.
4. And then stop when you are satisfied. No one can force you to over-eat.
5. Finally – have zero guilt over what you just ate.
Guilt can lead to The Fuckits and that’s the Highway to the Danger Zone. One freaking meal won’t make you gain weight. Getting The Fuckits and telling yourself you will ‘fix it later/on Monday/in September’ will.
So own your choices like the grown-ass adult that you are – and enjoy them.
We all have only so many summers left. So don’t waste any of it convincing yourself you aren’t in control of your life.