On Saturday, after I ate my third mini-packet of Justin’s almond butter — I stopped to think about the fact that I used to buy low-fat peanut butter.
Don’t do that.
But thought came — and I realized that I stopped counting fat grams years ago. Like I don’t remember the last time I thought about those things.
They used to consume me. I was the one who ate Olestra chips (also, don’t do that) and fat-free ice cream. I ate through stacks of plain rice cakes and all flavors of thin, artificially flavored fat-free yogurt.
Like so many other parts of my post-ED life, I am thankful for the little things that I forget to notice sometimes. And I forget that many women are still struggling with those “little things” that seem much bigger when you’re ploughing through them.
To those who are struggling, I will say:
I’m grateful that I’ll never say no to bacon at breakfast because I LOVE that stuff and I don’t think twice about how much fat is in it. I will almost never say no to a good-looking cupcake and I’m even okay with real butter on my bread.
The freedom from fat-phobia is exhilarating.
It doesn’t mean I am oblivious to what I’m eating. I love to put good things in my body and am conscience of how much I’m eating — and what it is. I overindulge a little everyday (and that’s ok!) — but it doesn’t consume me.
Sometimes I want full-fat blue cheese dressing. I always want full-fat ice cream and rarely say no to it. Saying yes won’t make you fat. Saying yes will sometimes make you realize you actually don’t want it that much in the first place. Ahh, the clarity that comes with freedom.
Stop putting numbers on your food. Food isn’t worth more or less because of fat grams or calories.
Just think about the food groups. Get some of all of them regularly. Listen to your body. Honestly, your body isn’t going to want fried foods all the time. Your body is smart — it knows what it needs but you do have to be quiet and really listen to it — at least at first. Then, you get to each other so well it doesn’t take long for the message to translate.
It will tell you when it’s full, what its craving and what makes it feel good. It will tell you it likes fat — healthy fat mostly — and you shouldn’t be afraid of them.
The reason I don’t really “do” diets (like Paleo or Whole 30) is because it puts focus back on numbers and restrictions — not a place I want to go. I’m just fine hanging out in the land of no math 🙂
If you find yourself concerned with fat grams — or calories — do me a favor? Don’t look at the numbers for the next few days. Just practice eating what your body calls for and enjoying it for what it is. I promise you won’t gain 20 pounds if you do. You might just start to understand what “food freedom” starts to feel like.
Have you experienced “fat-phobia?” Are you a calorie counter? What makes you lean on these numbers? How have you overcome being overly concerned with them like I have?
((sharing)) I tossed this ALL ALL ALL out the window too about 20 years ago and have never been happier.
Love it! I feel like I’ve gotten that vibe from you 🙂
I have never been a calorie or gram counter of any kind. I think food is so much more pleasurable when you just eat simply and eat whole foods, throwing the rest out the window. I’m glad you’ve reached this point!
I so agree — hopefully this post will touch someone who is too focused on it. I remember those days, ugh! Thanks for the kind words!
I am all about the “no math” life. So much more enjoyable!
Agreed! I can’t stand when people are obsessed with that!
Counting calories does not mean giving up food or eating low fat/calorie. Eat in moderation.
Awesome post! I use to count calories for 2 solid years, it took me a while to learn how to eat without thinking of calories but I finally got there! While I was counting I ate TONS of diet foods and I was pissed off and miserable all the time. Now I’m on the full fat train and loving it, I feel more satisfied and happy. I didn’t gain 20 lbs either, in fact I lost weight when I started listening to my body! Great post!
Kelli…having comment issues and somehow just saw this one! Thanks for reading this and for the kind words. I just re-read and thinking about sharing again.
Oh yea…definitely been through ‘fat-phobia’ – twice in my life. It was awful. Now I embrace it with open arms!