Sunday, August 28, 2011

What You Resist Persists

In my opinion the number one problem with diets are that most approach eating/food with some sort of retriction. Certain food restrictions like fats, carbs, sugars, or even more specifically all flour products, all fruit, all dairy, etc. Or they involve calorie restriction (although most if not all diets are calorie restrictive, but that's another blogpost). If you try and "force" a change that feels bad, punishing or just plain impossible, then you start to focus on the negative. This is not fun and may even lead you to become resentful and angry. Changing your diet should feel like a good thing, the perfect diet for you is one that is motivating and rewarding, and the fun part is the enjoyment of food and the enjoyment of a healthy bodyweight.

My diet stragety has always been to design a diet based on caloric parameters but does not restrict any kinds of food. It is a diet based in the science of calories in and calories out. Sure there are numerous ways to use certain types of foods in certain combinations, or eating only at certain times of the day to play with creating different effects on bodyweight and composition but at the end of the day unless you are into becoming your own science experiment and willing to track the data then basic calories in/calories out will rarely (if ever) let you down in acheiveng a healthy bodyweight.

Let me say for the record that becoming your own science experiment can be fun! I'm all for that approach, but let's save the minute details for when they can make a big difference.

It's not a secret that I am a believer in counting calories, personally I use this approach to maintain my own healthy bodyweight, but I do not restrict any foods from my diet. There are as many lower calorie foods I love as there are higher calorie foods I love. The magic that happens as you replace the foods in your diet with less processed lower calorie foods you love is how they make your body naturally feel lighter and healthier, and then you actually prefer to chose them. The focus is on foods you can have, not foods you can't have.

Let me lighten things up a bit because this leads me to the point of this blogpost.....

A couple of weeks ago my mother was visiting from Denver and we spent the day together visiting my granddaughter Sophi (my mother's great graddaughter!), which meant we were driving for almost 3 hrs there and back. In one of our conversations we were talking about, what else? Diets. My mom was telling me that she had a toasted bagel for breakfast....I cringed! A bagel has got to be the #1 breakfast choice for more than 1/2 of America, I swear! Anyway, she then told me that if she were at home she typically has a bowl of Grape-nuts cereal (with a banana of course....we all know how I feel about bananas, don't we? lol). But the real subject of this blogpost is Grape-nuts cereal!

I love Grape-nuts cereal! But breakfast cereal ceased to exist for me during the past 5+ years....not because I "couldn't" have it, but because I never liked it more that alot of the other foods I choose to eat everyday. If I wanted it more then I simply would put it into the rotation, no problem. I eat so many other foods I love I can't possibly eat them all.

When I went to Hungary I actually took pre-portioned baggies of Grape-nuts cereal and mixed it with my yogurt for one of my meals. I made room for it in my diet, and therfore cut something else out. Since I couldn't cook oats while I was away I was pretty happy with my Grape-nuts and I felt it made a nice exchange.

Now that I'm back home Grape-nuts have started to gnaw it's way into my psyche.....they taste so good I could eat them everday, twice a day, heck maybe all day! What's so bad about that? The more I focus on "I shouldn't be eating these", or "I shouldn't want these so much", or "I'm going to get fat if all I do is eat Grape-nuts" etc, then the more I think those thoughts.

I knew I was just about finished with the first box of Grape-nuts and it would be time to buy another..... My first thought was to just not buy them, right? Well, I would agree, but then I could imagine myself thinking about them more, building more anxiety and judgement. I felt I would focus more on the restriction I put on myself to not buy them.

So I came up with an opposite strategy. I would eat nothing but Grape-nuts for an entire day. I would eat my fill and maybe get sick of them! Could that work?

You know, I'm making too much of this! If I want Grape-nuts I'll eat them, and if I want something else different, I'll eat that. I'm not a bad person for wanting breakfast cereal. I'm not a bad person at all.

I've got so many things to do and think about besides Grape-nuts....

I just wrote a couple of killer workouts I hope to post in the coming weeks based from my progressive rest ladder! Yesterday I took my classes through one version and I wrote another that I will train this next week. The next one I'll call "Progessive Rest Ladder "400"", and the next "Progressive Ladder "300""....can you guess why, lol!

And last night I made a killer corn chowder with shredded pork shoulder....I'll make a chicken version and post the recipe! (no tomatillos this time!)

Training, pressure cooking....who has time to think about Grape-nuts?


Diana said...

It's crazy how absolutely easy it is to get "crazed" about food. Trying to stop eating this or that. Trying to quit drinking dt dew....whatever, gave up on that a long time ago. I agree with the calories in/calories out-it's very basic. What's also very basic and just gnaws at my insides is this short yet very STRONG phrase:

"what you eat in private-shows in public"

How can you NOT love this phrase? It's true, it's to the point and it's perfect!

Food is fuel. Period. I could easily eat the same thing at the same time every day-sometimes I do.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Long ago in the first few months of blogging I wrote a post about "secret eating"....geez, it practically used to be a daily part of my life!

I've tried to quit swearing as a New Years Resoulution for so many years I finally gave up....but seriously, I should stop swearing....but I think giving up Grape-nuts would be easier!

Juci RKC said...

I have always been a radical opponent to the "fuel" approach.
Food must be joy, and eating should be fun at the first place.

OK, food is fuel too :)
But I don't think it should be over-emphasized. As long as one eats instinctively, that is to say lots of fresh fruits, veggies and homemade stuff, the fuel-business will take care of itself.

"what you resist persists" - so true anyway :)

Tracy Reifkind said...


I agree, food is joy. Eating the same foods everyday is only joyful when the foods are joyful!

Right now eating Grape-nuts feels joyful, obsessing about it doesn't!

Hanneke said...

YES, food should be joy and fun! I like the post though, it's the little struggles that we all have every now and then.
I still have to have my fries fix sometimes. Just now with my commitment to eat and cook at home, I make them myself. Usually sweet potato or rutabaga fries...YUM!

Tracy Reifkind said...


shhh! Don't tell anyone about rutabaga....they are the best kept secret in the produce section!

Kidding of course! I've been raving about rutabaga for years now but still they haven't caught on.

As far as sweet potatoes...those are the candy of the potato family. Sweet potato fries are the best. I've heard of tossing them with oil salt and a pinch of cayenne. I've even heard of them made with a bit of seasame oil insted of olive oil?

Physical Influence said...

How about the step stool combo,whatchathink?