SANE EATING: Getting to it, and staying there

How familiar is this? You want to look good and feel good. You want to reduce those scary health risks. You know you should eat more vegetables and less sugar, and cook fresh food more often. But somehow this keeps not happening. Life intrudes, you’re busy, you’re upset, you just don’t feel like it. Sometimes you don’t even know why you’re not doing what you really want to do. Meanwhile, you worry and struggle and never feel quite right with how you’re eating or the shape you’re in.

You’d think with 265,384 books on diet in the world, not to mention the articles in every single issue of every single women’s magazine there is, plus the $40 Billion worth of weight products for sale, that a person could put this problem to rest. Yet if it were that easy, we probably wouldn’t need so many books.

When I first started to write about “sane eating”, I defined it as the ability to manage a healthy enough weight and peace of mind with food and eating. Others have used the term in a fairly similar way. The world we live in makes the goal of sane eating a hard one to reach indeed.

A Systemic Problem

Michael Pollan, author of The Ominvore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food believes we face a “national eating disorder”, with widespread anxiety over what and how to eat. To explain this, he points to both a highly unhealthy system of food production in the U.S., plus the absence of a shared “national cuisine” (such as exists in France or Italy or Japan). He, and others like him, sensibly argue for changes in public policy that will help us eat better.

The Dieting Rollercoaster

The authors of most of those 265,384 books, on the other hand, offer solutions for each individual to reach a better weight or eat healthier overall. While it’s confusing to face so much advice, some of it actually works quite well, if followed. And it’s that “if followed” that highlights a key question: how do you keep on following a new regime, make it your “default” setting, make it “just how you live”, so that you’re not always thinking about it, struggling to stick with it, giving it up in frustration, starting all over again and again?

Our “national eating disorder” will take time to heal.

Hopefully, it will enter remission in the next few years, rather than the next few decades. In the meantime, each of us do need to discover our own individual solutions. In other words, it may not make sense to wait for years to lose the extra weight and stop the frustrating cycles. But many people must first tackle some persistent obstacles for lasting change to take hold.

Identifying Obstacles

Here is where coaching toward sane eating can help—in not only prescribing what to eat, as we have no shortage of advice here, but in helping each person identify and dismantle the particular obstacles on her (or his) own path. Obstacles can be practical—limited time to plan or cook, for example. They often are cognitive. In other words, how we think about ourselves and diet affects our eating. Very often, too, they are emotional. How many of us use food, knowingly or not, to handle stress, sadness, or frustration? Solutions may lie in simple habit changes, in learning new ways to cope, or even in examining one’s family legacies.

The Solution

So, finding the right diet, or the willpower, often don’t hold the keys to success. But with tools such as the Eat Sanely workbook, or personalized diet coaching, the right keys can be cut to order. Then they can open the way to better feelings of well-being, self-esteem, and accomplishment.

Click the link below and find out how ready you are to Eat Sanely!