I love food, I have to be honest. I love the taste of a good steak or a nice big slice of chocolate cake! Food is just something that I enjoy tremendously. It is so nice to sit down with my husband or friends and have great conversation over a good meal.

In the past, my approach to weight loss was food deprivation. I used to believe that the only way to lose the weight was to not have anything that I enjoyed, as this was what the problem was. I would jump into these diets head first and guns a blazing thinking that this time I would succeed. I have tried everything. I have tried the diets where you drink these horrible shakes in the mornings that "cleanse" your body and eat lettuce for the rest of the day. I tried the all protein, no carbs, no anything else diet. I tried the juicing diet ( completely failed at that). I have had multiple purchases on my credit cards of those "magic weight loss pills" that promise that you only have to take them and not have to do anything else. Guess what, none of those things above are the answer! You do not have to deprive yourself of food to lose weight! This misconception is what causes you to fail every time. I fell for it!

All things are good in moderation applies to a healthy diet as well. Our issue is not many times what we are eating, it is how much we are eating. We are trained to eat more than we need to. Let me explain my previous statement. I was raised by a mother who taught me that you did not leave the table until you finished every single morsel on your plate. I can remember many a night that I stubbornly fell asleep at the table not wanting to eat my veggies or what was put in front of me. In my adult life, I find myself eating after I am full just to finish my plate. I feel obligated to eat everything I have even if I do not want anymore. I am just figuring out that this is my problem. I am learning that I need to either use a smaller plate (mind tricks) or put smaller portions on my plate. I have used a salad plate as my plate for dinner on numerous occasions and find I am satisfied.

One issue that you can truly have with this is when dining out, but I have an easy fix. I can almost guarantee you that a majority of the time when you order a dinner serving at any restaurant, your portions are double that of a normal plate. Think about it this way; a normal serving of meat is roughly 3oz-4oz and the smallest size steak you can order anywhere is always 6oz. I make it a priority to ask for a to-go box to be brought with my meal when ordering. When my meal arrives, I immediately put 1/2 of the meal in the box and set it to the side. I have found that this works well for me and I am still full from the half portion. I know that if I had not cut the meal in 1/2, I would try and finish all of it and overeat.

Listen folks, this is what is important...I still order the steak, the baked potato with butter/sour cream, and veggie I want. I simply am not over indulging on what I order. I use the same concept for snacking and sweets. I eat a sugar free pudding cup or have a Shakeology to curb a sugar craving instead of a huge bowl of ice cream. I eat air popped popcorn instead of potato chips for that salty urge. There are plenty of other healthy and good choices out there that taste amazing, or you can just have a smaller portion of what you want.

I also have a cheat day. I have one day a week where there is a meal where I can just eat as I want and enjoy myself.

The point to all of this is that we are trying to improve our bodies to lead healthier, happier lives. We are not supposed to be miserable. If you are miserable eventually you will stop doing what makes you feel that way. So I am choosing to be happy. Food makes me happy. I am choosing to use it in a way that helps me instead of hinders me.