You can’t avoid the foods you love forever. In fact that WON’T help you lose weight.
I love farmers markets for all of the fresh, local, organic produce you can find and enjoy. I also love farmers markets because of all of the artisanal delicacies you can indulge in.
Last year I lost something very dear to me. My heart was broken.
See there is a farmers market that is about a 40 minute walk from my home. It’s the largest and most diverse farmers market in the city, and as much as I love veggies I’m not inspired to make that walk just for them. For years there was a stand from a French Bakery Bonaparte Bread*. Every once in a while I’d walk to this farmer’s market just to enjoy a particular pastry that blows my mind. It’s a long story but eventually the bakery was replaced with an imposter and there was a dramatic difference in the quality of my experience. I no longer took the extra long walk as often, and I was without my favorite, rich, creamy, flaky delight.
Since losing my beloved I’ve tried many a similar pastry at many a farmers market or small french bakeries and I just can’t find a replacement. Well this new farmer’s market marks the return of my sweet, creamy, flaky, amazing beloved indulgence, as the Bonaparte has been returned to me in an even closer location.
I took this reunion seriously. I am staunchly against sweets and starch for breakfast, but I made an exception and broke so many of my rules (all rules are meant to be broken) to eat this pastry slowly, mindfully, and with the full engagement in pleasure.
When you select the highest quality version of a food that you truly enjoy, it keeps you from eating the low quality versions and makes that every once in a while indulgence something special and meaningful. When you do this it is easy to avoid the tasty cakes, gas station danishes, and ordering desert at a cheap chain restaurant.
I know the impact this experience has on me is positive for my health and weight maintenance. Pleasure and joy have powerful effects on the body’s ability to metabolize food, burn calories, and build muscle. When your body is in a state of relaxation that is where all healing happens.
Too often people try and restrict their diet and make a good foods and bad foods list. Or they buy into a diet that says that they can’t have a certain food. They get constricted and stuffy about their choices. That never works. When we forbid ourselves from foods, we act like a teenage girl who’s parents told her not to date the “bad boy” that she has a crush on. Our rebellious shadow side shows up big time and creates scenarios for us to “fall off the wagon” and “fail”.
This kind of restriction and avoidance of foods we love will put us in a constant low level stress response. Parasympathetic nervous system dominance will effectviley keep us from losing weight by spiking insulin, cortisol and diminishing our ability to experience pleasure. So when we label foods and our choices as good and bad, we create stress chemistry that leads to weight gain and makes weight loss very challenging.
We also influence ourselves to eat more. When we are stressed about food, we are stressed while eating. Being stressed while eating leads to quicker eating and diminished ability to experience the pleasure from food. When we eat fast we eat more and create several digestive challenges, like acid reflux. When we don’t fully engage in pleasure from food, our brain isn’t fully satisfied and seeks more. It’s all a vicious cycle that can be more detrimental to your health than actually carrying around a few extra pounds.
This is a fine pattern to continue if you are committed to doing what never works and enjoy the back and forth of dieting and gaining weight back.
Your struggle with weight, food or eating, is often just a symptom of life asking you to grow at a deeper level. Your relationship to pleasure and sensuality is one of those deeper levels. Typically when someone is over eating food, it is to fill the void of sensuality and pleasure that is not expressed in a balanced and mature way in the other parts of your life.
To me any wellness, weight loss or self-care plan that doesn’t encourage you and empower you to indulge in the healing benefits of pleasure is not worth following.
I’m here to help people create a relationship with food, eating, body, and diet that fosters a connection between who we are as people and how we engage pleasure, joy, satisfaction, and flavor.
We both know that you can’t eat pastries all day or everyday if you want to lose weight. However if you are looking to create a lifestyle change that fosters sustainable weight loss and challenges you to grow at your deepest levels, you have to build the trust in yourself to eat one on occasion. And when you do, let it be the best possible highest quality, most enjoyable version of your favorite pastry that you can find.
So in order for you to lose weight and get healthy, I want you to eat pastries.
* I am in no way affiliated with Shaw Market, Old City Farm and Guild or Bonaparte Breads. I value and appreciate local small business, and above all I love quality and supporting those that are passionate about the highest quality foods and the amazing power they have to nourish and enrich our lives.