Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dealing with Deprivation

Whenever I hear the word diet, I cringe. Mainly because, when I think of a diet, deprivation always comes to mind. For years a diet has always been about what you couldn't have and not what you can have.

A relative of mine did a no carb diet, in 6 months she lost almost 30 pounds. But, do you know how hard it is to give up carbs. Maybe it isn't hard for you but I know I could never do it. When we went to brunch, my relative started with a plate full of bacon and sausage (two things I imagine would send your blood pressure through the roof) and on her next plate, she admitted that she had to eat some carbs because if not she would be eating meat and fruit for the rest of the meal. There are several reasons why I couldn't take on a no carb diet. I will not give up biscuits, rolls, waffles or some form of pasta (although I only eat pasta on occasions), I just couldn't deprive myself of those foods.

I've also heard of vegetarian diets, and I don't even need to list what you cannot have because for me, it all screams deprivation (how could I ever give up meat?!?!).

Raw food diet? - Definitely out.

Vegan diet? - Out as well.

South Beach Diet and Weight Watchers? - Possibility, but I wouldn't count on it (although I do love South Beach Diet's recipe for vegetables and I love my Weight Watchers cookbook).

When I hear diet, I hear deprivation. That is the main reason I always refer to what I am doing, as a journey. A journey can take you so many places (even places that you have been several times before) but there are still things that I have to give up. Essentially, I should be depriving myself of things the further I get into my journey, but I can't bring myself to do that.

Moderation is key and that is what I tell myself. As I lose weight, my calorie budget continues to go down and I am continuously having to modify what I eat, but I don't deprive myself of what I want.

If I want to go to Sonic and have a cheeseburger, I am going to have a cheeseburger. If I want  to go to Wendy's and have a Frosty (which has been my guilty pleasure this entire week and I will probably end up having another one tonight) then I am going to have one. But (here comes the catch) I am going to be thinking about what I can do to burn off those excess calories that I have consumed.

In a way some may see this as more trouble. If I have 1600 calories and I consume a burger that is 1100 that leaves me with an 500 more calories that I can consume. But, what if I still need to eat dinner and I know my dinner is going to be 800 calories. I have to think of a way to burn at least 300 calories just to be able to eat dinner.

The one good thing that comes out of not depriving myself is that I workout more. If I know that I need to burn 300 more calories, then I push myself more in my workout because I have a calorie goal that I am trying to reach.

That is just how I deal with deprivation. By not depriving myself any food that I want, I don't have to worry about overdoing it in the end. If I told myself I couldn't have cake for three weeks and at the end of those three weeks, someone presents me with a cake, I am going to take a bigger slice than I should because I deprived myself of it for so long. But, if I eat cake when I want it, I can go ahead and get it out of my system and that takes care of the cravings.

In the long run, I see myself being more successful by not depriving myself of anything I want because I know that I will make a way to have it and I know that by having it, I will not over do it in the end.  That is the main reason why I don't deprive myself of anything.


  1. I too cringe when I hear the word diet. I am on a journey to create a healthier eating lifestyle for myself. Simple as that, counting calories is my staple and I am not depriving myself of anything. Granted, I am more likely to splurge on the days that I weigh in, but I can eat whatever I want with portion control and moderation. Our society has forgotten what that is like so now the word diet is being thrown around since it seems so much easier than watching what you eat. I also think people have forgotten that as they age, things shift and your 20 something year old body is not the same body you will have when you are 50 years old. It is just a dream and people need to accept what they look like at that time not the past. Ugh. /end rant

    1. I definitely understand what you are saying. I tell myself that on weigh in day, I can eat what I want (as long as I keep those calories in check) because I have already stepped on the scale and I have seen the numbers. Our bodies are like wine; some get better with age and some don't. If we start taking care of them now, they will last us longer (essentially get better). In order to have our bodies serve us longer we have to eat healthier and take care of ourselves instead of throwing the word diet around.