It’s okay to be imperfect
There are so many ways to apply this statement in the journey to weight loss, and even more ways to apply it to a natural lifestyle. The most important thing to remember is the changes you make have to work for you and your whole family.
I’ve found that what works for me (in a household with no known food allergies) is the 80/20 principle. I strictly control 80% of what we consume so that 20% of the time I can not worry about it. For me it comes by controlling everything that comes into my house, so I don’t have to worry so much when we are out to eat or at someone’s house. Of course I’m going to watch portion sizes and make the best choices from what is available, but I’m not going to stress about every ingredient or feel guilty if I occasionally eat something that I shouldn’t. I also try not to stress when my kids are at someone’s house. I know I feed them a balanced diet, so it’s okay for them to occasionally get foods that I don’t allow at home.
There are also days that are completely out of your control. At my Grandpa’s funeral the food choices were: fried chicken, biscuits, cole slaw, canned green beans, pasta salad and LOTS of desserts. I was hungry and grieving. So I ate what was available. And enjoyed it. But I only ate one dessert (with lunch). That evening for dinner we had leftovers from the luncheon. While I did prepare a wonderful salad, there was still fried chicken and biscuits (which I have not had in over a year). So I ate more of that, and another dessert. While the next few days were horrible with cravings, I didn’t let one bad day set me back on eating whatever I wanted. If I had let myself go for a few days it would have been okay too.
What is important is what you do after you make a mistake. Are you going to throw all the changes out the window and go back to doing what you were doing before? Or are you going to get back to doing what you know is best for you and your family?
If you have a few weeks of no visible progress will you quit? Or will you find another area you can change to keep moving forward?
After my first 20 pounds I plateau’d for weeks with no progress on the scale. I researched information on what nutritional balance from a natural foods perspective meant. I found I wasn’t eating enough healthy fats (nuts, dairy and animal fats) to balance out the carbohydrates I was consuming. A simple change from low fat dairy to full fat meant more progress on the scale. I have friends who too heavily restricted their calories and made no progress. As soon as they increased their daily calorie allowance they started losing weight.
The human body is an amazing thing and every one is different. In general, if you feed your body a balanced diet of healthy fats, proteins and complex carbs, your body will have what it needs to fuel itself and should start shedding the fat stores. Most fad diets are making your body starve in a certain area. So even if you do lose some weight, as soon as you make a mistake or quit from it being too difficult, your body quickly works to build up a reserve fuel source for next time (body fat).
It may take a few weeks to notice any changes. If you have a history of yo-yo dieting or nutritional deficiency, your body needs to realize that it is getting consistent nutrition and that it can start shedding the reserves.
But keep moving forward. Rarely is any good thing achieved quickly, and lasting weight loss and health is something worth striving for.