Saturday, October 27, 2012

No More Rules.

In the past few months, (since stopping blogging), I've really tired of the rules surrounding food and exercise that I've given myself over the past few years.  I don't know how much it comes through on this blog, but I am strict with my diet - it's fine because I enjoy it, but I've regularly been at a point where pasta is the devil, eating any sort of carb was a 'bad food day' and, on more than one occasion, even a gram of sugar was completely forbidden.  I finally cracked when I realised I was pretending to like Slim Pasta.  Great stuff if you need or want to lose weight or stay on a low calorie diet, but guys, that is not spaghetti, and I am not overweight..

Living like a health-nut (as above) sure does get you slim and, in conjunction with 4x weekly gym visits mixed in with some intense home cardio, pretty fit and toned too.

But! I was that girl, you know, the one that cooks you an amazing risotto and then piles a heap of vegetables under hers because she doesn't want to eat the rice.  Or goes to an Italian restaurant and scours the menu for the fish and steamed vegetables option. 
 Italians make excellent pasta!  I don't want to be that girl! 

So I've decided not to be.  

A pretty and irrelevant photo from flickr.

Don't get me wrong, I make healthy food choices because I have too much knowledge not too and I genuinely, genuinely love everything that I eat. But I also love pasta, wine, eating out, my mother's lasagna, bread (rye sourdough, but hey), and, believe it or not, sometimes I want a piece of grossly sweet and sickening Cadbury chocolate instead of the dark Lindt I usually reach for.  You heard it here first, she eats (crappy) milk chocolate.  You know what I don't like?  Feeling guilty, so I've stopped doing that.

Allowing yourself everything is great - honestly, I've lost weight since I started.  What it lets you do is eat your piece of chocolate and put it down, rather than finish the row or block because you 'won't eat any for the rest of the week'.  It also stops you eating 10 healthy cacao balls because you  feel like some chocolate but they're not hitting the spot.

I'm not saying I'm about to go out and eat McDonald's, that is still not food to me, and I still eat my 8 veg and 1-2 fruit a day.  I'm also not saying I've started eating pasta every night - why would I when I can have it whenever I want?  I've just started listening to my body, enjoying food for what it is, and not being scared to glug a little olive oil in my minestrone.  For most people, this is normal healthy eating anyway, but for me and a lot of other nutrition-nuts, this is a huge step!

So while I respect the no sugar crusaders, the paleo lovers and the (fricken' amazing) men & women who train to be in body building contests, those lifestyles are not for me and not at all suited to my highly-strung personality.  I needed to relax about food!

Do you ever get tired of all the rules we place on ourselves, or do you need those rules to maintain a healthy diet?

I'll leave you with my new mantra, taken from Michael Pollan, who's book I have just purchased and will read soon...

"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants".

Stay well,
Nat x


  1. What a revelation it can feel like!! I work hard to get clients to reach this point. Amazing work, lady. Thrilled for you.
    Heidi xo

    1. Thank you lovely, it's a very strange feeling - I spent a lot of time at start start feeling guilty for not feeling guilty.
      Also, in case I haven't said it, your travel posts have inspired many talks of foodie euro-trips between M & I. We're hoping for our first next year, so thank you!

  2. This is great Nat! I really believe if you can eat "naughty" foods (i.e. you don't have intolerances to them) you shouldn't feel guilty about indulging every now and again. If you go to an Italian restaurant for a special occasion you should enjoy it!
    I've also been much less strict with what I've eaten over the last few months and I feel so much better (physically and mentally) for it.


    P.S. I'm glad you're back writing again!! ;)

  3. Thank you SO much for that! I can completely agree with all of it. Last year my obsession with "being healthy" resulted in some seriously disorded eating - being the 40kg girl living off tuna salad and egg white omelettes is not a fun person to be/be around!! I am so much better now but it is still so good to read things like what you just posted as affirmations of how I should live! I have been reading your blog since you began however this is the first time I have ever commented - so thanks again!

  4. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh so refreshing!!!

    Enjoy your food doll, enjoy your pasta!!!
    Life is too short not to enjoy food.
    TBH I haven't been strict with my diet at all during pregnancy I eat fairly well have a good breakfast daily and eat fruit and vegetables, dairy blah blah... I think I've not put on HEAPS of weight during pregnancy because I haven't worried about it all... I don't know, that's just my theory.

    Anyway, my mantra is "life is too short for bad toilet paper" but maybe it should be "life is too short to worry SO much about food".

    I'm off to finish my peach Chobani yogurt!!!


  5. Too true. We're too emotional to not enjoy food. It's so much more than just fuel.

    I've read quite a lot recently about IQS (quitting sugar). I zero desire to eliminate sugar. Where is the fun in that?

  6. Fabulous post! Finally someone saying exactly what we're all thinking. Honestly, one more post about something regarding chia seeds OR coconut oil OR quinoa...gah!

    I was exactly the same (actually, I still sort of am)- last year I went super 'healthy', literally cut back on everything and lost 20+ kilos. The irony is I love food and baking- I just would never eat it, or I would be super critical if there was, god forbid, 1 teaspoon of sugar in it. I am now at the stage where I need to put on weight (who would have thought!?), and it's been a struggle to gradually accept 'normal' foods again. Geez, I can only imagine what I was like, at 44kilos WITHOUT carbs. Not fun I tell you.

    Fair enough, cutting out sugar, fats, carbs, anything fun made me supposedly 'healthy', but life's life and I have better things to do in my 20s than worry about such things. Honestly! Now, back to the 'American' size trays of muffins I've just baked... :-)

    Thanks again Nat!

  7. First of all: yay you're posting again! Secondly: yes & yes to the article. I agree with everything you've said :) I've learnt to relax a lot more too.. food is meant to be enjoyed! x

  8. You know I'm a huge believer in moderation, balance etc. It's important to be healthy, but part of that involves being happy and enjoying life. Love your new attitude to food xx

    PS I can't believe you get through 8 serves of veg a day! I'm over the moon if I eat 3 serves!

  9. I've never commented on your blog but I will because this is something I believe in as I've suffered from an eating disorder for a few years and have am in recovery. Letting go of food rules is one of the best things you can do for yourself mentally and physically. You will feel so much happier and liberated. There is no such thing as bad food, we have simply placed a tag on food labelling it as such. All food has nutrients that are good for us, we just need to moderate the amounts of some foods we eat. Don't be too harsh on yourself and listen to what your body wants, if it's a rest day don't feel bad just learn to enjoy that day. If it's wanting ice cream let yourself have it and know you don't have to over eat it because you can have it whenever you want. Best of luck, I really like this blog: and this:

  10. loved this post Nat! and so happy to see you blogging again! yay!! :)

    after having competed in my first fitness model competition, and a month of strict dieting... too eating WHATEVER I wanted and binging a little... im now taking some time off to eat whatever I want.

    good on you.

  11. welcome back!

    fabulous post. i agree. if we are blessed and lucky enough to have abundant good quality food in this country, so we should enjoy it. we need to stop obsessing over food and just be.