Posted by: saramcglothlin | May 17, 2012

Shushing the Food Noise

I have said it once, and I will say it again: I love Bethenny Frankel.  I think it is black or white with her however; you either love her or you hate her.  The girl gets a lot of rap for her brutal honesty (I think it’s hilarious and refreshing), her “rules” on dieting (she does what is best for her), and what appears to be her overly-thin figure.  But her books are best-sellers for a reason, and I have read all three (and yes, I will be reading Skinny Dipping).  When I first read Naturally Thin, I had what Oprah would call an “aha moment.”  I totally related; let’s just say I found myself saying “that’s me!” throughout her entire introduction.  After I finished the book, I wanted instant gratification, “to be freed from dieting hell” is the way I think she put it.  I was not overweight by any means back then.  In fact, I was probably thinner than I am now (because I was dieting…a lot…and it was hell), but I never wanted to hear that voice inside my head ever again.  You might know the one I am talking about; it tells you “don’t eat that, eat this!” (well, mine would say something more like “don’t eat that, don’t eat anything!”) and make you feel guilty if you did.  My thoughts were preoccupied with food and exercise to the point where I was miserable, and reading Bethenny’s book actually gave me a glimmer of hope.

I still hear that voice from time to time.  It is not so much a drill sergeant as it is a whisper, but still, it annoys me.  There is something that Bethenny preached in her first book that I have since kept with me, and I feel as though her point has inadvertently affected my meal choices throughout the day:

Never have the same kind of food for two meals in a row.  Get a little of everything, but not too much of anything (Naturally Thin, p. 23).

I understand it is important to balance your protein, carbs, and fats at each meal, but sometimes I refuse myself a sandwich for dinner because I ate one for lunch, even if I want one.  Silly right?  To defend myself, I tend to crave healthy foods 90% of the time, so normally it would still be a healthy  sandwich, but for some reason “eating the same kind of food for two meals in a row” was off-limits.  I wonder where I got that…

But now I more often than not plug my ears and shush it away.  I know myself, and if I am overly restrictive, it will come back to bite me.  So when it tries to make itself heard, I do what I did to the overly arrogant coworker I used to sit next to: ignore.

You might wonder why I decided to discuss such a serious topic tonight?  I came face-to-face with this at the grocery store:

As soon as I saw it, all these ideas popped into my head.  Thoughts of almond butter and bananas…and I didn’t want to wait until breakfast, I wanted it right then, for dinner.  But what about eating vegetables you ask?  I asked myself the same thing, remembering the big bowl of OO I had for breakfast (with almond butter and bananas), leftover flatbread for lunch, and the granola bar I had for a snack just 2 hours earlier:

…New favorite snack by the way, you will be seeing that one more often.  I loved the salty/sweet flavor combo of cottage cheese on the honey oat bar…

Back to what I was saying.  All of these choices are healthy, no?  So why was I even having that internal struggle with myself?  Too many carbs back-to-back perhaps?  But then I remembered what I am aiming to achieve: moderation.  End of conversation.  I can have the freakin’ piece of cinnamon raisin toast with almond butter and bananas.  And that is exactly what I did, and it was delicious.  Of course I had to throw in a side of vegetables…

Eggplant stir-fry with tomatoes, onion, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, olives, white beans, pesto; cinnamon raisin Ezekiel toast with almond butter and bananas.

These days, my motto tends to be more like “Eat what you want (in moderation) because life is too damn short.”

Question: Have you read Naturally Thin?  What did you think?  Do you hold any food philosophies for yourself?



  1. Sara, I think it’s so great that you went with exactly what you wanted! Your new motto is what it’s all about. I try to live by the exact same philosophy, and I’ve found that if I eat what I’m craving, it all balances out for me without really having to try, you know? Most of the time my bod wants healthy food, but if it wants something “naughty”–even a couple times in a few days!–it’s probably because I need it for some reason. Including mental health!

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