Every time I buy celery, and it sits in the produce drawer in my fridge until it takes on the shape of a wet noodle and I decide to overcome my guilt over not eating it long enough to toss it out.
Celery tastes to me like crunchy sadness. But it wasn’t always this way. I used to even enjoy it (mainly with peanut butter and raisins—remember ants on a log?).
It's a food that I placed in a “healthy” bucket in my brain. So I would buy it when I decided to go on a diet (which, at the time, meant to stop eating food I liked, and attempt to starve myself—don't do that).
So I stopped liking celery because now I associate it with restrictive diets. Trying to fill the hunger in my stomach left from depriving myself of filling foods and trying to fill my psychological hunger for virtuous foods—foods that made me feel like I was doing something “good” for my body.
Even though I don’t like it anymore, I still buy it sometimes, because I almost feel like I have to.
But I’m here to tell you (and myself) that
you don’t have to eat food you don’t like.
Whatever “diet food” means to you—salads, cottage cheese, boiled eggs, protein shakes—you don’t have to eat any of it to improve your health and nutrition, and you don’t have to eat any of it to lose weight.
Think about why you’ve chosen the food. If you want to get more veggies in, try a new vegetable recipe instead of a salad. Looking for more protein? Instead of cottage cheese, go for greek yogurt, chicken breast, lean ground beef, or tofu.
I ate celery because it was a “filler” food—something that would help me feel less hungry between meals. Now, I eat meals that have more lean protein and vegetables, and if I feel the need for a filler, I have other go-to snacks like pickles, kimchi, and lots of raw veggies like green beans, snap peas, carrots—just ones that I actually enjoy.
The fastest way to fail on your diet is to feel like you need to force yourself to eat food you don’t like.
Take a minute to look at the big picture and determine your real motivation for your food choices, and if you have any questions about nutrition, just send me a message. I respond to every email.
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