I’ve been a member of the 24 Hour Fitness gym chain for about 4 years now, and while I have mixed feelings about both the company and its offerings, I must say that I’ve been generally quite impressed with the company’s informative Web site and e-mail newsletters. With the exception of some occasional over-shilling of supplements (IMHO), the articles featured are typically informative, interesting, and sometimes even inspiring.
One of the articles I was alerted to is entitled There’s No Such Thing as Cheating. It makes the following respectable and responsible points:
– Half the battle of healthy eating is learning to give up the guilt.
– Quit thinking about foods in terms of “good” and “bad.”
– Enjoy your food and enjoy eating, dammit! 🙂
It made me reflect upon my experiences with dining in Europe, where people tend to often eat high-fat and seemingly heart-killing foods (featuring cheese, heavy cream, etc.) yet still stay healthy and trim. I believe that — in contrast with typical American eating habits nowadays — this is because Europeans don’t supersize their portions, and they actually savor both their food and the company they keep while eating.
I think this is also largely the secret of how — when disciplined — I’ve been able to trim my body fat and lose weight (about 7 pounds so far in the last 10 weeks). I still indulge in hamburgers and ice cream and such, but take smaller bites and use a smaller spoon respectively. I also have continued to buy fine dark Belgian chocolate bars, and don’t have a whit of guilt when I’m having a square with my coffee.
Life is too short to feel guilty about the great pleasure of eating… especially when with friends. I’ll just exercise more (especially after my dang foot heals up), and remember to savor every bite of delicious food and sip of fine wine 🙂