Before I started Weight Watchers (in 2009), my diet was very limited. I didn’t really know how to cook much of anything that didn’t come out of a box. I was afraid to try new foods, and I was afraid to experiment in the kitchen.
What was I so afraid of? I was eating fast food, pizza, hamburger helper, etc. It’s not like I was eating gourmet food. I wasn’t giving up something amazing by trying something new! The WORST that can happen is you don’t like it. So what. Spit it out. It will not kill you or scar you for life! Why did it take me so long to adopt this logical attitude?
It’s all about stepping outside your comfort zone. Part of what used to hold me back was that most recipes I looked at seemed very complicated and usually contained ingredients that I wasn’t familiar with. I had looked through many cookbooks and they all just seemed overwhelming.
One day, I found Hungry Girl. Finally, a SIMPLE approach to eating lower calorie meals. Many recipes contained only a few ingredients. The instructions were easy to follow. Hallelujah! I finally felt like I could handle cooking something on my own like a real adult! 😀 Once I made a few of her recipes successfully, I began to gain more confidence. Once I gained a little confidence, I was brave enough to try other recipes that were once very daunting. Now I even throw together my own creations! Five years ago it wasn’t even an option for me to put ingredients together on my own. I was very dependent on instructions on a box!
The variety of foods that I will eat now has also drastically changed. Some things that I thought I didn’t like just hadn’t been prepared or presented to me properly in the past. I felt like I needed to expand my options to keep from getting bored so I didn’t go back to my old ways. I was OFTEN bored when I was eating all junk food, but I didn’t know another way. Now I do! I eat a wide range of foods that I never used to eat, including mushrooms and mexican food! 😉
I prefer my healthy recipes over the junk food now for the most part. There are times that I still want to eat a whole bag of Doritos or half a box of donuts without thinking about points or portion sizes. The problem is…when I eat like crap, I feel like crap. So why would I want to eat like crap? Even knowing that, it’s just so tempting sometimes!
The more I can have fun with my healthy meals, the more likely I am to stick with them. I try to set up my environment to support me making the best choices. Healthy options need to be just as convenient as the junk.
My best advice to trying something new is to just do it. Don’t worry about liking it or not liking it. If it looks yummy and fits in your calorie budget, go for it! Try to pick something new to try every few weeks to keep things interesting. If you want to make a lifestyle change that will last, you need to find a way to keep yourself happy. You will not be happy eating grilled chicken and steamed broccoli every day for the rest of your life. Change it up! Experiment!
You will not grow and change if you don’t challenge yourself. Who cares if you try something that’s a big flop? Seriously. Who cares? You are not a failure in life if you mess up a few meals here and there. It’s a learning experience. Your life will be easier if you have a wider range of foods to choose from! What are you going to try first???
Check out all my Habits of a Loser posts!!