Why I Hate Celery Sticks
By Brigette Weil
There is one thing perhaps I hate as much as celery, and that’s being misunderstood.
In all fairness, I guess I was asking for it when I chose to name my weight loss coaching company “I Hate Celery Sticks,” so let me explain:
I have not always hated celery but I have always loved to eat, and that passion has gotten me into some big fat trouble.
You see, I don’t really hate celery sticks, but I greatly dislike what they represent.
At 13, my mother dragged me to my first Weight Watchers meeting where I was told to just place an inviting dish of celery sticks in my fridge at eye level, so I would eat only those instead of other temptations vying for my attention.
As my chubby teen years continued, so did all the crazy diets I systematically and desperately tried that offered me the same message: “just eat celery sticks,” or worse, “just stay away from sweets,” or “just stop eating so much,” as if those were THE big magic answers to not being fat.
Eating celery sticks and refraining from the foods I loved taught me nothing.
It’s like telling an addict to “just say no.” Just saying “no” is not useful without teaching them the tools so they know HOW to say no.
It took me many years – 27 years to be exact – to figure out HOW to eat real food, like pizza and bread and dessert in a new balanced manner so I could lose my excess 65lbs AND maintain that loss.
As soon as I stopped “dieting” and refused to eat cardboard-like diet food, like celery sticks, I started to really learn HOW to incorporate all the foods I loved each day and in addition to reaching my goal without miserable diets, I found a new peace, sanity, and confidence in my body and my life.
That should explain why I Hate Celery Sticks and why you will not see celery on the food plans I develop for my clients, unless of course you happen to love celery sticks.
Instead, I invite you to eat wonderful meals and have the occasional second glass of champagne and celebrate with a big slice of cake on your birthday.
Balancing these typically off-limit foods while losing or maintain your weight CAN be achieved as long as the concept of balance is understood and respected.
Here are my 3 sure-fire rules to follow that will let you have your cake and eat it too:
- Do NOT avoid your favorites.
Forbidding your favorite foods, even if they are high in calories or fat and way off your food plan will not resolve anything and guarantees to leave you hungry, cranky, and resentful.
Instead, incorporate your favorite foods in reasonable quantities by pre-committing to the quantity and working it into your day’s food plan. You cannot always have it all, but half will make you happier than none.
- No spontaneous eating.
This means no food automatically jumps in your mouth if you have not planned for it in your day. Each morning, plan your food in alignment with your goals whether you’re seeking to lose weight or simply maintain.
You’ll be more likely to stick with your plan if you have one. We usually know ahead of time when we’ll be surrounded by extra indulgences. Pre-commit ahead of time to what you’ll be allowing for yourself and work it into your day’s balanced plan. Keep mints or gum on hand and pop those in your mouth to dissuade other goodies from landing there.
- Stay accountable and track your progress.
Keep a daily food log and weigh yourself daily or weekly so you can see a direct correlation between the better choices you’re making and your declining weight. The scale is not your only marker of progress – the better way your clothes fit, the smaller sizes you’re able to now buy, the increase in energy and improved sense of well-being are all indicators of success.
Progress, not perfection, is key.
Be patient while you master this balancing act and it will take you on the most pleasant weight-loss journey you’ve ever encountered. When you arrive at your goal, you will not need to learn maintenance. You’ve been doing it all along, and that’s the real big secret to lasting success.
Brigitte Weil is a NYC-based Weight Loss Coach and the founder of The I Hate Celery Sticks Strategy, a life-changing Coaching program that redefines old conventional views of dieting and promotes an approach designed for lasting success without crazy diets, silly gimmicks, or giving up the foods we love. Brigitte is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, a Paris-trainer pastry chef, a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, and remains committed to developing private and group Coaching programs that support her philosophy of combining passion of food and fitness with balance to create the lives we desire.