Oops you did it again. Somehow, that bag of Cheetos just disappeared. Did you eat that many? the BAG?? It’s gone ??
You immediately feel the guilt and stuff the bag in the can… hating yourself….the familiar feeling settling in over you..
ok maybe Cheetos aren’t your “thing” perhaps you’ve set out to only have a little of something and somehow, before you know it, it’s gone.
The ice cream. The cookies. The bottle of wine.
Perhaps it’s at meal time. You determine you will eat what you need and no more, yet by the time you push away, seconds have graced your plate even though your hunger was satisfied a long time ago.
Or your at the office brunch/breakfast/lunchy thing where there’s usually a plethora of crappy food with a lone veggie tray hanging out at the end of the table like an ugly step child. You think you’ll only get “a little” of something yet before you know it your plate is overflowing and so is your self imposed food guilt.
Been there. Done that.
All or Nothing.
Eat to much…feel bad about it… eat more to feel better about it…feel worse. Then go to starve and deprive mode.
Repeat guilt and remorse cycle using food to comfort your crappy feelings from doing it.
Where do you get off the roller coaster ??? It’s a horrible place to be yet, so many of us live there or have lived there.
Life shouldn’t be lived that way nor should we have such a distorted relationship with food and eating.
We’re in it together for our entire lives .. we need to be able to eat, be satisfied, and enjoy food in reasonable portions without feeling guilty.
Why do we behave this way?
We’ve been conditioned that foods are “good” or “bad”. We’ve been told if we need to lose weight we must “diet” and that means removing all tasty foods we love from our presence and not having them for a determined length of time, if ever, again. It means suffering…doing without…having no fun… restricitions and parties where you don’t get to eat cake while everyone else does and you sit on the sidelines forlornly stuffing a celery stick in your mouth.
A horrible, miserable existence in the pursuit of health and balance with food.
Over time, and on my own terms I learned it just doesn’t have to be that way. When I started my journey now ( 8 years ago) one of the things I rebelled against was some set “diet’ that told me what I could eat and couldn’t eat.
What if I didn’t feel like eating that particular “thing” at that meal?? What if there was a birthday party and I wanted a little cake? Why is every single, stupid, diet 1200 calories? Like we all have the same caloric needs??
No, no, no. I’m to much of a rebel and free spirit to be locked into some diet. So I set off determined to do things my way.
What did that look like?
First, I determined nothing was “off limits”. You might be thinking…”wow… wouldn’t you just go crazy and wolf down a bag of chocolate or something?” No, ’cause I’m a big person in charge of myself and I can be trusted I won’t do that. .. and you’re a big person too with the same abilities.
Somehow, mentally doing that, took the power away from food… I knew it was there… I knew if I wanted it I could have it.. I just made choices based on whether or not eating those foods would help me get closer to my goals.
Food has a tremendous power over us… we need to be the one in control of it… not the reverse.
There was a whole lot of freedom in that… there still is. Without that restriction on me it was easier to not be thinking of things I “couldn’t” have. I learned to enjoy my meals, to appreciate my food. To eat and move on to my next thing… which wasn’t obsessing over the next meal or when I could eat again.. I stopped thinking so much about food..
Second, I wasn’t obsessing over calories. I learned to start listening to my body and feed it enough food to be satisfied but not to full. I learned to feed it when it was growling and hungry. I didn’t eat just because “it was time” by the clock. I didn’t stuff “seconds” in just because it tasted good.
Yes, there were times I had a meal that I felt like wasn’t helping me to my goals. Yes, I was fully aware of it but I made a choice to have it and I made a choice to just keep moving forward each day. I didn’t quit or beat myself up. I didn’t go just grab more food cause I felt like in some way I had “failed” so why bother?
Listen, you fail when you freaking quit.
I took ownership for my eating habits. I didn’t make excuses to myself for poor choices…but like anything… it’s a learning process. You do it till it just becomes second nature to you… an ingrained habit.
I learned to navigate dinners out, family gatherings, birthday parties etc. I ate food in moderation. I had cake! A small piece is just as satisfying if not more, than a big piece. I learned to get picky about what I ate… if I didn’t love it… I learned to pass on it and not take it cause it was there. There was again, more freedom in making my food selections and knowing I was in control.
And somehow, day after day, making intentional choices I lost the weight. As time went on it got easier and easier to leave behind things that once might have landed on my plate. Healthy foods began to be what I craved over other things.
There was no guilt or remorse. No shame cycle with food. Eat. Be satisfied. Move on.
I had meals. I allowed myself treats when I realllyy wanted something. I learned a small treat was satisfying.
It was a slow process of making changes and learning what worked for me. I didn’t need a “diet”. I didn’t need restrictions. I didn’t need to live the rest of my life on a guilt and remorse roller coaster for what I ate.
Neither do you. Learn about yourself. Commit to making small daily changes that will become life long habits. Learn to listen to your body and respect it by treating it well…mentally and physically. Get off the roller coaster of guilt and remorse with food… life isn’t meant to be lived that way. It’s meant to be lived in freedom.