Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'm Lovin' It

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been doing a lot of internal searching though, and I think I might be on the verge of finding some answers.

I’ve been seeing a therapist about my eating issues, and we’ve really been focusing on changing my “all or nothing” mindset. This is probably my Achilles heel. I’ve always been that person who gives 110% when it comes to some goal of mine…and then if I trip up or have a set-back, I figure that I’ll never reach that goal anyway…so I just give up.

Since I’m an imperfect human and am bound to screw up eventually, this mindset has obviously not worked for me.

Since one of my BIGGEST goals is to learn how to eat like a normal person (who does not obsess over food 16 waking hours of the day, who eats what’s good for her body 90% of the time and eats what isn’t—guilt free—the other 10%), I need to let go of this idea that there ARE screw ups.

This is a novel concept for me. I mean, yeah, we’ve all HEARD that it’s OK to treat yourself once in a while, and if we have a binge-fest we should just get right back on the horse that bucked us off, etc, etc, etc…but think about it: No matter what I eat, no matter how much I eat, I have not failed.

Seriously. Wrap your mind around that. There ARE no failures when it comes to food.

I’m finding that the more I focus on this—that there’s no possible way for me to fail, because “normal” eaters do not view eating in terms of success and failure—the more this yucky, disgusting, heavy burden is falling off of my shoulders.

Consider this:

Scenario one


You’ve had a rough day at work. You’re alarm didn’t go off this morning, you were late to work, your boss yelled at you for being late, you had to deal with idiotic co-workers all day, the coffee machine broke down over-night, and, well, generally, it’s just been the day from hell.

You get off of work and feel exhausted. There’s no way you’re going to cook something when you get home. As you’re driving, you spy the Golden Arches, and instantly you feel yourself start to salivate over thoughts of those heavenly French fries.

You pull up to the drive thru menu (because you’re WAAAAY too tired to get out of your car and walk 3 feet inside) and—in the name of comforting yourself—you order your favorite burger and two large orders of the heavenly fries. Somewhere in your mind you realize that this is a 1500-2000 calorie meal (even more if your pop isn’t diet), but damn, you’ve had a bad day and you just don’t give a rat’s ass right now. You pay for your meal, grab the bag and pull over somewhere to eat in the car so that those waiting at home don’t realize you’re having a pig-out fest.

As you lick your fingers after the last bite of burger and last heavenly fry is demolished, reality starts to set in. That calorie number you pushed aside earlier rears its gigantic head to mock you now. Suddenly you’re feeling self-conscious at the cars whizzing by you on the street. Can the drivers guess what you’re doing? You feel horrible about yourself. You failed by eating the food society says chubby people like you should never eat. You roll down your window and dump your trash in the street (waiting until there’s no cars in sight to witness this very un-pc gesture or—even worse—what restaurant the trash came from) so that no one who knows you can ever find the evidence and drive away.

Now, not only have you totally screwed up by porking out on a humongous load of salt and fat, but you also are one of those creepy litterbugs. You feel like absolute crap.

So, knowing that you only have a house full of “healthy” food, you swing in to the nearest super market and load up on cookies and chips and whatever else is going to “make you feel better.” You ignore the little bell of alarm that goes off in your head when the grocery bill comes to an obscene amount of money—you’ll just put it on your credit card and pay it off later.

You get home, shut yourself in your room, turn the tv on, and chow down.

Afterwards, as you stare at the empty packages, bags, and wrappers, you realize you have absolutely no discipline or self-control, you’re never going to succeed at your goals to lose weight and become a healthier person, your broke, in debt, and a litterbug…so you pull your self-pity a little bit closer to you and wait for the cycle to continue tomorrow.

Scenario two


You’ve had a rough day at work. You’re alarm didn’t go off this morning, you were late to work, your boss yelled at you for being late, you had to deal with idiotic co-workers all day, the coffee machine broke down over-night, and, well, generally, it’s just been the day from hell.

You get off of work and feel exhausted. There’s no way you’re going to cook something when you get home. As you’re driving, you spy the Golden Arches, and instantly you feel yourself start to salivate over thoughts of those heavenly French fries.

You pull up to the drive thru menu (because you’re WAAAAY too tired to get out of your car and walk 3 feet inside) and consider your options. You could have a buffalo chicken salad (spicy chicken sure sounds good), but you can’t quite get the thought of those heavenly fries out of your brain. So you order them. And your favorite burger to go along with them—it’s been a long time since you had your favorite burger. This is more than enough for supper.

You drive home and park your car and sit down at your dining room table with your bag of food. It looks good, it smells good, and you take your time eating it. Your spouse or kid or roommate walks into the dining room and sees your meal. You offer them some of your burger and fries, because you’re starting to get a little full.

After you’re done, you wad up your trash and put it in the garbage can where it belongs and you don’t give the meal another thought. You open the fridge and pull out some fruit and vegetables to prepare for tomorrow—along with a buffalo chicken salad.

So. Of the two scenarios, which one sounds more appealing? Which one sounds more sane?

McDonald’s happens. Doritos happen. Cookies happen. They’re a part of our culture and as such, you would pretty much have to be a hermit who doesn’t own a tv or radio or any sort of magazines to never be exposed to these “temptations” ever again.

So you’re left with two choices when the inevitable happens. You can indulge and then wallow in guilt and a sense of failure and doom, or you can indulge, guilt-free, enjoy it and move on.

I mean, really? Does it even SEEM like a “choice?”

I plan to delve a little deeper into these two scenarios tomorrow—do the old compare and contrast—so tune in!



















1 comment:

  1. Ouch.... yeah like senario 2 better myself. But right now I don't think I'd get over the guilt. Although right now for me instead of McDonald's it would be bread. I would seriously make a whole loaf of italian herb bread and chow down with some butter while it's still warm. I really want to! I seriously dream about it. But I won't. I seriously feel like I can't because if I fall off the wagon now, I won't get back on, because it's just too hard! I've made so much progress and I don't want to give that up.

    So I have a question for ya, in the past month have you been moving from senario 1 toward senario 2?

    I'm big on pre-planning when I can. For most restaurants (Fast Food anyway) I have "go to" meals where I already know the calorie counts ect. So at say the arches I'd get a small regular soda, a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and a side salad with the low-fat balsamic vineagrette. It works pretty well for me.

    As a suggestion look into doing that for youself, already know what your go to meal is (or say add a small side of fries to the above) then you'll know before you dig in what you're getting into. It'll be a lot easier on yourself!

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