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What do I wanna eat? What will taste best?

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

*leaning in the fridge and surveying the possibilities*
*opening the cupboard and poking around*
*looking at the menu*
*checking out the banquet table*


"What do I wanna eat?" is never a good question for me.

I wanna eat cheese. With buttered bread. Crusty hot white baguette, preferably. Potato chips (none in my cupboard, of course). Dip. Cookies. Or granola bars if that's all there is, And that's all there is. There. At my house.

Hmm. There is frozen pizza. I could do that. Yeah.

Handfuls of nuts? Yeah!! Spoonfuls of peanut butter? Why not. While the pizza heats up. Sure.

If I'm at a restaurant (where I was planning on a salad till I pick up the menu: that changes everything of course) what happens when I ask myself . . . What do I wanna eat? French fries? Always. Fat juicy cheeseburger? Of course. Large Coke!!

OK then, special occasion banquet table. What do I wanna eat? Deep fried everything, natch. And let's check out the desserts. Chocolate cheesecake looks great. And the hot fudge chocolate brownie sundae. And the chocolate mousse . . . gotta theme going on here. They're all sitting there. Why not one of each? To "share", of course. Or . . . maybe not. Just this once.

Gotta face facts. I wanna eat all of 'em.

In unlimited quantities, basically. Every day.

So "What do I wanna eat" isn't the question if the answer I'm looking for is . . . a healthy, fit and slim body.

What would be the right question? It's gotta be, " What do I need to eat?"

Food is fuel. Yes it is.

If I'm asking the right question, the Spark nutrition tracker is very helpful. That's because the nutrition tracker isn't just counting calories. It's counting carbs, fats and proteins. Mine is also set to track a whole whack of other nutrients: minerals and vitamins and fibre and . . . yeah.

So if it's suppertime and I've still got 400 calories to "spend" . . . what do I need? More protein? Probably. And calcium too? A little vitamin C still missing? Yup. So what to choose? If I ask myself, "What do I need to eat?", then the answer would be, maybe, some fat free Greek yogourt? Some fresh raspberries?

How self-depriving is that? Taking all the fun out of life. *big pout*

OK. News flash. Asking myself what I need instead of what I want is NOT self-depriving at all.

Remarkably enough, what tastes best is what my body needs. Maybe I don't believe it, not in the moment, when the cheesecake is screaming at me. But 20 minutes from now, if I eat the cheesecake I won't feel so good. Might still not be feeling so good tomorrow, even.

But if I eat the yogourt and raspberries: I will feel good. And does anything actually taste better than fresh raspberries?

Gotta remind myself: I'll feel good if I eat what I need. Not what I "want". What I REALLY wanna eat is what I need to eat. Really.

Gotta keep right on reminding myself of this. Every day.

The real treat is treating myself well.

Giving myself what I need. When I do that, consistently, and when I have a healthy, fit and slim body, there are so many other ways to have fun. Real fun.

Eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted made me 230 pounds. And that was actually . . . no fun at all.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You are so right. If I'm honest, only the 1st bite or 2 is the best of the bad choice. after that it doesn't taste as good and I feel bad for eating it all. So if I must have it, I try to just have a bite or two and call it good.

    Have a great holiday season,

    Karen emoticon
    1890 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    Great way of thinking! emoticon
    1890 days ago
    1890 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    Thank You for the eye opener. That is how I have been feeling for awhile now. Started this journey around the 256 lb mark. Got down to 228 lb. and am now today at 240.2lbs. Not happy with myself because I let my adult kids ruin Christmas for me. Well not totally as I am going to wake up Christmas morning with 2 very special people and 2 awesome pets. My beautiful granddaughter and my man have told me all I need to do is look in my heart and I'll know what to do. Boy were they ever right. This will be the first Christmas at home with my family. It is going to be sooooo AWESOME and a new beginning. emoticon emoticon
    1890 days ago
  • FARIS71
    Big difference between what I want to eat and need to eat. But you're right. I don't feel good when i eat what I want.
    1890 days ago
    Excellent post! Well said. Now, if I could just remember it when the "I wanna's" hit. emoticon
    1890 days ago
    so easy to remember. after the fact!
    1890 days ago
    Keep on keeping on!
    1890 days ago
    Extremely well said.... emoticon
    1890 days ago
    An Ah-ha moment! I've been getting down on myself lately because I am not easily finding anything in my kitchen that "sounds good". Its funny, I used to ask my kids if they really needed something they wanted, or just wanted it. I need to turn that talk to myself! emoticon
    1890 days ago
  • NEWMOM20121
    1890 days ago
    VERY well said wish we could all remember this more often
    1890 days ago
    Yes--we NEED to eat the right things. This time of year, it is REALLY tough to stay with the right things. IF you make a poor choice, at least ENJOY the bad choice and then back to the better choices!!
    1890 days ago
  • CICELY360
    Good blog
    1890 days ago
  • NCSUE0514
    1890 days ago
    Great attitude. You are doing it right.
    1890 days ago
    No guilty feelings after eating what is good for you. Great blog.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1890 days ago
    You're so right! emoticon
    1890 days ago
    1890 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Well said! And why you are such a successful maintainer!! What you need to eat has become what you WANT to eat, and that is something we all have to learn fully!
    I certainly do crave my fruits and veggies when I have been away from them (at Moms, which is usually why I have taken to bringing my own.) This weekend is to be a comfort food for the family -all the deep fried bites you could want. As the saying goes, nothing tastes as good as thin feels -you have that down to a science!
    Keep on being your Sparktacular self!
    Enjoy your weekend!
    1890 days ago
    this is so true
    1890 days ago
    So true! I do this daily. I have to constantly tell myself that the healthier food is so much better for me than the junk that's here. Most days it's pretty easy, but with the holidays upon us, it's more of a challenge.
    1890 days ago
    1891 days ago
    Love this blog!
    1891 days ago
    Oh yeah, that sounds so familiar - want versus need, stomach versus mouth, head versus tastebuds. I keep hoping that the arguing in my body will burn a few extra calories.
    1891 days ago
    Great blog and GREAT reminder for this time of year! I think I'll put that in my repertoire, "What do I NEED to eat?" What a paradigm shift that question is!
    1891 days ago
    Good lord, is that spot on.
    1891 days ago
    Love it - what taste best is what my body needs and if I can think about how I'll feel 20 minutes after I eat it I'll see that treating my body well is the real treat.

    Thank you!
    1891 days ago
    Great blog!! What do I need? That is the question. And feeding myself well is really the best treat.

    I really don't understand why that "what do I want to eat?" mentality predominates. It was what I was raised with, how my friends and relatives thought. Why isn't "what do I need to eat?" the way we all think!! Life sure would be better if it was.

    Being overweight or unhealthy is absolutely no fun. You are 100% right!! -Marsha
    1891 days ago
  • DALID414
    I do the survey of how many calories do I have left, what do I need more of protein ir carb... We gotta do it. It's the Spark way!
    1891 days ago
    Well thought out and even Brett written!
    1891 days ago
    love it thanks.now to see wht i need not want. emoticon
    1891 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Well said. It is all about wanting to meet our NEEDS. You have a great attitude and I thank you for sharing your journey with us.
    1891 days ago
    Fantastic. I do think that is the better way of looking at it. And the more you do it the more you find that , for the most part, what you need becomes what you want. I really do CRAVE fruits and veggies when I have not had enough.
    To be fair I still like, and occasionally indulge in, french fries and other junk but cravings have stared to shift. emoticon
    1891 days ago
    You are right for when I was a beginner. One of the strange things that happened over the years at goal was just how many foods are available within the parameters of my food plan and they are yummy! I have learned to pant for those raspberries (expensive and seasonal) as much as I used to pant for cheesecake. The things I wanted to eat weren't the things normal people wanted. We all talk about consistency in sticking to a plan to effect weight loss, but something else happens, too. In the beginning all I saw was what I couldn't eat. After awhile, I came to realize that the universe of legal food is much bigger than we ever imagined.
    1891 days ago
    This is so true, and very timely as the winter seems to bring out the carb beastie! I was just thinking these very thoughts this morning as I thought about the leftovers from our office potluck and how they all taste great, but are they the right choices and how will I feel afterwards. I know what my mouth wants, but its different than what my body craves to stay healthy, and this is the week I normally struggle with the most, right before and after Christmas with all the extra food around. Thanks for helping me remember that I need to each healthy and not cave to temptation! Very good blog!

    1891 days ago
    Fantastic blog as I prepare to pick up an amazing holiday cake for the office potluck today! I will definitely take a bite but remember your words that asking what I want to eat is how I got and stayed obese. Wishing wise choices for all of us. Thanks so much!I
    1891 days ago
    Great insight into eating habits!!!! It was not only fun to read, it is SO true!!!! Thanks for sharing the differences between "need" and "want" is such an enjoyable way!!
    1891 days ago
  • SWAZY33
    So true...eating what our body needs and not what we "want" is the key to success...but it sure isn't always easy!
    1891 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/20/2012 7:49:40 AM
    Love it! I need these simple actions to add to my tool belt. This is PERFECT! "What do I need?" Not "What do I want!"

    Thank you for the insight!!!
    1891 days ago
    emoticon blog, Ellen! Well written and full of TRUTH! I find when I eat right, I savor the flavor, and I feel SO much better. Paying attention to how I feel in the wake of an indulgence speaks to that truth!

    Have a great Spark day! emoticon
    1891 days ago
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