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Giving Myself Permission

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I have just recently realized that in the past I would give myself permission to overeat at certain times - because I thought it was only right. I should not deprive myself of the pleasure of the food at those times.

When were those times?

They were times that represented a break in the routine -- and that was quite often.

I would permit myself to overeat when we had company, when we were on a trip, when we went out to dinner, when it was a special occasion -- sometimes it was just to celebrate the arrival of the weekend.

On a trip, I would buy and eat snack food -- in the car or in the hotel room.
On a weekend, I would buy goodies to nibble on while relaxing and watching a movie.
When having guests, I would prepare favorite delicious dishes and I would eat them that day -- as well as all the leftovers the next day.
When eating out, I would have a dessert - something I never made at home (unless we had company).

These were treats for me. And, 'poor me' if I didn't allow myself to have them. It would diminish the fun for me-- because I saw food as being a big part of that fun.
I truly felt deprived without that food.

So what's different now?

I don't give myself permission any more.

Now I have 'tasted' the pleasure of being trimmer - and I like how I look in the mirror.
And THAT is the pleasure that I want -- permanently.
I want to continue to look better - with a few more pounds still to lose.

So now it comes down to the question - how much of that food can I enjoy while continuing to make progress on my appearance and weight loss?

It has become a balancing act. Which is more important -- eating this food or liking what I will see on the scale and in the mirror?

Most often, I choose to limit the food. I make trade-offs. I eat a smaller portion. I find an equally satisfying substitute. I make promises to have some tomorrow or next time.

I balance it with exercise. After I walk, I can have it if I still want it.

Some eating behaviors I have eliminated altogether. I don't buy snack foods for trips in the car any more. I don't eat snacks in the movies. I hardly ever order an entire dessert for myself at a restaurant; instead I usually split one with my husband.

Most days I eat within the calorie limit.
So when I do have a treat, it must be counted within the day's limit.

I no longer give myself a pass to eat whatever I want just because it is a special occasion.
I am always adding up the calories in my head - even if I'm not tracking.

So do I feel deprived?


I feel in control.

I feel that I can change how I look by making these changes in my eating.
And they no longer feel like huge changes. Every day it gets easier.
I can still enjoy foods that I like - just less of them.

I have discovered that with a little effort, I can like how I eat...
and I can like how I look...
both at the same time.

That is what I give myself permission for now.

PS How long did it take for me to get to this point?
I began here on SP as PennyAn45 in January 2010.
After some successful weight loss, then some regaining,
I started a new page as Susannah31 in November 2012.

That adds up to more than 3 1/2 years of learning, succeeding, and failing here on SP to get to this place where I feel I have finally made a real --and permanent -- lifestyle change.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good for you! We've got to keep working at it and our ultimate goals always need to be at the forefront of our minds.

    I'm still struggling, but I'm doing much better. Ate just half my lunch today while out with a friend, and last night I even had the strength to throw away 2/3 of the chocolate-covered brownie treat that came with my meal. (Just HAD to eat that 1/3, though.)

    It takes effort, that's true!
    1501 days ago
    WOW...........that was a big realization. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas.
    Very helpful and inspirational!!!!
    1505 days ago
    1505 days ago
    You have found an amazing formula for yourself that really works. It is the key to your being a successful maintainer.
    1505 days ago
  • KANOE10
    That is an excellent lifestyle change., Control over those times when you feel like indulging is so important. I found that the number of times when you are urged to celebrate with food is endless. Good health means making good choices no matter the occasion.

    1505 days ago
    Here's to your success!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    1505 days ago
    You have achieved a big goal. Learning how to eat is big step to getting to where you want to be. I have found that eating small portions is the answer for me.
    1506 days ago
    Great Blog. I'm sure we can all identify with a lot of the reasons to give ourselves Permission. Thanks for the reminder. emoticon
    1506 days ago
    Good blog. I absolutely identify with where you were and where you are now. As they say "been there, done that" and like you, I have reached the place where I balance what I eat against the way I want to look and feel. I love being able to wear anything in my closet and I don't miss those treats at all.
    1506 days ago
    I like the concept of "not giving myself permission" also remembering "which is more important." Since being diagnosed with cancer, the "which is more important" question is pretty easy for me in making healthy food choices.
    1506 days ago
    I can like how I eat...
    and I can like how I look...

    I like that!! And I'm going to keep remembering it. Too bad I have to learn it over and over and over again . . . and telling myself that liking how I look and how I feel 24/7 actually matters more to me than what I eat where the pleasure is so momentary . . .

    Just remembering my mother saying "A moment on my lips, forever on my hips!!". .
    1506 days ago
    What a great description! I used to do this too. The trouble is that in our affluent lives, there are so many of these 'special' times, they are the norm.
    1506 days ago
    I still struggle with this. Oh poor me... I finally like the way I look, but there are tempting treats out there! (tomorrow my mouth won't care whether I indulged or not.)
    Thanks for the insights. My inner adult needs to deny permission more and my inner child needs to rebel and throw tantrums less!
    1506 days ago
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