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.