Indulging NOT Cheating
Monday, February 22, 2016
My mom is about to go through weight loss surgery. I've seen her struggle with her weight my entire 42 years. If there is a gimmick diet, shot, pill, etc. out there, she's done it. She's basically done everything but overhaul her diet to eat a healthy diet and exercise. Their biggest thing is eating out. They eat out almost every meal and if they aren't eating out, it's from a box (I'll write more on box eating in a future post).
Anyway, back to the purpose of this blog entry. She said to me that this surgery (gastric sleeve) is successful 60% of the time and that she'll have to fight food like her mother did the rest of her life. That entire statement really upset me. First of all, you're going through a medical procedure that only 60% are successful with. You then need a second surgery to remove the skin. My friend had both surgeries and the skin surgery was scary in the recovery time as well as the drainage. I'm really worried she'll lose the weight only to gain it back. I know too many who have done it.
Second of all, food should never, ever be a fight. If you're looking at food/eating as a struggle, you're looking at a losing battle.
I have ulcerative colitis that I've been learning to live with for 5 years. Unless you have an autoimmune disease, or food allergy, you can't believe how annoying it is to have your body attack your body (for me it's my joints and my colon). Let me tell you, it's not fun. For 4 years I ate absolutely no red meat and no dairy. My favorite things in the world before being diagnosed were bacon (yes, it's red meat), a medium rare steak, chocolate milk and cheese. When I am having a flare, I can eat white rice...that's it...white rice. BORING!! Thankfully, I'm currently in remission and have been able to tolerate cheese and a tiny bit of red meat every now & then for about 6 months.
So, you can understand that I have learned to look at food as a positive thing anytime I can get it, even though I've gone through times where I couldn't tolerate certain foods. I told my mom that as long as you look at food as a fight, it will be depressing to even think about all the things you can't have (Klondike bars, blue cheese dressing, hot wings, steak, bacon, roast beef with extra horseradish sauce...yep...I'm slobbering on my keyboard right now). Instead, give yourself permission to indulge. You probably won't need as much when you indulge as you used to think you did. And you can plan ahead for the event. For instance, I received a coupon today from Pizza Hut for $10 off $20. My roommate & I have been quite good with how we've been eating so we decided to indulge (not cheat...cheating has a bad vibe) tonight. So, I double-checked calorie counts for my indulgence based on realistic expectations of how much I'll really eat (2 pieces plus 2 breadsticks) and went ahead and put it into my tracker. I then based everything else I planned to eat based on that indulgence. We will then freeze the extra pizza to eat a piece at a time during lunch with a salad once a week or so, so the indulgence lasts longer.
Could I lose weight eating Pizza Hut every night by simply counting my calories. Sure. Is it healthy? Nope! Is it ok to indulge yourself every now & then? Absolutely! Food doesn't have to be all or nothing. It doesn't have to be something you fight. It can be really REALLY difficult to change how we think about food turning it from the enemy to a necessity, but we all have to learn to do that, or we'll probably binge on the couch all night eating the entire pizza followed by a pint of ice cream & then wind up not feeling so well.