Well...here I am...
...thinking about the difference between deprivation and choice.
But before I get in to that, I have to say that I was quite happy with the loss on the scale this morning. Truth be told, I was a little surprised, but happy nonetheless.
Yannow - when I write it always makes sense to me. I wonder if it ever makes sense or hits home with anyone else. Just a passing thought.
Anywho, I spend a lot of time thinking about the DIP (the Donna Improvement Program) - not necessarily about the weight itself all the time, but rather how best to go about making permanent changes that will stick for the rest of my life. And let there be no doubt - I plan to have a LONG life!
One of the folks in my group is quite thoughtful and always makes sure that she remembers everyone's birthday. She sends out group emails and we always meet in the break area and have cake and ice cream. Today was one of those celebrations. My first thought was that I wouldn't go, but then thought it would be bad form since I recently took over the group and would be kinda crappy if I didn't go. So I felt I had to go. I ate some nuts before I went and took my big ass mug with me. Turns out it was a homemade chocolate sheet cake with chocolate icing and nuts. I took a good look at that cake and decided that I didn't want the sugar. While it was a chocolate cake, it didn't look like a GREAT chocolate cake. The choice wasn't a big deal. I made the decision a while back that I'd eat cake, but it'd have to be a damn good cake.
It would have to be WORTH IT. Of course, that "worth" is subjective, often depends on the situation, and the total value of that 'worth' might change over time.
That was the first thing.
So then, around 4:30, hubby calls me and says he wants a beer and says he wants to go to rib night. I was a little hesitant at first, mostly because I didn't want to "reward" myself in any way with food since I showed a good loss this morning. But okay - we'll go.
We get to the rib place and it dawns on me that even the dry rub has sugar in it! But who knew - I can order them naked, so that's what I did. I also got a side salad. I'm serious about this sugar deal - it's gotta be fecking worth it!
Other than the fact that we were eating out when we said we weren't going to, I was okay. I ate my dinner, drank my tea, and talked with hubby. He had ribs as well, along with cornbread, rice and beans, and a few beers. During the meal, I wasn't fixated on anything and I stopped eating when I was full.
As we were leaving, I realized that I was totally okay with all the decisions - all the CHOICES I had made regarding food throughout the day. No great amounts of willpower involved at all.
At the same moment, I also realized that for me - maybe for lots of overweight folks - there's historically been a fine line between CHOICE and DEPRIVATION. And it really is a matter of mind set.
When I started on this road, I gave myself some simple guidelines. These guidelines were to be mindful of what I ate, avoid added sugar, don't beat myself up, and not to give up before I got started.
Pretty simple guidelines, huh? Nothing earth-shattering really, but these little guidelines, especially the not beating myself up one, has allowed me to give myself PERMISSION to be imperfect, to make good choices, and even to make bad choices without being a failure.
I never understood before that the multitude of rules from all these different plans were making me crazy; that when I made the choice to not eat something because it wasn't "allowed", I didn't feel like I was even making a choice; I was feeling *deprived*. Like I was having to punish myself for even wanting to have something that wasn't on whatever plan I was on, punish myself for being fat, punish myself for not being perfect. I didn't have the freedom to *choose* to eat a piece of cake, drink a beer, whatever, without feeling guilty and like a failure. I felt like that even when these things were allowed because so much emphasis was put on them - like they were really for the gods on Mt. Olympus or something.
I read a post by a woman not long ago wanting to know if she had totally screwed up her diet because she used Splenda instead of stevia? Really? Are you serious? Well, yeah she was dead serious. I also knew that I've been just that...THAT...intense about a plan. Like choosing one over the other is gonna be THE difference in whether or not you lose that extra 100 pounds! That type of thinking always left me feeling less than and if I was anything but perfect...well, I might as well give up now. It's CRAZY!
I feel so much more relaxed and calm about this whole process now. I'm not perfect by any stretch - I get frustrated, but I'm starting to beat myself up less. I'm starting to learn how all these things are inter-twined in how I feel, how I relate to food, how to separate the wheat from the chaff. I'm learning to not give up and that I don't have to be perfect to be successful.