I told myself I wasn’t going to eat anymore sweets, but then someone had to bring this amazingly, mouth-watering dessert to my family dinner. My eyes are locked intently on the dessert. It looks so delicious. My heart is racing and I’m both mad and upset at the same time. I politely decline when the dessert is passed to me, celebrating a little on the inside at my willpower, all while silently struggling with my decision to give up sweets in hopes that it may help me lose these last 10 pounds. Thinking I’ll be fine once I can finally get home and get away from it, they offer to send some home with me…ugh. After feeling guilty for declining some at supper, I reluctantly agreed to take some home. Once home, I am fighting so hard to stay away from it, but it is consuming my mind. “If I could just have one piece…” “I’ll just take a little bite, that won’t hurt my diet…” But it did hurt it. Because that one bite turned into two, which turned into the whole piece, which turned into my husband’s piece, and before I knew it the entire dessert is now completely gone. While I’m licking the plate clean the guilt starts to set in. What have I done? Why do I always give in? Why do I always eat so much? I’m never going to be able to give up sweets. I’m never going to be able to lose these last 10 pounds.
Does this sound like you? Do you feel stuck in this vicious cycle?
A cycle of deprivation and mini celebration before binge eating and massive guilt. Every family gathering. Every holiday. Every celebration. This obsession with avoiding sweets (or anything I told myself I couldn’t have) would leave me stuck in that endless cycle and you can bet I wasn’t losing that last 10 pounds.
Sometimes our hyper-focus on what we tell ourselves we can’t have can have the opposite affect than what we want. We think if we can remain strong and just avoid the food that we’ll be better off…except that is not what happens, is it? What happens is that forbidden food consumes our minds and then we aren’t fully satisfied until we get it. And that mindset leads us down the path of binging, guilt, and weight gain. When all you do is focus on the foods you can’t have that typically leads to a rebellious response in some unhealthy way.
But one day I broke free. I freed myself from the cycle. The only way I was able to that was to finally tell myself I could eat it. Breaking free from the deprivation mindset, I was finally able to drop the heavy feeling weighing on me when I went to family gatherings or public events. There was no longer this ‘fear of missing out’ because there was nothing I was missing out on.
I learned to eat everything in moderation. Small portions of everything that I wanted. This helped keep me from depriving myself while simultaneously keeping me from binging on it too.
Learn how to portion out your meals so that you can enjoy the foods you love and stop depriving yourself. If you want the dessert, eat the dessert. Don’t let your obsession with avoiding certain foods keep you from losing the weight you want to lose.
Don’t let your obsession make you fat.