Monday, September 15, 2008

No Forbidden Foods

Rather than having a bunch of "forbidden foods"--something I used to do all the time--I now allow myself permission to eat anything that I truly want.

Rather than causing my weight to balloon out of control, I have found that I am actually losing weight with this philosophy.

I found that the forbidden foods were always the ones I loved best, the ones that gave me great pleasure to eat. Making them "off-limits" led to feelings of deprivation, resentment, restriction, discomfort, and sadness.

What was my behavior when I felt sad or resentful? Why, to eat, of course! I was setting myself up for an endless circle. Now when I ate as a result I would eat my favorites (the forbidden foods), naturally--I was also feeling guilty, weak, undisciplined, oh the list goes on and on.

This cycle of eating and feeling bad then led to either binging to push down the feelings or just quitting my diet altogether.

Now instead of having the hands-off list, I allow myself small joyful indulgences. This means that I savor the experience rather than stuffing my face with treats. While I allow myself to eat anything, I make an effort to be completely aware of what I am eating. Unconscious eating does not produce joy--maybe a sugar high, but not real joy.

This savoring gives me positive energy, feeling of abundance, freedom, comfort, satisfaction and empowerment.

These feelings lead to more healthy eating and activities. So now I have replaced a negative downward spiral with a positive, uplifting one!

I used to be afraid that by eating one bite of chocolate I would go crazy and not have any control over food. By letting go and taking off the negative labels I found that I don't go crazy and I have better control and am enjoying food and life more overall.

Which sounds better to you--feeling guilty, frustrated, weak and fat, or feeling happy, empowered and getting thinner? I'll take the latter every time!

No comments: