Most of us eat to feel better – to alleviate the gnawing in our stomachs, to enjoy having food in our mouths, and to renew our energy. But I recently came to the end of an eating session feeling worse instead of better. What was my problem?
Sneaky Diet Mentality
Without realizing what was going on in my psyche, I went into impending-deprivation mode and headed straight for candy. Yes, the chewy sweetness of the taffy and two kinds of fudge hit the spot – at first. But going overboard didn’t make me feel better. I’d forgotten that it wouldn’t, and I ended up feeling sluggish and jittery. Bummer!
Now that I’m not dieting to lose weight anymore, I have the freedom to eat what, when, and how much I want from whatever’s available. Every day. But when I dined with friends last Thursday I didn’t quite believe it. Could I really have clam chowder, French dip, a few onion rings?
What would Atkins say?
No potatoes or bread for you!
What would my low-cal diet book say?
No cream, no marbled beef, no deep fried anything!
See what we diet addicts are up against? Although I’ve thrown away the diet books, their messages keep running through my head. I ignored them last Thursday with difficulty.
Cue of Taste
Even when I get past the old input, it’s tough to eat to feel better at every meal of every day. You might think that after six years of not dieting, I’d have trained myself to check my hunger signals before eating. But my mind usually goes straight to taste. If the food looks or smells yummy, I reach for it, and if it’s delicious, I reach for more.
A Moment of Planning
On a recent Sunday morning, however, I ate a bowl of Raisin Bran, which felt good. Then I remembered that our Sunday school class would be serving snacks, so I waited to have a hot drink until I got to church.
On a table in the classroom lay an assortment of fruit and pastries, including cinnamon rolls – my favorite. They looked fantastic.
Yet I wanted to be hungry for lunch and was already satisfied. To eat or not to eat? Without a trace of angst, I chose to skip the rolls. Curious. The ease of the decision mystifies me still. But a cup of tea left me feeling just right.
And that’s a great feeling!
Posted on September 22, 2015