When I gave up dieting three years ago, one of my first thoughts upon waking was, “I’m not dieting today—whoohoo!” The freedom from restriction was enough to make me giddy and to fill my mind with
visions of all the delectable foods I would be free to eat that day. But as time passed, I became less aware of Not Dieting, which is a good thing in that I was no longer obsessing about food and a bad thing in that I started taking my freedom for granted instead of making the most of it.
What I mean is that I get to eat whatever I want—natural food as well as processed food. While reading The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, by David Kessler, 2009, I had to admit that once I open a package of goodies, e.g. candy, cookies, or crackers, I find it harder to call a halt to eating than when I enjoy something like a slice of watermelon. Why? Because processed food often includes the irresistible combination of fat, sugar, and salt. While my awareness is raised, I’m not about to get back into Diet Mentality, i.e. make rules that restrict food choices, because that’s never worked as a long-term solution.
Instead, I decided to focus on how my stomach and body react to various types of food by keeping a log of how hungry and full I am throughout the day. On Tuesday that simple step made me think twice about having a second helping of Chicken Divan (I did), conclude I was too full for dessert, and turn it down. Miracles do happen! The next day, however, I ate a candy bar when I wasn’t hungry just because I happened to have one. I’ll let you know how it goes.