Ending a relationship is never an easy thing. Sometimes its easier than others, like if you KNOW that its a bad relationship, but other times, its much, much harder to first admit and then make the change that is needed.
One of the hardest relationships that I have ever had to examine is the one I have struggles with nearly daily. I hate that I struggle daily against my needs versus my lusts. I hate that I have become one of “those people” who aren’t happy with where they are and yet still stay there and struggle instead of having the guts to just walk away and start anew. I hate that I even have to think about this relationship now as it used to be one whose peace and steady nature I took for granted.
I’m talking about my relationship with food.
I’ve taken the last few days to think about this relationship…where it was, where it is, where I see it going…and the one constant is that the food itself is constant. Nothing changes unless I make the change in the recipe or volume of consumption and, for that, I am extremely grateful. Sadly, I have been the one who has changed. MY point of view, MY relationship, MY goals. So much has changed in me that I am feeling like I need to “Take a break”. But wait… I made the choice a long time ago that I was never going to deny myself the foods that I really wanted and I stand by that plan. I’ve never been a calorie counter and I’ve always had a love of good cheese, creamy butter, flavoured olive oils and all sorts of “bad” foods.
I will not consume a block of cheddar just because I can. I’ll weigh the chunk if I’ve cut it from the block and remind myself that the stronger the cheese, the less I’ll want to eat.
I will not eat the entire bag of Sour Patch Kids just because I’m on an airplane and gummy candy on a plane is a ritual I’m not willing to mess with. I’ll save half for the return trip or put the remaining into a jar in the cupboard out of sight.
I will not feel guilty about throwing away half a bag of food that has gone stale. I’ll buy a smaller bag next time or just skip it all together because I obviously didn’t want it all that badly.
I will not eat from the bag. I’ll ‘dirty’ a bowl or plate instead.
I will not pretend that I don’t want those chips, ice cream, cheese, cake or candy. I admit that not only do I want it but that I can wait until Friday to have it or I can only have 1 piece to tide me over.
I will not scoop with abandon. I will remember to measure portions I’m not sure of and I will remember that no matter how good it smells or tastes, I do NOT have to eat it all right now.
I will not swear off carbs, red meat, skin-on chicken thighs, baked goods, chocolate, chips, all white foods or anything with fat. I will remember that I love to eat all foods in moderation and that nothing is “bad”. Except mushrooms. And even those have their place. I’ll also remember that if I tried to do the above, I’d need to move from AK because there is no way I could afford to eat only fruit and veggies while living here and I would be 20 kinds of foolish to try.
I will remember that I am NOT breaking up with food and that my decision to watch what I consume is much more than “Don’t eat that, it will make you Fat” because that kind of thinking would quickly drive me mad. I’ll focus on enjoying each and every bite that I want and deny myself nothing.
I will remember that while I really like the adage, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels”, I strongly disagree. Why would I want to be thin and only eat cardboard? Butter tastes so much better than margarine AND it has the benefit of being not being insanely processed.
I will remember that creating a new goal and plan for myself requires me to think of possible sacrifices and my willingness to make those. If I’m not willing to do something then, obviously, that is not going to be the plan for me. I put a great deal of value in the ritual of cooking and eating with M and no dress or jeans on earth is going to make me want to give those moments up.
I will remember that my original plan was to be a solid size 10 and I was a 10 sliding to an 8 last June. Now, 9 months after hitting my goal and 14 months after consciously making the decision to change my habits, I am solidly in an 8 in both my ever comfy mid-rise jeans AND in a low-rise version and am wondering how far I WANT to go.
I will remember that having the Courage to look at myself is exactly that: a courageous act. And it takes even more sisu to see, perceive, and act on change.
Now…if only I can figure out what I want the next change to be…