Once upon a time a beautiful princess met a handsome prince and they lived happily ever after. They ate healthy food everyday and never struggled with their weight. Stop… wait – that’s just a fairytale!
New story… non-fiction:
The frumpy housewife sits near her handsome prince (that part is true) in their suburban two-story home, as she spends time surveying her kingdom in the blogosphere. She encounters a minstrel spinning tales of wisdom and hope. She reads a blog post that strikes a chord… a post that she can totally relate to… a post filled with words she wants to share.
So here I am, telling you to check out Siobhan’s awesome post entitled Just This Once. Rather than paraphrase what she wrote, I will tell you why I so loved what she said and what it means to me personally.
I am a yo-yo dieter. I strongly feel that this time is different for me: that this is my last diet. And that I have changed my mindset from ‘being on a diet that eventually ends’ to ‘changing my eating habits forever’. And I know that every time I eat I am making a choice. I am (hopefully) choosing healthy foods that will fuel my body and give me energy, not foods that will fill a momentary craving but leave me tired and wanting more.
Like Siobhan, I used to have a “just-this-once-is-okay” mindset. I can clearly remember celebrating my nephew’s birthday last fall, after a week of clean eating, thinking I was in control and able to splurge just-that-once on a cupcake. I ate another one later that night. And the next day I ate more crap. And the next. Just-that-once became just-through-Thanksgiving which turned into just-until-Christmas.
The funny thing about food choices is that you are done eating in minutes but the decision might impact you for hours, days, or longer. If what you ate was amazing and worth the calories, the food bliss still ends when you are done chewing. But if it wasn’t exceptionally satisfying and tasty, the guilt lingers much longer than the taste of the food. And a moment on the lips may truly become an eternity on the hips. On the other hand, for me, if I pass up the unhealthy food, I never look back with regret and wish I had indulged instead. No guilt. No crying over spilled chocolate milk. I know many other dieters can enjoy that occasional treat in moderation with no remorse – but not me. Yet.
The fortune teller foretold a beautiful future. I agree with Siobhan’s prediction about life after reaching goal weight. Indulgences may happen. But if and when we partake we need to do so knowing that we are making a choice and each choose counts. In the past I have reached my goal many times. And every time I slowly (or quickly) started eating foods that I knew had contributed to my gains in the past. I don’t know what fairytale world I imagined for myself when I thought I could go back to my old eating but not my old weight. But I am writing myself a different story this time. And I am ending my story with a happily ever after.