Once upon a Bagel

Recently I ate a bagel.

Some of you, who know my history with this lovely round piece of baked dough, might be gasping now.  For the rest of you, let me back up just a bit and fill you in.

I love bread.  In pretty much all its forms.  But maybe bagels most of all.   Once upon a time, in my previous life of more normal eating, I ate bagels.  Sometimes often, sometimes rarely, sometimes with cream cheese, sometimes plain.  But always with moderation.  A bagel here, a bagel there.  Life was good.

But somewhere on the way to ending my crazy-ass yo-yo-hood, I lost the ability to enjoy a bagel nosh.  Instead, eating bagels became one more casualty of my “all or nothing” mentality.  Eating a bagel became an impossibility as eating a bagel became a binge.  So, as I had done with pretty much all bread products, sometime in the past year or two I just decided to abstain from indulging.  Yes, I missed them sometimes.  Mostly I didn’t think about them.  But when they were around me, I was always just a bit obsessed.

So fast forward to a dozen bagels in the house.  My teen bought them for a sleepover he was having.  I had a little drool moment the day he got them, particularly as I laid my hands on the yummy goodness when I bagged them in plastic to keep them from going stale overnight.  But, they were earmarked for the teens.  No problem.  Fast forward further.  The next day.  Leftover bagels on the kitchen counter.  Calling me.  But the siren’s song had changed.

In the past, I had made bagels off-limits for myself.  Eating none was much easier than eating one.  But now I was “maintaining.”  Now I was working on what the rest of my life would be like.  I was still defining my own “normal” with food and eating.  So the internal debate commenced:

“Could I eat ONE bagel?  One would be normal.  More normal than craving and ignoring.”

“One might lead to two.  Better off none.”

“How will I ever know if I never try.  Will I never eat another bagel again?  Ever?”

“Maybe it doesn’t matter.  I’m happier this way.  I don’t want to go back.”

“Isn’t it smarter to know?  To trust myself?”

“I don’t trust myself.”

And on and on.  Honestly, when I think back on it, I really was struggling with the whole idea.  What was the “right” thing to do.  But, also, maybe a little part of me was looking for an excuse to eat a bagel!  To rationalize what maybe for me was not rational.

For hours, those bagels mocked me.  Wise Karen decided they were better left alone.  Then, the other Karen came out to play.  It was the end of the evening, when snacking is always more of an issue for me.  I knew that I’d eaten well all day and I knew that, if you do the calorie math, I had room to spare.  I knew that I wanted a bagel.  I could not stop thinking about it.  I gave in.  I tried one bite, just to be sure it was going to be worth it.  It was.

O.M.G.  There is something for me about the texture of bagels and bread.  Love it.  I’m almost shuddering as I type about it!  I ate it, slowly.  Enjoyed every bite.  Mostly.  Because in the back of my head I was already over-thinking.  And wondering how much regret, if any, I would feel.  I stopped with that one bagel.  “Not so bad,” I told myself.  “I can eat something I thought I might not be able to eat.  With moderation.”

But then it hit me.  At 2:30 in the morning on my way back from my nightly bathroom visit.  The guilt.  The regret.  How ridiculous that I lay awake in bed at that hour wishing I had not eaten the darn bagel.  And writing this post in my head.

Here’s the thing… In the light of day, I have very mixed feelings about this.  Still.  That same debate is going on.  The one about trusting myself.  The one about living a lifestyle; finding a lifestyle that I can maintain.  Does it include bagels?  Honestly, I still don’t know.  But the fact that I am so uncertain and still feeling some regret makes me think that maybe I should go back to my happy place:  my bagel-free place.  Oh I just don’t know.  The fact that I am beating myself up over this, even just a bit, makes me wonder.  Maybe I need to instill a bagel day each week, like so many other bloggers have done.  That might change my paradigm and free me to indulge, knowing that it’s part of my “plan.”  Maybe not.  After all, the bagels I like are refined carbs and I’m trying to eat less of those.

See how I’m torturing myself with my thinking!?  Arrrrgh.

Okay.  It’s only a bagel.  But wait.  Is it only a bagel, or is it really a symptom of my bigger issues with food?  Enough thinking for me for now.  My brain might explode or I might ramble on forever!

Do you ever have internal debates in your own head?

 

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72 Comments

Filed under food, lifestyle, maintenance

72 responses to “Once upon a Bagel

  1. Michele T

    Oh, wow — what I find so interesting about this post is how you had the calories to spare that day and yet felt tremendous guilt anyway. Sometimes, I wonder if food guilt is a habit… a line of thinking that may have served us well at one point but that might have outlived its usefulness. Or perhaps it’s still necessary. When I spoke of the pudding cups and not always being able to stop at just one (okay, I think I’ve never stopped at fewer than two) but said I think I might be able to do that now, Cammy said, “You’ll never know if you don’t try.” So maybe giving a bagel per week a try (or even twice per month) might be worth trying.

    I think maybe eliminating food guilt will be like building up any muscle. Difficult at first, but over time, we really notice this muscle we’ve built up. But continuing to have so many off-limits foods never gives us the opportunity to build that muscle. Instead, it keeps us in that fearful, guilt-ridden state of black and white thinking.

    • Karen

      Ooh – great idea! I have heard “willpower is a muscle we build over time” but this is another great analogy. Yes, I clearly have some guilt. Not sure if it stems from knowing bagels are often a trigger food for me, or that I clearly have some obsessive thinking about them, or that, despite the calories, they are really not all that healthy. Who knows. Not me! BTW – I thought of you last night when I ate TWO pudding cups:)

      • Michele T

        🙂 re: pudding cups

        This week, I had wonderful success with sticking to ONE with the Fiber One 90 calorie brownie bars — just 2 WW points.

  2. All I can think as I read this post was: EXACTLY!!

    I don’t have any answers. I know I want a life that involves bagels and _____ ( fill in baked good here).

    I think somewhere along the way we put these food things on an extreme pedastal of importance with more extreme reactions to them. I’ve tried the bagel/____ baked free way. The pouting and eventual rebounds and binges is no fun ( an understatement). I’m still working on finding the balamce.

    great post

    • Karen

      I think this is why many would argue that what we have done by going bagel (or whatever) “free” is much like labeling them a forbidden fruit which makes them all too tempting. Then, for me, when I give in, I all too often fall into the “all or nothing” thinking that I’ve fallen off the diet so might as well eat whatever I want that day!

  3. I’m pretty hardcore on this so others may disagree, but I still think having them in the house is probably asking too much of yourself. From both a thinking and an acting out standpoint. The next time, the outcome might be different and once that mindset clickover happens, 2 or 3 bagels could be GONE while you are on autopilot.

    But I do think you might could PLAN to enjoy one every week or so away from the house. In a comfortable place (i.e. Panera) with someone you enjoy being with.

    I seem to have find this to work with my obsession with potato chips (much like you and your bagels). No more chips in the house EVER, but I allow myself to order them as a side where they’ll come in a “normal” limited quantity. I enjoy every salty morsel, but don’t have the option of eating the entire bag nor is a clipped partial bag talking to me from my pantry.

    Wish I lived closer to you. We could enjoy bagel morning at Panera once a week!

    • Karen

      I think my long term vision is that I eat well at home, which is most of the time, and any indulgences are always away from home, where portion control is sort of forced upon me. I don’t think I have ever eaten a bagel at the bagel place, now that I think about it. Somehow that does not appeal to me as much and that tells me something right there! BTW – when I eat them, it is never for breakfast. That is the one time of day I eat consistently, and always well. And if I eat something carby for that meal, it is much more likely that the whole day goes downhill:( BTW – there is the slightest of chances I will be out your way in the spring or summer. So we might just have a Panera date in our future.

  4. Karen, these ravings are going on inside my head constantly too, you are not alone! We are doing well, we are coping, we are more normal than we sometimes think!

  5. Well, damn – now I just want a bagel.

  6. KLA

    I’m with Rochelle, I want a bagel too!

    Restricting types of foods that I could and could not eat created monstrous cravings, perpetual overeating, and episodes of binge eating. Like you, I love bread, but I worried about the processed stuff, including crackers, baked goods, especially Oreos.

    So if I can share with you what I learned with cognitive therapy, I would tell you to stop obsessing about bagels (the tension between loving bagels but worrying about eating one will start you down the path again to weight gain).

    If the thought comes into your head that you want a bagel, let it pass. If it doesn’t, eat one, then let it go. It’s just a bagel, you make the cravings worse when you feel guilty and lose sleep over your decision to eat one.

    Instead of scheduling bagels into your diet, try to change the way you think about bagel. If you can change how you think, you will no longer need to manage your cravings for a bagel.

    I realize this is easier said than done, I worked with a therapist for just under a year to change my thinking. But, I hope it’s something for you to think about!!

    • Karen

      I suspect you are right, but the “how to” is beyond me. But, since I once ate them “normally,” I’d like to think I can again. If I really want to. That whole intuitive eating thing though… you gotta trust yourself. Not sure I do. Okay… pretty sure I don’t:)

      What this also makes me think about is “why bagels?” What is it about certain foods that makes me want them more than other foods. Interesting.

  7. Your post demonstrates so clearly to me the agony of obsessive thinking! It seems very real part of the whole disordered eating conundrum. And for me, it’s often my obsessive head that sends me to the kitchen – just to shut that obsessive voice up – once and for all. Sometimes when I’m doing well and not craving things or having food thoughts, even that blissful state (and my awareness thereof) can generate the obsessive mind.

    But I also think that you are at a great place in your journey with maintaining and yet keeping full awareness of your own patterns and history. It’s like this recent bagel ingestion is a way of beginning to exercise the muscle of intuitive eating. Almost like an experiment to see what will happen…and given that you are able to let the eaten bagel go, so to speak, and continue with your maintenance as you’ve been doing, the muscle is a little stronger. Then next week, if you decide to try another and it goes well – more “body building” in this arena…and so on.

    I love Sharon’s idea of having a bagel away from home once a week. That might help keep the little doughy bastards from wooing you. I know you’re going to find peace with this, one way or another. If you can’t let go the thoughts, and guilt and obsessive mind are to haunting – maybe bagel free is the way to go. You’ll know. To thine own self be true.

    • Karen

      I liked her idea too. I wrote in my reply above that I don’t ever go eat them at the bagel place! And that my long term vision is that I eat “on plan” at home, which would be most of the time, allowing the indulgences now and then outside my house where I don’t have a whole dozen or a whole cake or a whole… Yes, that word “disordered” is one that I have been thinking about a lot. I saw something on TV about it and suspect it applies to me:)

  8. Julie

    I know exactly what you mean, so been there. That is why I don’t eat certain things (baked goods is one of them). The internal dialogue is exhausting and takes so much of my time and energy I just had to let it go. When I chose to not eat certain things I never have those conversations in my mind. I have room in there for other things like contemplating things I have read on great blogs, planning my holiday outfits and so on! I know this doesn’t work for everyone and one day I may decide I don’t want to manage this way. But for today this how I roll. I bake bread every week for my family but no longer bake cookies or cakes, one of my daughters has taken on the role of family baker. I feel for you Karen as you work through this process. Each of us has to decide how we manage this for ourselves. Good on you for addressing it and really thinking it through. If it does bite you later then at least you will know where that came from and that will help you decide what to do going forward.

    • Karen

      I have felt for some time that the approach of not eating things at all worked for me because it was easier to abstain than to moderate. But I’m still trying to figure out if that is how things should stay long term or if I can eventually exercise some degree of self control. Such an exploration, this process. And funny how one day I could bake cookies and not eat any and another I’d obsess over them on the counter for hours.

  9. I remember once, early in my loss phase, when I had a mini-meltdown (okay, it was sort of more than that) because I’d gone over my calorie goal for the day. By 32 calories. I was sooo disappointed in myself and certain that complete derailment was soon to follow. I ran that message over and over in my head–I couldn’t quit thinking about it. And then I listened to myself and realized I was obsessing about 32 measly calories, not *3200* calories, and that was the sign of a winner.

    You ate a bagel. Not 2 bagels. Not 5 bagels. You ate ONE bagel. You won! *o/* (The asterisks are my pom-poms.)

    • Karen

      Ah, you can always make me smile:) And, I get it… but I also can’t help but wonder if it really isn’t about the bagel. But the thinking around the bagel.

  10. Don’t they have bialys where you live? My understanding is that bialys are much lower in calories.

    • Karen

      Nope. Coincidentally my mom had some deli shipped in from NY not long ago and had bialys. I was out of town that weekend. Had I been there I’d have passed on the bialy and enjoyed a corned beef sandwich on rye:)

  11. I agree with Cammy- sort of… you won this battle. You only ate 1. But it came at a cost. An internal battle of sorts. One I have with myself often. It involves doubt, and guilt, and negative self talk. If eating a bagel causes all of that- perhaps you should keep them out of the house. I like that idea that someone mentioned above about delegating a day every week or 2 to have a bagel out with a friend. That way you will start associating the bagel with a nice chat with a friend rather than a food you love but shouldn’t. I have had to rid my life of cereal. I just can’t have some without it turning into a binge. Peanut butter also was a trigger food for me. Luckily I have learned how to incorporate it back into my life in a healthy way. I really feel for you and the inner battle you had over this. It is so hard.

    • Karen

      I liked that idea too. PB I cut out over a year ago and hardly miss it any more. I wonder if I will add it back some day. Funny thing is I don’t much care and am happy without it. I certainly can keep the bagels out of the house most of the time because my kids are gone and my husband doesn’t eat them. When my oldest comes home from college he always wants them – but plain, which is not a favorite of mine. It is the flavored ones that tempt me:)

  12. Jan

    It’s great you took the time to write this out for us and yourself. So many can relate to the allure of one particular food or food group; the obsessive thoughts around eating or not eating; the agony of “doing it right.” (Does that period go inside or outside the quotation marks?) 🙂

    I don’t have the answer for you. My own struggle with sugar is soothed by allowing myself one indulgence in one situation that prevents me from bingeing. A Starbucks mocha frapp “light”, no whip (or espresso when the weather finally turns cool) is a treat out of the house, something I would not drink more than 1 at a time, done in a controlled environment, and for whatever reason doesn’t stimulate my sugar button. Some weeks I don’t have one; some weeks I drink 3 or 4 but stay in my calorie limit. Protein bars are another story. I think that grain products just send me over the edge.

    • Karen

      Me too. It is almost always the grains. That’s what I crave. That’s what I think I should be able to eat in moderation. Protein bars are hard for me too. I get them when I travel to stick in my purse, which works fine unless I buy them too soon before the trip or have leftovers when I get home:) I like the idea of leaving the house for my “fix.” P.S. I think at the end of the sentence it goes inside the quotes. Maybe?

  13. I am ashamed to admit that I’ve wished that I could banish bread (cakes, cookies, baguettes, flour tortillas – I love them all passionately) by actually having a disease that would prevent me from eating them. I realize that wanting someone else (something else) to control that for me is extremely problematic. I liked the comment above about cognitive therapy, but what I pictured was a Clockwork Orange-style bread aversion session, with me violently looting bakeries every time I heard Beethoven.

    I have no answers, only sympathy & empathy & sincere wishes for peace in your head & mine. I’m hoping that the totality of the healthy changes I’m making will allow me to have a normal relationship with the foods I obsess about, crave, and used to consume with reckless abandon.

    Isn’t there a pill or an app for this yet?

    • Karen

      You use many of the words that I use… “peace”… “normal relationship” … “obsess…” How did we ever get to this with food?!

    • KLA

      Hi Andie,

      The cognitive therapy sessions were similar to a regular therapist session (lots of talking). Basically, I planned and tracked all the food that I ate; no foods were off limits, and I could eat as much as wanted, but I had to write it down first.

      Each session we talked about the food journal and whenever I overate (had an extra serving that was not planned or binged) we would talk about what actually compelled me to overeat. We would then come up with ways to change the behaviour.

      I can’t say that all cognitive therapists work that way, but that’s the basically how my sessions unfolded.

  14. Well, the good news is you just ate one … hooray for you. What you CHOOSE to do now will tell you whether or not it was a good idea. As you said, it’s not the calories, it’s not even the bagel, the problem is where you go now. You choose.

  15. Ann

    Oh….Bagels…..I so feel the same way. I think I’ve had one “real” bagel in the last 2 years. I love them. LOVE them. I used to live on them. In residency I’d have them for all 3 meals. Easy to grab, yummy, can eat on the run. I don’t buy them, not ever because I will eat them. And carb cravings always result. I have had these conversations in my head many times. I’ve wondered what was wrong with me that I can’t handle it. There IS nothing wrong with eating ONE bagel now an then……or is there?

    Here’s what I have to think. Maybe there are some things I just shouldn’t eat because of the things they do to me both physically and emotionally. Does that make be abnormal? If I was lactose intolerant and I couldn’t have milk because it made me sick, does that mean that I should find a way to deal with it and drink it anyway so that I can be “normal”? I don’t think so. What makes us think we should be able to “control” certain foods?

    Alcoholics have to abstain. They cannot drink even 1 drink because of what it does to their body and their brain chemistry. Maybe for us, there are certain foods that do the same thing. That alcoholic WANTS a beer. The alcoholic ENJOYS beer. And there is certainly no harm in ONE beer….. Or is there?

    • Karen

      Mostly, I agree. I have found abstaining to work for me. I know it works for others. And I know some who swear by the opposite, that old moderation approach. So what I still need to figure out is if it is this black and white for me and, if so, what foods. My guess is I can “handle” certain foods outside my home when my portions are sort of controlled. Like going out for a bagel instead of buying a dozen. Or eating a sandwich at a restaurant instead of having a loaf of bread. Which I would snack on and snack on and snack on, history tells me. I read a blog by someone who has successfully completed AA and there certainly are many parallels that she describes with her eating. And I can relate to so many. I do really wonder how much is something more than just my mind saying I WANT.

  16. Roz

    Hi Karen. Congratulations on having just one. Sorry to hear you were in turmoil for a bit because of it. Hang in there…you are on the right pal. And thank you for sharing this very personal post with us. You may not feel it, but you ARE an inspiration!!! Have a good Thurs.

  17. I have those mental debates with myself all the time!

    I love how Cammy,Jody and others have a designated treat time.
    A cookie once a week or so many exercise hours equals a cupcake.
    Others have a once a week special meal to look forward to.

    I like that idea and have been pondering incorporating that into my food plan.

    • Karen

      That’s what I’m thinking too, in a way. If I know the bagel is coming, maybe it won’t be on my mind or instill that debate.

  18. I am with Cammy! You had it – time to move on kiddo. No big deal. Yes, if you were eating them way too much again or it lead to eating other stuff after that, then maybe it is something to think about.

    I don’t bring bagels home anymore BUT if I go out & get one, I don’t worry about it…. it is just 1 bagel & life is short so I am going to enjoy it! 🙂

    As for obsessing, yes, GET THAT! Even after all these years. Sometimes I have more cookies on my treat weekend than planned & I might get all down on myself but then I think, it is just going to come off with my workouts so no biggie… it is what it is….

    • Karen

      I am liking the idea that if I want a bagel I should go OUT for it. I think that might make a difference, amazingly enough.

  19. OK – another way to think of this little manicsode: You did not eat another bagel and did not go out and buy more bagels for the purpose of snarfing them down like an uncontrollable bagel goon.

    So this is new information on new behavior. Yes, you did go on the crazy train of obsession over it but mostly the obsession was over what eating it would mean or do to you – which you can now see is… not so much. Meaning you can, on occasion, under certain conditions enjoy something you had previously considered to be – for you – a no go. So you have more power over yourself than you had previously thought.

    The circumstances seem to be when there are bagels in the house, they are not all for you and they cannot be sitting around the house uneaten by the others who should be laying claim to them. THAT is when they call. You eat your occasional one that has your name on it and you only do it on special occasions.

    Maybe. LOL.

    Cruel Munchberry hedging.

    • Karen

      Well, there will be plain ones in the house I am sure when my oldest is home for Thanksgiving. Those don’t tend to get me worked up. I go for the flavored ones. So, maybe my teen won’t want any of those and it will be a non-issue next month. And between now and then, I think the smart thing is to either ignore bagels altogether, or eat ONE at a bagel place, not in my car, no in my house, not with a mouse…

  20. I decided that if I was going to eat something, even if it was off plan, even if it wasn’t mindful, I was not going to associate guilt with food. Its a lot easier for me to move past my mistakes when I don’t feel lousy about them.

  21. Ah bagels. Back in my “before” days I ate a toasted bagel with cream cheese every.single.day. for breakfast. For like years and years. When I finally decided I wanted to lose weight, I didn’t want to have to give up bagels. Bagels were symbolic of something…I am not sure what exactly, but I eventually gave them up back in 2005 or so. But not forever. I enjoy a bagel now and again but I also go months and months without them. Sometimes (like in the scenario you describe in your post), there are lots of bagels in the house and I may have a bagel two days in a row.

    I am in the camp of folks who have decided that no food should induce guilt.

    And LOLing at Munchberry’s “uncontrollable bagel goon” comment.

    • Karen

      Munchberry has quite a way with words and often cracks me up:) This reminds me that when I worked (part-time and over a decade ago), we used to go on a bagel run most days and have one mid-morning. Just one. And I was hungry at the time. Hmmm.

  22. I love bagels and for years we’ve enjoyed a bagel on Saturday morning. We took our own light cream cheese and he had a banana and it was great. That was until my husband started working in Mississippi and we could not find a decent bagel.

    One thing I don’t like is that I can eat a bagel at 7:30 and by 9:30 I’m hungry again. How can that be? The bagels now are HUGE. Still, there is just something so nice about having a bagel for breakfast. Yum.

    • Karen

      Ah, well that’s why I gave up my cereal for breakfast a couple of years ago. I eat beans now – a great combo of protein, fiber and carbs, with much more staying power:)

  23. all the time and the agruement is over chocolate

  24. Argh, yes, too much thinking. I have a similar post in the works about chips. I can eat a bagel, but I go through the same debate if I eat a whole bagel instead of a half.

    • Karen

      I’m glad chips aren’t my thing. I did pick up a bag of pop chips on sale just yesterday. Read the information on the bag and considered portion control. Assumed I’d eat the whole bag! So put it back:) My willpower is stronger at the store. Half a bagel! Never done that.

  25. I think bagels in particular get a really bad guilt association with them because of carbs.

    Personally, I love bagels (as I am sure you probably know!). However, they almost never come into the house. They are a food that I always go out to eat because I would eat to many. They are considered a treat for me and we go out for them 2 times a week, which makes them enjoyable on many different levels without the guilt.

    • Karen

      You are one of my bagel role models. I love that you have worked them into your life and that exercise seems to come right along with them:)

  26. Bagels are not evil, but I think the media makes us feel that way. One thing though – about 10 years ago, the bagels were not as big as they are now. You did good Karen!

    • Karen

      For me, it is my own thinking that makes them that way… I’ve seemingly labeled them a trigger food for myself, whether they are or are not. So, self-fulfilling food prophecy?

  27. it amazes me how much we all have in common with food, but often simply don’t share!

    i remember when low fat was the way to go I ate lots of bagels, then gasp no carbs so I stopped…then I was afraid of them forever because 1 might make me gain weight back. Life is much happier when food stops being good and bad and is just food

  28. Hi Karen! The parts that would cause me nightmares involves “dozen” and “counter-top.” Food on the counter-top is doom for me.

    You have absolutely the longest comments I’ve ever seen! Wow!

    🙂 Marion

    • Karen

      I have the most awesome, thoughtful, supportive readers, in my very biased opinion:) They really make me think, sometimes. I have learned so much from them.

  29. growing up we’d get em by the dozens and HOT AND FRESH.
    It wasnt until I hit college (TRULY) I realized NOT everyone could devour a dozen in a sitting.
    They simply didnt satiate me at ALL.

    • Karen

      Growing up I remember we had to drive to this store, further from home than most, to buy them. Also at the store… hermits… on of my mom’s favorites:) I don’t think we got them often, but can’t remember. I do recall that when we moved from the Boston area to the Midwest, my family was all “there’s no good bagels here.” I must have very pedestrian bagel tastes:)

  30. I have not read any of the responses and hope what I’m about to write doesn’t come back and bite me in the behind because I didn’t have all the knowledge I should have, but I just had to weigh in on this one, Karen.
    First, I had to read your post twice. Somewhere within all of the guilt, I was sure I misread that you ate only one – I kept looking for the numbers 2 or 3.
    The fact that you made a conscious choice of eating a single bagel – succeeded in eating a single bagel, then allowed yourself to be consumed with guilt, really saddens me. Don’t get me wrong – I understand it, having read your blog as long as I have; still, you saw past the tremendous progress that you clearly made and that is something that should NOT be ignored, nor covered up and set aside.
    Maybe you are a carb addict. Maybe you really shouldn’t have the above mentioned ever again; I’m pretending like I know this to be a fact, but I really don’t think that’s so. You’ve taken a very big step in my opinion. If you don’t eat another bagel in 6 months, you should still always look at this challenge as a complete and utter success – and no longer say to yourself, ‘I can’t just have one and be done’ because you’ve done it.

    • Karen

      What I know for sure is I overthink way to many things… this included. Part of me struggles with the whole idea of “everything in moderation” vs. eating only those things that I know are healthy and that I don’t tend to crave. I didn’t “need” the bagel. I WANTED the bagel. I wasn’t physically hungry. But I was emotionally hungry. It’s really, in my mind, more a symptom of my disordered mind when it comes to eating. And not really about one food item that I ate. Does that make sense?

  31. Wow, that is an ongoing debate that I have with myself all the time.. I think it goes part and parcel with my wanting to make a lifestyle change I can live with indefinitely as opposed to a shorter term strict diet where everything is black or white. Great post!!

  32. Loved to follow the your thinking back and forth. Reminds me of myself 🙂 I’m a total overthinker, too!

    I’ve been wondering the same thing myself, will I ever be able to eat a little candy (or whatever) like normal people? I really hope so! 🙂

  33. You know I do! However, you also know after reading my “No More Fretting” blog last week, I don’t ridicule or roll over myself anymore either.

    Karen, you know what you can do, you’ve maintained a long time. You also know when you have to stop and back off and get on plan. All these things are beautiful things to have and 1 bagel once a week is okay if that is what you want. My recommendation is to have a small one or cut a big one in half; other than that enjoy yourself. Make it your dessert.

  34. I am the same way about bread- I LOVE IT. I think for half a year I didn’t touch ANY bread. Over time I have SLOWLY re-introduced it.

    Don’t feel guilty though- it was one bagel and you had the calories to spare!

    I feel ya though- I LOVE bagels too. I rarely eat them, and I try to get bagel thins now when I do.

  35. I’d say it was a win. A one bagel win. As an optimist, I’d say a win is a good sign that you can do one bagel only.

    Maybe.

  36. I used to have a lot of “food guilt”. I don’t anymore. I kinda wish I did, because it was easier to stay on track when I had guilt to motivate me, and I am not even close to my goal. While there is something to be said for eating whatever you want without regret, for me, I need to find a balance. Guess I should start looking, LOL.

    • Karen

      I’m undecided if I think the guilt is a good thing or not. It might be if it actually deterred me from eating something I “shouldn’t” be eating:)

  37. I haven’t read all of the comments, but obviously this has been a popular post. I can relate to your feelings of guilt and your lack of certainty about whether: you are strong enough to just eat things you LOVE in moderation; and whether they should be eaten at all if they aren’t particularly healthy.

    I read something today which talked about NOT cutting out entire food groups, things we love etc and (like you I’m sure) I’ve read the arguments for and against. All I can think is that we can try to make the best decision at the time and then take responsibility for that decision.

    (Not sure it works for me though!)

    Deb

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