I just returned from another trip to the grocery store.
Seems like I’m always needing something from there! I wasn’t out of snack foods yet, but out of some of the things I needed to make more walnut mix, and I was getting low on bottled water, which I use for its convenience of mixing with flavors.
A Special Treat
I bought myself a bit of a treat today. It was something I had seen advertised on TV. You know, once before I mentioned a flavor of Blue Bell ice cream. The one I bought this time is Strawberry Banana Pound Cake. I love pound cake, and I very much enjoy the thought of pound cake with strawberries and ice cream.
A friend of mine told me this week that when he saw the photo of the pumpkin ice cream I mentioned in a previous blog, it made him want ice cream immediately. I really don’t want to do that to anyone, but it seems like I am similarly vulnerable to the suggestions of advertising, when it comes to certain foods.
Also, I feel vulnerable to my own desires to enjoy eating certain foods, such as pound cake and really good ice cream, for example. It is for this reason that I seldom buy a half gallon of ice cream, or a whole pound cake, or even half a pound cake. I have never had issues with major binging. I just tend to go back frequently during the course of a day for more of foods that I really enjoy, and sometimes I eat more than one “serving” of such foods at one “sitting.”
Figuring Out How to Control the Fear
Referring back to my title, then, I have a fear of losing control if I have too much of those foods around, and I see them as tempting. I find it hard to trust myself to eat them mindfully, and not overeat.
On the topic of fear, another fear has come up for me lately. I fear that I am going to outgrow my car.
Right now, I have the seat positioned as far back as it will go, and the seat back reclined some, so that I can fit behind the steering wheel. Even then, the steering wheel touches me. So this further reinforces my fear of weight gain from eating too much of foods I especially enjoy. I am very tempted to start counting calories, to find out how much I am eating, and then to evaluate whether that is too much.
I find it really hard to feel confident in my ability to self-regulate, while at the same time not making any foods “off limits”. Buying foods in pre-portioned packaging has been a tool for me to make me think about whether or not my hunger justifies eating more than a single portion.
I think that my dilemma is a common one. I think many fat people want to be mindful about their eating, but find it hard to do with certain foods. The exposure to “temptation” seems unavoidable.
The Temptation Aisle
When I went to the ice cream section of the store today, I only intended to buy the flavor I had seen advertised, but I saw SO many flavors that seemed extremely appealing to me. This time, I made sure to eat a meal immediately before going in the store.
It is very tempting to just order the Good Measure Meals with snacks provided, and tell myself that I should not eat anything more than what is provided. But that makes all of the control external, and does not allow me to regulate my own eating in a natural way.
I have not weighed myself, but I don’t detect any loss, and I fear gain.
I keep thinking of the words that Ellyn Satter spoke during her workshop on “Treating the Dieting Casualty.” She said that she believes that “lack of permission” may be a significant factor in why an individual may have trouble succeeding at self-regulation of food intake.
Am I really giving myself full permission to eat all foods in whatever quantity I really want? Probably not, because I don’t trust myself not to want “too much.” By “too much,“ I mean whatever quantity would cause me to gain weight.
The authors of “Overcoming Overeating” suggest buying large quantities of foods that make us feel that way, and giving ourselves permission to eat as much as we want. Supposedly, in doing that, such foods eventually become less desirable. I have experienced the phenomenon of finding a food less appealing after eating it pretty frequently for a while, but after a break from the food, the appeal usually returns.
So, now I have really bared my soul, so to speak, when it comes to my own struggles with food and weight. That is pretty scary, too. My thinking in doing it, though, is that I am not alone in having these feelings.
My interest in nutrition developed from the weight issues I had in my youth. My sister and I always tended to be heavier than other kids, and we were teased about it, so naturally I wanted to "fix" myself by dieting. That worked pretty well in my teenage years, but adulthood was much more challenging. I started out as a dietitian who advocated dieting, but due to my own experience with my weight and dieting, as well as my extensive study of the subject of weight management, I have become an advocate of Health at Every Size. The first fellow professional who influenced my "conversion" was Ellyn Satter, who is also a dietitian. I got my Bachelor's Degree in Dietetics in 1975, (LSU) followed by a Master's in 1981(Univ of TN), and a PhD in 1997 (Univ of TN). I have worked in longterm care, public health, and one hospital. For the last 8 years, I have been teaching at the college level. I am the proud mother of a 24 year old son, and have been single since my divorce in 1993. That is when I moved to Atlanta from Cookeville, Tennessee. I moved around a lot in my childhood due to my father's job, but my parents grew up in Texas, and that is where my roots are. I lived in Brazil for 3 years as a teenager, and one of my sisters still lives there.