100 lb. Club - Control V.S. Obsession

View Full Version : Control V.S. Obsession

08-16-2012, 02:12 PM
Hello all ! :smug:

I started dieting last week, I'm very motivated but I also noticed that I'm maybe becoming too obsessive about food. I don't starve myself (not at all), I eat around 1200-1500 calories a day, but I feel genuinely sad when I think about fatty foods. It's like I tell myself I won't ever enjoy eating them anymore because when it will happen, I will feel so guilty.
I think about cheese, pÔtÚs, ice cream, hamburgers and feel like I won't ever eat them again.

How do you people stop feeling so guilty about yourselves when you "cheat"?


08-16-2012, 02:42 PM
i think for right now, since you've just started eating healthier and changing your overall diet and lifestyle, you're just scared to go back to unhealthy foods and that's why you're being really strict about it and you feel sad just thinking about them.

trust me, i'm that way sometimes too. i helped out at my school and they bought lunch for us and it was pizza. so i could've either gone 9am - 2pm without eating, or i could've just had pizza in moderation.

once you've eaten wholesome, nutritious food for a while and you've gained enough control over what you're able to eat, you'll start feeling much better about your feelings with unhealthy (or "fatty") foods. you'll know that you have the control to eat them in moderation, or not at all, and that'll make you MUCH happier. :)

08-16-2012, 02:46 PM
also, to answer your question, to help me stop beating myself up about eating unhealthy foods, or when i go on my (rare) binge sprees, i just always remind myself that it's not the end of the world if i slip up.

i don't have a set day to achieve my weight loss, so i'm less stressed about my slip-up days. yeah, the weight gain sucks, but i just jump right back into clean eating and i don't brood over it or beat myself up about it.

a positive mindset goes a long way in your weight loss journey. :)

08-16-2012, 02:58 PM
Yes, you're right on that : i'm super scared to go back to my old habits because I think it would be ridiculously (is that a word?) easy to slip back into them. In the past, I used to lose all my motivation when I had a slip-up and I would stop because I thought all my efforts were ruined when in fact they were not or very little.

Thanks for your answer!

westcoast rosa
08-16-2012, 03:12 PM
For me it was wrapping my head around the idea that I am not cheating, I am simply living my life. It is not realistic for me to never have another glass of wine or piece of pizza, but it is realistic for me to save those things for special occasions and to only have one piece of pizza or one glass of wine.

08-16-2012, 03:18 PM
First of all, I don't call it "cheating," and I've sworn off good guilt entirely, because it's never been a productive guilt.

When I feel bad about hurting someone else, it helps me remember to be careful of people's feelings in the future, but food guilt has never worked that way for me. Instead, food guilt always seems to trigger a downward falling spiral.... "I'm so lazy, crazy, selfish, stupid... I'll never get my eating under control, I'll always be fat, if I'm going to always be fat anyway, I might as well at least get to eat what I want....."

It struck me one day while watching one of those weight-loss spa shows... I thought (rather resentfully), "Anyone could lose weight if they were able to live at one of these fancy spa-resorts where the food is fabulous and yet still healthy, and the exercise is all geared towards fun, and there are all these decadent spa treatments for relaxation..." I thought, "Who wouldn't lose weight AND enjoy doing it if the process were fun, exciting, rewarding, and decadently indulgent."

... and then I realized (with a slap to the forehead realization)... I could bring the spa to me... I could be my own one-woman-spa.... creator, staff, and patron..... I could pamper myself thin. I could change the punishment focus to a reward focus

So instead of the old punishment and deprivation model:

I've decided that NO food is off-limits and that I don't have to "punish myself" to thinness (in fact trying to do so never works).

But that while no food is off-limits, I also changed my perception that there were bad foods and good foods, there were only foods that did good things for my body, mind, and spirit and foods that did nothing good for me. Most foods were in-between and I had to weigh every food on what it did FOR me and what it did AGAINST me, and focus on the foods that were heavily balanced towards the positive effects. A few high-calorie foods made the "more positives than negatives" and there were a lot more low-calorie foods in the all-around positive category than I expected (foods that I not only knew were good for me physically, but foods I felt were as "decadently" good tasting and emotionally satisfying as many of the rich foods I had labeled "bad foods" in the past.

I've decided that pampering myself thin is a better, more enjoyable, and (best of all) more succsessful path than punishing/depriving myself EVER was.

Instead of focusing on all the good-tasting/bad-for-me food I SHOULDN'T be eating, I focus on choosing the best-tasting, best-for-me foods. I started acting as if the good-for-me foods were the decadent, indulgent foods... and I started shopping that way. Instead of guiltily buying fast food or chips/candy, I bought the most indulgent healthy treats I could afford. I bought shrimp and blackberries even when I thought the prices were almost out of my budget ... because I was worth the expense it.

I visited ethnic and specialty markets looking for exotic, new fruits and vegetables to try.... because I was worth it. I treated those shopping trips as if they were mini-vacations to far-off lands (especially since traveling vicariously by way of my tastebuds and travel shows was the only world-travel I was likely to ever afford).

I stopped telling myself about all the great things I was going to be able to do, one day when I was done punishing/depriving myself, and instead started doing them as soon as I physically was able (and usually started trying to do them BEFORE I was physically able).

Wanted to ride a bike, bought one.... learned that I don't have the balance most days to ride a bike... but rode it when I could... and decided that I might look ridiculous on said bike, but I deserved the experience no matter what anyone else thought. And if I looked funny, why I'd laugh along with everyone laughing at me... just like a child would. I felt like the biggest, silliest 7 year old, but that was part of the FUN of riding a bike when I WAS 7, so why was I letting it stop me now?

I started looking for more and more ways to move that I would ENJOY... things like dancing, and walking dogs for the humane society, and geocaching, and shopping, and exploring my world.

I joined TOPS because I deserved the support, even when I didn't do as well as I'd hoped (especially when I didn't do as well as I'd hoped). I stopped being ashamed of gains (because most weren't even gains from my doing something irresponsible, they were just normal weight fluctuations).

I started weighing myself many times a day (at first) to celebrate "not gaining," and practicing not being upset or angry at gains. I reminded myself that fluctuations up and down were both normal and I wasn't failing if the scale registered a gain. By celebrating the "not gaining" as well as the losing, I got to celebrate much more than I was disappointed.

I started LIVING my life, not just putting my life on hold, until I felt worthy of it.

And as the weight loss became less of my focus, the easier it became.

I'm losing weight slowly, because I'm not very motivated to lose "as fast as I can so I can start living" because I'm living NOW. But the weight loss is easy and enjoyable in a way it never was when I was trying to punish myself thinner.

I DON'T see a donut as being inherently better tasting than a sumptuous baha shrimp cocktail (shrimp, onions, Pace Salsa and cilantro or fresh pico de gallo, and a little bit of diced avacado.... suuuuuuper amazingly yummy) or fresh, perfectly ripe blackberries, or a really superiour honeycrisp apple, or Ranier cherries, or perfectly roasted eggplant......

I pick fruit the way I once did Neuhaus chocolate.

And I don't eat the foods I used to label "bad for me, but oh so decadently delicious," nearly as often and not because they're bad for me, but because they're addictive AND they mute my tastebuds for the truly wonderful foods good-for-me foods I've come to know and love. The beautiful crisp, sweet, tart flavor of a honeycrisp apple and the sweetness of roasted eggplant is destroyed by a diet of high-glycmeic carbs. Trying to eat an apple AFTER a piece of chocolate cake and it tastes HORRIBLE, everyone knows that. But what isn't as well known is that a diet filled with too-carby/fatty/salty foods deadens our tastebuds 24/7. Food that would ordinarily taste amazing if we were eating a clean, whole-food, moderate-carb diet full-time, taste bitter and flavorless on the SAD (Standard American Diet).

By seeing blackberries and avocados and eggplant and chinese broccoli... and all the other good-for-my-body foods as delicious and even decadent.... it makes the once "treat foods" seem inferior to the good-tasting-and-good-for-me foods. In fact I see the former "treat foods" as mpediments to pleasure rather than as direct pathways to pleasure.

They're like meth and heroine for a drug addict, they may feel extremely pleasureable in the moment, but they make the rest of my life SUCK A$$, and they prevent me from enjoying my life more deeply and fully from the small things to the big things.

So I choose the little pleasures over the intense, but fleeting pleasure of foods I used to think of as "decadent." The intense, fleeting pleasure just isn't worth the much-longer lasting SUCK that results.

And ironically, over time you forget what the decadence tasted like, and blackberries, honeycrisp apples, watermelon, even carrots and beets or roasted any-vegetable become every bit as pleasureable as you remember the high-calorie crap being.

But if you think of what-you're-eating-to-lose-weight as tasteless crap, and the what-your-not-eating as forbidden-pinacles-of-pleasure, then you're going to fail and fail again, because we humans are "funny" when it comes to punishment. No matter how much we think we deserve it, most of us don't sit still for it easily. We get sick of the punishment and we rebel against it, even when we think it's for our own good.

Reward and pampering works better (and it's so much more fun!).

08-17-2012, 09:46 AM
Thank you, Kaplods. Your quiet wisdom and support, your good cheer year after year as we trudge on, are one of the reasons I keep coming back here when I need encouragement (or a kick in the pants!). Your post really hit home with me. Thank you for taking the time to write it all out, share your point of view, and post it for us.


08-17-2012, 12:34 PM
Kaplods, what you wrote is truly an inspiration. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it down. You're right about LIVING NOW.

"I pick fruit the way I once did Neuhaus chocolate."

I don't know what a Neuhaus chocolate is, but I know EXACTLY what you mean. This morning, for the first time in a billion years, I was actually looking forward to eating that beautiful pineapple I bought yesterday.

Thank you again...I'll come back to read this when I lack motivation.


08-18-2012, 06:23 AM
Kaplods, what you wrote is truly an inspiration. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it down. You're right about LIVING NOW.

"I pick fruit the way I once did Neuhaus chocolate."

I don't know what a Neuhaus chocolate is, but I know EXACTLY what you mean. This morning, for the first time in a billion years, I was actually looking forward to eating that beautiful pineapple I bought yesterday.

Thank you again...I'll come back to read this when I lack motivation.


Neuhaus chocolates make Godiva taste like crap (in my opinion).

Ironically, I'm really only a chocolate fan about once a month (PMS/TOM), and I'd never even THOUGHT of paying $3 for a piece of chocolate before I met my foodie husband (he trained and worked in high-end restaurants).

When we were dating, hubby and I were shopping in a trendy little shop called "The Garlic Press," in Bloomington, IL. (High-end, very expensive kitchen gadget and foodie store).

They sold Neuhaus chocolates, a brand hubby was familiar with, and I was not. To impress me, he wanted to buy me a small box (6 pieces). I knew the candy was expensive, but I practically choked when the I learned the chocolates averaged about $3 a piece.

I told him (not even thinking that about how rude it would seem in front of the clerk), "NO chocolate is worth $3 a piece."

He laughed and swore that I'd change my mind if I tried them, so he suggested two pieces (one some kind of truffle that I don't even remember, and another a milk chocolate horn filled with hazelnut ganache).

I fully expected to be underwhelmed, and I was prepared to tease him indefinitely about spending $12 on chocolates (2 for me, and 2 for him).

I had my first ever OMG chocolate moment (before then, except for PMS/TOM, chocolate always tasted like sweet Crisco to me... too greasy, too sweet and just cloying).

But high-end chocolates, wowza.

It did teach me though that a tiny bit of something AWESOME could be much more satisfying than a ton of something good.

Now I wouldn't want a BOX of high-end chocolates, or I would eat them until I was sick (and then regret having a $30 stomach ache).

But some foods have an almost addiction like effect on many peope (and on lab animals too), the salty/sweet/fatty combination David Kessler talks about as a trigger to "conditioned hypereating" (his term for the addiction-like effects of these foods).

Even when I didn't like a sweet/salty/fatty food, I would find myself eating more than I wanted to (such as crappy chips at a party... I'd keep going back even when I didn't particularly like the flavor and had to wash it away with diet Coke). I'd think "why am I eating this, it doesn't even taste very good."

It was the compulsive eating of food I didn't like, that made me think I had a food addiction (I thought I had to be pretty crazy to find it difficult to stop eating even food I didn't like).

I have to give my hubby credit for introducing me to the finer things in life (not only expensive chocolates, but expensive shoes), because I was raised to be a tightwad. My mother and grandmother had always shopped on a very tight budget, so I always bought what was cheapest in fruits and vegetables, never even considering to buy apples that cost more than $1 per pound.

I had to relearn how to shop (not automatically reaching for the cheapest alternative, but learning to shop for the best VALUE, and accepting that it was ok for flavor to be one of the determiners OF value).

Gradually, I realized how warped my thinking about food prices and budgeting. I was willing to pay over $200 for a pair of shoes (even though it almost killed me to do it, but my job had a dress code and the only brand I could wear at the time was New Balance athletic shoes and Birkenstock and the Birkenstock dress shoes started at $225... I bought the cheapest pair that fit), but I wasn't willing to pay an extra 50 cents per pound for the better tasting apples?

When I shopped, I wouldn't buy the more expensive brand, just because it was more expensive (I was too smart for that. I knew that often the only difference between brands was the label) and I wouldn't pay twice the price for anything that wasn't at least twice as good, but I did start asking myself "would I pay this much for an unhealthy snack?"

Even though I didn't usually eat candy bars and chips (except "that time of the month), I would compare the fruit prices to fatty snacks.

My problem foods were a bit harder to cut back on, because most were "wholesome food" that on the surface seemed healthy (or at least "real food"). Things like meatloaf or my grandma's saucy green beans (green beans and onions simmered in a tomato sauce... she would serve them over mashed potatoes as a side dish, but "to be healthy" I poured them over a huge baked potato... I would have been better off using a portion-controlled amount of the mashed potatoes... also using it as a meal meant almost no protein. I didn't yet understand that I needed a meal to include a fair amount of protein and only a low-to-moderate amount of carbs to keep hunger at bay).

I liked whole grain breads and pastas (and hey carbs were the base of the food pyramid, so they had to be good for me, right?), but I ate far too much of them, topped them with more carbs rather than lean proteins - and while I loved fruits and vegetables, I ate a lot more fruits than vegetables (unless you counted lettuce, I ate boatloads of lettuce, but I topped it with too much dressing. Not full-fat creamy dressings, but low-fat (high carb) sugary dressings like fat-free catalina (I probably would have been better off with the full-fat ranch).

Unfortunately, most of my problem foods weren't just "wholesome foods," they were also dirt cheap. And being raised a cheap skate from an early age, it took me a long time to learn how to shop (and to redefine "healthy" foods) with long-term value in mind (including the value to my health) and learn to judge "true value" over "perceive value."

Even though I didn't care for chocolate (usually) I still saw a dollar candy bar as a better value than a dollar piece of fruit. Even when I LIKED the fruit more, as in the case of ugli fruit (amazing, tastes like lemonade) as an example, and it wasn't just my twisted logic thinking this way. Other people (and not just my cheapskate family) encouraged me to think this way.

When I told people (even coworkers in a professional environment... people wearing suits that cost more than my monthly rent payment, people buying $300,000 homes) that I spent over a dollar on what looked like a deformed, mottled-green grapefruit, they told me I was nuts. These same people said "eating healthy is too expensive." Or people willing to pay a personal chef to do all the cooking for their family.

It made me realize that our whole culture undervalues healthy food. Pay $3 for a piece of chocolate, but don't pay more than 50 cents for a piece of fruit!

And other food taboos were getting in my way too. I was so intimidated by my first shopping trip to an asian grocery store, I don't think I would have gone in, if a foodie friend hadn't gone with me. In fact, for my first half-dozen trips I would only go to the store when he was free to go with me, and I let him do all the talking to the owner (who spoke excellent, but heavily accented english).

I think it's silly NOW, but I never would have discovered some of my favorite good-and-good-for-you foods (and amazing prices), if I hadn't gotten over my intimidation (and prejudices). I found out that you can buy a liter of gourmet soysauces for the price of a 6 ounce bottle of grocery store brand, and that in areas with a large asian population, the fruits and veggies are not only often cheaper than in the chain grocery stores, but they taste better (because while it is a stereotype, it's also true that Asian-Americans eating traditionally are much pickier about the quality and flavor of their fruits and vegetables than most other Americans.

I discovered pomello and lychee and rambutan. I want to try mangosteen, but it's really hard even still to justify to my inner-cheapsake spending $25 for 10 fruit the size of plums... but I really want to try them (especially since my asian friends tell me it's amazing. I do like the juice, so I know I'll like the flavor, but it's supposed to have a custardy texture sort of like soft banana, and that texture is one I'm not really fond of. I don't even like my bananas soft). It's not the price of the individual fruit that's stopping me, it's the prospect of wasting $20 if I don't like them (at minimum I'd try two because if one tasted yucky I'd want to make sure it wasn't just one bad fruit).

Once again, I've written a mini-novel, but I just find it so absolutely fascinationg that I've picked up some very illogical food beliefs and prejudices without being aware of them. I never consciously knew that I thought of unhealthy food as a better value than healthy food (in fact, I would have denied it, saying how much I love healthy foods... although many were less healthy than I thought they were), and yet when I started consciously comparing foods in my mind (is this pommelo worth more than a candy bar or a bag of snack crackers or even a whole grain granola bar? - Which would I enjoy and be satisfied with longer, a few bites of a healthy, but high-calorie nut-based trail mix or Splenda-sweetened greek yogurt or some of my homemade jerky?

Sometimes the answer isn't clear-cut (the trail mix, yogurt, jerky choice, as an example may depend on what else I've eaten for the day, or even on what I WANT more), but at least now I'm thinking of these things without automatically, and unconsciously assuming that the most enjoyable choice is going to be the one that is least good for me.

08-19-2012, 10:51 PM
I don't know what Godiva is, must be something that is not sold here (but I get what you mean!) When I crave chocolate (which is rare, I am more into the salty stuff), I always treat myself with fancy dark chocolate and I eat it slowly.

And about a year ago, my boyfriend and I started buying more and more organic fruits and vegetables from local farms. It may be a little more expensive than what is sold at the supermarket, but it's so much more delicious and rewarding! Tomatos: they actually TASTE something, I like them so much that I eat them like apples! And they have this whole buch of varieties that I had never heard of.

Buying local and organic motivates me to cook more often, to look for recipes (sometimes I buy vegetables that I didn't even know existed and I just don't know how to cook them!) and to appreciate eating altogether.

I thank you again for your long response, reading it made me feel good. :)

(Sorry if I made mistakes, my english is slowly coming back...)