Living Maintenance - proud of myself... I guess?




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freelancemomma
05-17-2013, 09:57 PM
Hubs and I just had dinner at a restaurant and we're now sitting in a coffee shop. I ordered a house salad and fish tacos (set of 3). Usually when I go to a restaurant I eat everything on my plate, but this time I pushed myself to leave a bit of the salad (which had a lot of dressing mixed in) and one of the tacos. I was physically sated, but mentally I would have enjoyed finishing everything.

On the one hand I feel proud that I was able to follow through on my intention, and on the other hand I feel the premeditated self-denial interfered with my overall enjoyment of the meal. (Ever since I was a little kid, my enjoyment of restaurant meals has depended on giving myself permission to eat the whole thing if I wanted. And I always wanted.)

No biggie in the grand scheme of things. Just thought I'd share.

Freelance


lin43
05-18-2013, 06:48 AM
On the one hand I feel proud that I was able to follow through on my intention, and on the other hand I feel the premeditated self-denial interfered with my overall enjoyment of the meal. (Ever since I was a little kid, my enjoyment of restaurant meals has depended on giving myself permission to eat the whole thing if I wanted. And I always wanted.)

Congratulations for the restraint! I can completely relate to the above, though. I struggle with the same thing. Good post!

saef
05-18-2013, 07:05 AM
I was physically sated, but mentally I would have enjoyed finishing everything.

That's an interesting distinction and completely true to my own experience.

Eating has become such a fraught and self-conscious act. Sometimes I watch children enjoying something and I feel envious, as if they're still living in Eden. For me, I feel that the experience of having a nice meal has been irreparably corrupted. I don't think I could ever re-train & reset myself back to a state of Beginner's Mind because of all the various layers of consciousness & the cacophony of voices admonishing me. Even on the rare occasions when I allowed reckless abandonment, part of me would still be thinking, watching, monitoring, and feeling far from reckless. You know: "State of abandonment scheduled to end in 15 minutes ... 10 minutes ... 5 minutes ..."

And I used the word "Eden" deliberately because I don't think it's possible to go back to that state, as it would be like becoming a virgin all over again, and it would feel like play-acting to me. That's why I read longingly of Intuitive Eating but know it's not for me, just like it wouldn't work if I tried to eat as though the 21st century and the belief in better living through chemistry had never happened, and I was still in a hairy, scavenging & hunting Paleo era. On some level, I'd feel like a professional re-enactor. I've got to work with what I've got, and where I've already been. Once you've been fat, you cannot live as though it never happened. Once you've had an eating disorder, you cannot live as though you've always eaten as thoughtlessly and happily as a six-year-old.

So yeah, that's what I'm bringing to your post this morning. The good feeling of carrying out your intention and exerting self-discipline hinders the more uncomplicated good feeling of just sensually reveling in eating one's fill of something delicious. And they're so dissimilar that they don't hit the same spot at all. You've gotta pick one or the other.


Roo2
05-18-2013, 07:54 AM
Thank you Ladies so much! You have described my new relationship with food.

I have lost the spontaneity and sheer enjoyment I once had when eating even a favorite food. Always there is a little voice monitoring what I am doing, I feel like my every bite is being scrutinized.
I guess this is the new normal for me.

dstalksalot
05-18-2013, 11:03 AM
Yes! I don't have much to add, but I completely identify with all of your posts.

lin43
05-18-2013, 12:37 PM
That's an interesting distinction and completely true to my own experience.

Eating has become such a fraught and self-conscious act. Sometimes I watch children enjoying something and I feel envious, as if they're still living in Eden. For me, I feel that the experience of having a nice meal has been irreparably corrupted. I don't think I could ever re-train & reset myself back to a state of Beginner's Mind because of all the various layers of consciousness & the cacophony of voices admonishing me. Even on the rare occasions when I allowed reckless abandonment, part of me would still be thinking, watching, monitoring, and feeling far from reckless. You know: "State of abandonment scheduled to end in 15 minutes ... 10 minutes ... 5 minutes ..."

And I used the word "Eden" deliberately because I don't think it's possible to go back to that state, as it would be like becoming a virgin all over again, and it would feel like play-acting to me. That's why I read longingly of Intuitive Eating but know it's not for me, just like it wouldn't work if I tried to eat as though the 21st century and the belief in better living through chemistry had never happened, and I was still in a hairy, scavenging & hunting Paleo era. On some level, I'd feel like a professional re-enactor. I've got to work with what I've got, and where I've already been. Once you've been fat, you cannot live as though it never happened. Once you've had an eating disorder, you cannot live as though you've always eaten as thoughtlessly and happily as a six-year-old. . . .

This is one of the best posts I've read on this forum. You've described perfectly why I have never been successful with IE. At times, I have tried to "fake it 'til it's real," and in some areas of life, that seems to work (you know how they have studies that say the physical act of smiling actually improves one's mood?). However, I cannot seem to do that with eating. A while back, I realized that in nearly my entire adult life, I've never eaten a fattening treat or dessert without subconsciously thinking that I'm getting away with something. Even when I'm "allowed" to eat that sort of thing because it fits into my calories, the "countdown" you describe is still there. In short, there is no feeling of being completely unrestricted in eating. Even when I've said, "to **** with it!" and eaten to my heart's content, I know the guilt will come afterward.

traveling michele
05-18-2013, 01:12 PM
I think you did great! I was also out last night struggling with restaurant choices-- we should have channeled each other for moral support.

I had little time for a workout but still managed to squeeze one in before dinner-- score.

Then, we went out to dinner-- large group-- 20+ people-- VERY nice Italian restaurant-- one of the nicest I've ever been to-- everything on the menu looked great. Amazing bread and garlic butter on the table. I ate two very small pieces throughout the evening-- one with a tiny smidge of butter, the other without. We were told to order an appetizer and a main (we weren't paying). Everyone ordered alcoholic beverages except me, my dd and the other kids. The drinks flowed fast and heavy all night. I ordered hot tea. For my appetizer I ordered a caprese salad that had mozzarella and strawberries instead of tomatoes--delicious! For my main, I ordered the planned (I had perused the menu ahead of time) fish and shrimp skewers over quinoa-- it was a fairly small portion and tasted quite healthy. There were other sides ordered for the table-- mashed potatoes, etc. but I ignored them. I struggled mightily with dessert though. I went to the bathroom halfway through dinner and there was a huge tray of amazing looking desserts ready to be served. I've never seen such beautiful desserts. There was something chocolate with pistachios on top that was calling my name (LOUDLY). Dh said he'd share something with me but he's not much of a dessert person so I knew I'd eat the majority. I battled loudly in my head for 10 minutes and finally decided against dessert. This morning I was still expecting the scale to be up due to sodium but it was down .2. I consider that a WIN and the dessert is no longer calling me so loudly!!

So, bravo to both of us and all of us that make these hard decisions daily!

Stay strong!!!

Mudpie
05-18-2013, 06:14 PM
I'm finding I really now enjoy moderate (mostly) helpings of desserts. The thing is I've lost my taste for very "artificial" desserts and now I tend to go for fruit. Partially thawed cherries with a dollop of vanilla yogurt are a favorite dessert. Period. They are not an alternative to ice cream or chocolate. They just are something I really like to eat. I'm also finding that when I eat a whole lot of them THEN I get into the bad negative mindset as I'm leaning toward bingeing behavior.

Otherwise I just enjoy dessert.

Dagmar :shrug:

kittycat40
05-19-2013, 09:57 AM
I agree, congrats are in order. It's hard to change mindset.

But, you ate in a good food in a restaurant, within your plan, and I believe you can and should feel good about it!!

(you can bring leftovers home and have the good food a second time :))

Now, onto relating to OP and all others. I do.

And, my kids have a much higher degree of awareness than I ever did. Did I ruin food for them? I don't think so. We all enjoy treats on a pretty regular basis. But they know if they want their bodies to healthy and strong, they need to eat certain foods in moderation. They seem ok with this notion.

neurodoc
05-19-2013, 11:27 AM
I've just started reading a book called "Ditching Diets" by Gillian Riley (thanks, BrightAngel, for the rec.). I'm not far enough in to know whether her advice will be something I can do, but so far, her advice is, essentially, that you have to reframe the mental deprivation scenario ("I can't eat this; shouldn't eat this, can "afford" to eat this, etc) with one of free choice/preference ("I prefer not to eat this, I choose not to eat this, I don't feel like eating this now") to avoid the self-pity followed by the inevitable binge or overeating problem we do to compensate. Leaving food on your plate, to me, is done because you're not hungry anymore, or don't like it enough to eat it. If it is done (as I often do) because it doesn't fit into my allotted calories for the day, that's a whole different type of "choice." I think your mixed feelings precisely reflect that duality, and I'm not sure that any amount of mental reprogramming is going to alter it. But, you too may want to take a look at that book if you haven't already.

freelancemomma
05-19-2013, 04:05 PM
Thanks, Neurodoc. I'll check out that book.

F.

lin43
05-19-2013, 04:10 PM
Partially thawed cherries with a dollop of vanilla yogurt are a favorite dessert. Period

I LOVE frozen, sweet cherries. When I was visiting my sister during Christmas break, she gave me a gigantic bag of frozen organic cherries that she had bought at Costco. Within two weeks of getting it home, it was completely finished. Unfortunately, I cannot find organic, frozen cherries anywhere now---not at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, my local health food store, etc. I've been told there is something going on with the organic sweet cherry crops---of course, it would have to happen to my favorite, low-calorie treat.