Tuesday, October 2, 2012

You need to change how you think about dieting, food and eating

A comment from Munchberry, on the post It takes time a practice to change.
I don't think I am there yet Kara. I want to be. I read your very helpful hints and some I have been able to fold into my life, but.. I think I am not trying hard enough.
How do you keep from slipping into your old ways?
I keep from slipping into my old ways because I changed everything.
The good thing with an extensive history of dieting, I have a good working knowledge of foods to eat and proper serving sizes. As a former athlete, I like to exercise, and I don't let my chunky thighs and FUPA stop me from pulling on a swim suit in public.
But, if you are a serial dieter, you may be coming around to the idea that this food, this eating, this weight thing is not just about diet and exercise. A huge chunk of the puzzle is to work with, rather than against your psychology. Yes, food choices and exercise is important, but you also need to change how you think about dieting, food and eating:
  1. I don't diet. I will overeat if I feel like I am on a diet. That means no calorie or point counting, no food journalling, no foods are excluded and no restrictions on the amount of food that I eat.
  2. I have many food routines, such as weekday breakfast lunches and snacks. I switch up breakfasts on the weekend and I always have a big salad at lunch no matter what day of the week it is.
  3. Diets tell you what you can and can't eat. Now I'm the one who decides. This power (and lots of CBT) allows me to choose to eat healthy foods over processed food.
  4. I spend time organizing and preparing food to make it as convenient as possible. Convenient food that is bought is not good enough for my body.  
  5. I've come to accept that my journey will progress slowly, but progress is progress. 
  1. I changed the foods that I crave; I want fresh, nutritious food that is simply prepared. I no longer crave processed snack foods (snacking was always my downfall) and ready-made frozen food. This new craving for healthy foods is so strong that I prefer my husband's home-cooked meals to food prepared in restaurants.
  2. If I want to eat cookies, chocolate and ice cream, I can eat cookies, chocolate and ice cream. By saying that I can eat those foods that if I really want it, I no longer crave these foods in such an intense, obsessive way.
  3. Calorie dense food processed does not necessarily mean that it will satisfy hunger.
  4. I no longer see food as good food or bad food; it's just food. Some you want to eat more of, some you eat occassionaly. Try referring to food neutrally - we foist alot of judgment in every forkful of food we eat.
  1. I don't restrict the amount of food I eat. If I restrict my serving of potato wedges to eight pieces, immediately I'll want ten. Therefore, I start of with eight pieces, but mentally allow myself to eat more if necessary. This keeps the dieting anxiety to a minimum.
  2. I no longer feel the need to be a perfect eater. Dieting spawns this weird all-or-nothing mentality that just sets us up for failure. I strive to eat healthy and nutritious most of the time.
In any case, this is where my journey has brought me. I wanted permanent change, so I needed to make changes that I could carry on permanently. 

Munchberry, I know you are not quite ready to tackle the dieting/food/eating psychology, but when you are, I think you will find peace at the end of the road.

Good grief, I gotta go to bed!


  1. I AM ready. In fact I was reading over some therapy for thinking thin (for oh.... about the 20th time) and realized that I have actually changed some, but seem to place a lower value on the things I get right and change I have solidly made and a higher value on the things I can point to that are self destructive. I let them do me in mentally. It is hard to really explain.

    I am really glad to be re-embracing CBT. I think that it is the only way I can find a bit of peace - never mind the body goals. I think I am in the process of really trying to reframe things.

    I know I must drive you batty. And I adore you for being patient and kind. A good role model for any sorta person.

  2. You did a fantastic job of laying it all out! I am with you!

  3. Very insightful, thanks for sharing :) I think that's what has allowed me to overall maintain over a 30 lbs weight loss. I'm in a small slump, due to other personal reasons, but I haven't lost sight of the goal. Overall I am healthier than I have been in many years :)


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