HI doll babies!
I just saw this jaw-dropping video about why you can’t trust the calorie counts on packaged foods. I mean, I have never taken a label to be the gospel truth but I certainly have purchased those tofu sammies in the health food store as a low-cal, low-fat lunch option. For hell! Double the calories listed?
And of course we’ve all known for a long time that manufactured muffins are the work of Satan. If I want muffins I bake my own.
This gives me a perfect opportunity to share some of what I’ve been doing to change my compulsive overeating habits, comforting and entertaining and rewarding myself with food and getting over dieting mentality monkey mind.
I hate to call what I am doing “portion control” because there’s no control about it. What it is is a program of virtual gastric bypass hypnosis and staying really attentive to hunger and satiation signals. I had the Virtual Gastric Band inserted on the imagination/subconscious level by a hypnotherapist in August and I listen to one of the support CDs every day (or most days). I don’t think about food as my issue any more. What I think of as my issue with weight management isn’t calories or portion sizes but the relationship between my stomach, brain and spirit.
My commitment is to eat three small meals a day and reasonable snacks. To drink water, because my body often confuses thirst with hunger. And to eat mindfully, chewing every bite and being attentive to satiety.
I am losing weight and dealing with all the emotions around releasing food as my primary form of mindless entertainment, but what I really really really really extra much love is that I am not counting points or calories or being asked to think about food choices at all. When I was on Weight Watchers, I hated the emphasis on points, as it just fueled my compulsive overeating because I was always trying to figure out what I could “get away” with eating for the fewest points. “Oh wow, I can have this huge plate of green beans! Woo hoo!” Well, no I can’t. I can eat as many green beans or anything else I feel like eating until I’m full, and that happens really fast with a small portion.
I have to admit that it’s a bummer sometimes eating slowly and paying close attention to satiation signals. I love eating so much, it feels like, “That’s it? I’m done?” But yes, for that meal I am done. And then I have a second panicked thought out of my reptilian, addicty part of my brain that shrieks, “BUT WHAT IF I GET HUNGRY AGAIN IN AN HOUR? WHAT IF I GET HUNGRY AGAIN AND THERE’S NO FOOD ANYWHERE TO BE FOUND? MAYBE JUST ONE LONE WOUNDED MASTADON AND I DON’T HAVE MY SPEAR WITH ME?”
Then I have to calmly respond to my reptilian addict brain and say, “Well, if you become dangerously, life-threateningly starved in a few hours I bet we can probably find you some food before you perish. Also, you could always just have a snack, or even a little bit more of this food we just ate.”
Thus I walk across stepping stones out of compulsive overeating.
My hunger signals go haywire sometimes. That just happens. And when it does I am still capable of eating a footlong Subway sandwich in one gobbling sitting. Mostly, though, it’s the urge to snack for purely recreational purposes that I have to stop and think about before I do it. My program of recovery from compulsive overeating is about letting go of recreational eating, and that’s the hardest thing about it.
Now that I know not to trust the calorie counts on my favorite snacks (although home popped popcorn is my number one choice, always), I think it will be easier to stay committed to the major work, which isn’t about how many calories I have consumed in the course of a day but whether I ate past satiation or put food in my body for purely recreational purposes.
By the way, I cook constantly now and prepare almost all my own food. It is amazingly helpful for craving management when you hardly eat any processed foods.