Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nothing Tastes As Good As...

Can you finish that sentence? Anyone who's ever had a goal to lose weight has heard it many times. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. I recently saw this saying posted on FB but, with a twist. It said, "Whoever said, 'Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels' has clearly never had cupcakes. Or wine. Or chocolate. Or pizza." While I appreciated the humor of it and enjoyed the comments that followed it did get me thinking.

Like a lot of women I've spent most of my teen and adult years on a diet or thinking that I should be on one. And I've heard that saying about skinny feeling better than anything tastes many times. The thing is, that saying has never provided me with more than a few fleeting moments of inspiration. It never became a mantra  that got me past a dessert table or a second helping or a buffet when my diet resolve was waning.

After decades of struggle I'm finally at the point where it's all starting to come together (diet, exercise, attitude, education, etc.) and I've gained a new, perhaps clearer perspective on that old saying. There's a reason it's not very effective. It's because lots of things do taste as good as skinny feels. Ya, that's right. Pizza, chocolate, wine, etc. are all fantastic! For a few moments, while you're consuming these things, they feel just as good if not better than being thin. Even the anticipation of these things (as I'm learning from The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler) feels great. And let's not forget we're wired for instant gratification. You can eat pizza now! Getting skinny takes much longer... especially if you keep eating pizza.

The important difference, the thing that could ultimately serve as real inspiration is not so much the rewards of being "skinny" but avoiding the punishment of over indulgence in those temping treats. Over indlugence causes feelings of regret and guilt. Over the long haul it causes health problems. It's results are a source of shame, embarrassment and self-loathing.

One more things about regret... I can honestly say I have never regretted the times I didn't eat that piece of pizza or cake. Ever. Once I made the decicion to not induldge, I forgot all about it and continued on toward my goal of having the body I want. I also got the satisfaction of sticking to my plan and treating myself with respect. Even better, the more you make good choices the more expereince and reinforcement you build up for making those choices and over time it gets easier.

So, what do you do when temptation strikes? I think the answer is a little different for everyone but, trying to convince yourself that pizza is not going to taste wonderful is probably not it. How about looking at that pizza and considering how you're going to feel tomorrow when it's attached to your ass. How about asking the question, "what happens if I don't eat it?". That might be a place to start.

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