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To Indulge, Or…….?

If we are what we eat then I’m baby spinach, arugala, romaine, tomaotes, cucumbers, chick peas, strawberries and onions this week.  Okay, so I’ve eaten a few processed foods each day, but the overwhelming majority of my intake has been whole, unprocessed foods.  And my body seems pretty happy about it.  I feel satisfied and confident because I’m eating well and exercising hard so I’m trying to let go of desire to step on the scale every five minutes.  When I weighed in at my new Weight Watchers meeting Thursday, I told myself that I need not weigh in again until then.  And though it’s not quite Thursday yet, I’m so excited to step on the scale because I know that I’ll weigh less than I did a week ago.

As I look back at my week and my choices, I’m confident that the scale will reflect a loss, but I really want it to reflect my efforts.  I’ve eaten bread a few times and an ounce of cheese here and there, but I am eating more vegetables than anything.  And so far, I’menjoying it.  But tomorrow I have to be up before the sun rises, and I have to drive by my favorite local bakery. (Do you see where I’m going with this?)  The donuts are so fresh at 5am, and being up at such an ungodly hour seems so much brighter when a donut is on the horizon.  (Yeah, I said it…It’s true!)  So I’ve been telling myself that I don’t need to donut tomorrow just because I have to drive by the bakery.  And I know I don’t.

But I was telling my friend, Ryan, who blogs at 1 Year 100 Pounds, about my doughy desires, he asked why I couldn’t have a donut.  “You’re eating fruits and veggies, healthy fats…and you’re working out hard.  Why can’t you eat a donut?”  And that spurred a conversation about intuitive eating.  I know that some of you have a lot more experience in this area than Ryan and I do, but we talked about it in theory, relating it to our lives.  And while Ryan suggested that intuitive eating could be like “bringing a child into a candy store and telling the child to eat only what they needed,” he also suggested that I look for a balance between enjoyment and reaching goals.  (Seriously…isn’t this guy awesome? Yeah, I know. He even elaborated on his analogy in the comment section below.)

In short, it’s okay to enjoy a donut from time to time if my healthy habits remain in place, and I know he’s right.  I’ve said it, practiced it and owned it so many times on this journey!  So I’ll allow myself to stop in for a donut or a piece of angel food or something which takes off a lot of pressure that I’ve been experiencing since I learned that I’d have to be up early for this appointment late last week.

I know that I don’t have to deprive myself of every food I enjoy in order to lose weight.  At the same time, I also know that I have to be mindful.  And I have to remember that I can eat a donut again on another day.  I don’t have to have a donut every time I drive by the bakery (and I don’t…I promise!)  Nor do I have to overindulge or undo the work I’ve done all week to enjoy 200 lousy calories.  I can enjoy the donut and move on.  It doesn’t have to control me or consume my thoughts in the way that I’ve allowed it to today.  In fact, I’m hopeful that my cravings will change over time if I continue eating foods from the earth.  I have craved tomatoes, strawberries and salads (not all at once) in a major way all week, and I’ve eaten them.  Perhaps if I continue in these new efforts I’ll be craving berries next time I’m up early…Maybe?

I’m trying to do things right, and regardless of the numbers on the scale Thursday, I’ll be proud of myself for making a solid effort this week.  So, for now, I’m going to keep doing exactly what I’m doing – making good food choices, listening to my body and exercising.  And I’m excited to see the results of my efforts.  Maybe I’ll think about that as I pass the donut shop.  I’ll let you know…

How’s your week going?  Are you happy with your choices?

 

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43 Comments

  • Reply
    Ryan Yewell
    September 13, 2011 at 3:00 am

    Thanks for the shout out! 🙂

    I definitely do believe that how we view food, and our relationship with it, is important. I’m learning that as soon as I label something as “off-limits”, I want it, and study after study shows that’s how the mind works.

    I just want to briefly expand on the “kid in a candy store” analogy. What I mean by that is that our environment plays a role in our ability to “eat intuitively”. When I’m in a place/culture (i.e. Spain, Italy, etc.) where there is lots of fresh food, local markets, and not many fast food outlets in sight, it’s easier for me to just automatically make healthy food choices. When I’m in the middle of a North American mall, with fast food takeaways, chocolate shops, and ice-cream stands, it’s much easier for me to naturally choose higher calorie/less nutritious foods.

    Ultimately I know I am responsible for my actions, and what I put in my mouth. That being said, it has been my experience that it is definitely easier/more natural for me to choose more nutritious food when I’m in an environment that has more nutritious choices than not.

    That’s where the analogy of the “kid in a candy store” comes in… If a kid is in a candy store, most likely the “intuitive” choice is candy… If that same kid is at a farmer’s market, most likely the “intuitive” choice is something much more natural.

    I just don’t want people to think I’m saying becoming an intuitive eater means all hell breaks loose, like a kid in a candy store! 🙂

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you for expounding on this..=)

  • Reply
    Jessica S
    September 13, 2011 at 6:34 am

    Good Work! When my husband and I started our journey in 12/10, I had to severely restrict my intake of refined carbs. I may not have been a binge over-eater.. but I was a carb-a- holic. Any bread product.. I could just eat and eat, crackers, cookies… I had no self control. By severely limiting myself at first I grabbed control of my abilities and started to see results right away.. the cravings lessened and my tastes changes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE a fresh apple fritter, I salivate as I type this.. but my body is so not used to that heavy, super sweet any more that an entire one makes me feel nasty..

    Make sure you are getting good protein everyday as that will help you stay full, satisfied and less grumpy! I find myself much fuller and longer if I fit some into each meal.
    Good Luck!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:15 pm

      I used to love bread, but I don’t mind passing it up most of the time now. It’s funny how things change, right? 🙂

  • Reply
    doadoubletake
    September 13, 2011 at 6:40 am

    Hi Kenlie! I really, really enjoyed this post! I really related to Ryan and your comments. Makes perfect sense…

  • Reply
    Cathy
    September 13, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Sure, I think you can indulge now and then, but for myself, I found I really had to watch using food as a reward. I used it as a reward for everything … even going to the dentist at lunch! And that is a slippery slope. Yes, there are successful intuitive eaters, but I believe they rarely use food as a reward.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:17 pm

      I don’t use it as a reward, and I get pretty aggravated when people say I should…I totally understand. I’m definitely not intuitive with my eating..I am much better, but I still require structure which is one reason WW works so well for me.

  • Reply
    Tiffany @ Turbo Fire Reviews
    September 13, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I know that for me, right now, the donut would most likely trigger a binge on carbs. Like a lot of other people, I am a carb-o-holic as well. Give me donuts, bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice and I could eat that for every meal, every day of my life.

    Since I am still in the weight loss phase of my journey and have about 40 pounds I want to lose, I am trying to stay away from these treats as often as possible. I figure treats like these can come back into my life once I have reached my goal weight instead of slowing down my weight loss progress.

    But…everyone is different and you know your body better than anyone else. So, if you can fit it into your calories and diet for the day, take the time to enjoy the donut. Eat it slowly and savor the flavors and truly enjoy it!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      I managed to fit it in without issue. I think, for me, it’s easiest to recognize that it’s okay to enjoy food. I’m trying to get back to the basics which means moderation and mostly awesome choices. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa
    September 13, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I am so proud of you for making such good choices. I want to be like you! lol I can say that yesterday a few cheetoes found their way to my mouth… lol

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      Haha..Just be you Lisa! You’re lovely and wonderful! ((hugs))

  • Reply
    Momma Hunt
    September 13, 2011 at 9:56 am

    This is a hard one….sometimes I can have a doughnut or piece of cake (provided its diary free due to an allergy) but sometimes I can’t. There are times where if I am being honest with myself that doughnut is not because I want a treat, it is because I am eating to deal with something. Other times I can’t have the doughnut because I kno win my heart it won’t just be that one thing, it will lead to other bad choices. Yet, there are sometimes where I can have it, enjoy it, and move on. Sadly I am still in the stage of my eating tha tI have a hrd time knowing if I can or can’t eat something so I just tend to stay away!

  • Reply
    Beth@WeightMaven
    September 13, 2011 at 10:09 am

    As a poster child for binge eating, I’ve found that scheduling “indulgences” works the best for me. The way I figure it, eating unprocessed whole foods most of the time is ideal, since my brain and body need the nutrients (and it supports my weight loss).

    But I do allow myself to have what I want once a week (usually dinner on Saturday after my weigh in ;). For me, this is not a Tim Ferriss cheat day concept (which too many folks seem to use as a license to binge), but the time to go out for dinner, get some of my favorite Thai takeout and so on.

    For me, I think you have to be careful of letting the indulgences pile up … it’s a slippery slope (I like to think of it as the cruise ship effect). But I like the once in a while strategy for me!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:21 pm

      Interesting ideas….I like the whole 85% rule that I kind of made up when I lost the first 100…We all figure out what’s good for us if we keep it up…:)

  • Reply
    OperaWife
    September 13, 2011 at 10:11 am

    This is a great post and it’s REALLY important to not be “food police” on ourselves all the time. One of my biggest weaknesses is fast food, especially when I’m exhausted on the way home from work and the last thing I want to do is go home and cook a healthy dinner. When I first started my weight loss journey, I would just CHOOSE when I was going to go to Sonic or McDonald’s or the Chinese food buffet with my husband. It wasn’t very often, and it was a CHOICE I was making, rather than just a moment of weakness or laziness on the way home. It actually made the times I did eat a little more unhealthily like a (delicious, amazing) treat.

    One of the things we do to ourselves is tell ourselves that some foods are “bad.” While they may not be the best choices, I think we get ourselves into dangerous territory when we start putting foods into “good” and “bad” categories. A friend of mine over at Becoming the Odd Duck (www.oddduckblog.com) just wrote a post about being the Food Police, actually.

    ANYWHO! I hope that donut was DELICIOUS!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      Yep..Food police are annoying..”don’t have a doughnut..it’s bad” or “eating a doughnut means you won’t be as skinny next week” is pretty closed-minded and unrealistic in terms of lifetime success.

      I’ll check out the Odd Duck post later tonight after the gym/shower…:) Thanks!

  • Reply
    Caron
    September 13, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I would skip the doughnut because it would just make me want more. That’s not to say that I never indulge in such things. I do plan for treats but my situation is different from yours as I am in maintenance. Still, I do have to make these kinds of decisions in order to stay at goal. I made my goal in 2003 but after six successful years, I went above goal and stayed above goal for two full years. I don’t want to revisit that time.

  • Reply
    Chubby McGee
    September 13, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Go, Kenz! Isn’t it wonderful when you have good eating days and lots of activity?! You feel like you could fly. Keep up the excellent work!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm

      Thanks Chubbs….I’m going to hit the gym now and run on the treadmill…Maybe I’ll feel like I can fly for at least 20 seconds..I love it when that happens! 🙂

  • Reply
    PlumPetals
    September 13, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I absolutely agree with the idea of intuitive eating. I went through a long phase where I was just about eating 1,000 calories a day (more like 800) and all that really did for me was make me grumpy and screw up my metabolism even more. Sure I lost weight, but I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise that the loss didn’t last. I have since learned that it’s about balance. Of course you can have a donut, or a piece of chocolate, or whatever you want to indulge in but just be conscious about it and keep it in moderation. You’re doing an awesome, awesome job – a treat once in a while is much better than restraining yourself to the point where you end up bingeing! (Oh, and I can totally relate to the urge to step on the scale every 5 minutes!!) 🙂

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:25 pm

      I didn’t step on the scale today because I do NOT want to fall into that habit…Now that’s a slippery slope in my opinion..

      800 calories a day? 1,000? ewe….not happening here..ha

  • Reply
    Dominique
    September 13, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I also agree with the idea of intuitive eating (though sometimes it’s hard to do for me). I definitely think that you shouldn’t deprive yourself of anything, but you should do things in moderation like you are writing about. Sure, go ahead and have that donut. Just plan the rest of your day around your little treat. Keep up the great work! 🙂

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:26 pm

      Good advice…that’s precisely what I did! 🙂

  • Reply
    Brooke
    September 13, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I think this is an important post as we come upon the Holiday “eating season.” We will soon be approaching the season where warm, yummy, gooey and good tasting foods will be promptly put in our faces almost on a daily basis. I ADORE Fall and all things that come with it. Apple cider (lucky that have sugar free and really low cal.), hot chocolate (skim milk) and you can not forget all the lovely things that will pop on your table for family dinners, like pies, yeast rolls and other tempting things. Throw on top that Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween and the cold temps can throw people for all kinds of emotional roller coasters. I’m trying to prepare myself, in advance, for what is to come. And I know that I WILL indulge a few times, but if I’m prepared…….I can make a difference. Intuitively, all I want to do at my grandparents house (80 wood stove going) is eat and sleep (carbs mostly). I have to think of way to curve that intuition, not stop it.

    Of course………..my big vice during the Fall is…………Dairy Queens Pumpkin Pie Blizzard. It is all kinds of yummy ice cream pumpkin goodness. But, I thank God that it is one of the only “in season” blizzards that DQ offers. So…….I can have it only 3 months out of the year. I try to limit myself to two a month., minus the pumpkin pie blizzard ice cream cake I get for my birthday in Oct. Lucky, I’ll be on a cruise this year.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      I love everything pumpkin! Yum! And you’re right…I’m thinking about this early because it will definitely be an issue for others in the coming months!

  • Reply
    Mo
    September 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Just found your blog from McGee – http://chubzilla.blogspot.com/ Checking your site out and like what I see. Love Love Love the calendar at the top – good link to find posts you have done. Your progress pictures are awesome!!I will be careful how fast I type comments to you, because grammer is just as important to me as it is you 🙂

    Have a great week!!!!

    Staying MOtivated MO

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:28 pm

      Hahaha Mo! Thanks for being here, and don’t worry about grammar. My grammatical habits matter to me, and I should have expressed that more plainly in my post. Ha

  • Reply
    Laurie
    September 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    As I said in an earlier comment, I returned to WW yesterday. Something my awesome leader said that I hadn’t really “heard” before was that the extra weekly points are so that we don’t deprive ourselves, so that this becomes a real life time change rather than a diet.
    It is hard for me because I tend to be all or nothing. I think I need to have those extra points in a planned way, not a binge, to start living more in the moderate world.
    Good luck to you.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm

      I’ve never been a fan of using my extra points though I’ve done it. It happens from time to time, but as a general rule, I tend to stay within my points when I’m making decent choices. That said, your leader is right. And it’s a long road….so I’m glad they’re there. 🙂

  • Reply
    Marion@AffectionforFitness
    September 13, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Hi Kenlie! I would say that if you are currently happy with how you’re eating, and you do seem to be doing *wonderfully*, to not screw with it.

    My 2 cents: Go past that donut–and be very happy with yourself when you do so. Maybe, every time you go past that donut shop, you can think that it is how many pats of butter lost off your thighs or something like that. <<I just know from my own experience that a single donut can screw the food day up.

    🙂 Marion

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm

      The food day went off without a hitch. I’m as proud of that as I would be of passing on the doughnut. 🙂

  • Reply
    suzanne
    September 13, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I would have to be honest and say that right now if I had a donut it would lead me to more! Sometimes I know I can handle just one of something and other times it’s better for me to totally avoid it.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:31 pm

      I told myself no to so many things today, and I feel good about it. And I also feel good about eating the doughnut. 🙂

  • Reply
    Princess Dieter
    September 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I would say that a donut as a very rare treat after weeks and months of consistently good eating is fine. But I say get MANY MANY weeks of controlled eating under your belt first. More than one overeating expert will say that if you let loose and touch a trigger/sugary food, it can set off a desire for more, binge, and break the new habit pathways being formed by eating right.

    Is it worth the POSSIBILITY that is derails you? That’s the question. Is a 10 minute (or less) fix of fat/sugar/carbs/trans fats/brain-lighting treat worth it when it’s only been recently you started finding your groove again?

    Rethink. Really…

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      I’m happy to say that it didn’t trigger anything else…I’ve been listening to my body for a couple of years now, and I think you’re right…There are days in which I could have let it mess me up, but it didn’t happen today. 🙂

  • Reply
    Liz
    September 13, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    So you have one good week of eating and you think that deserves a reward of a 5am doughnut?? That sounds to me like the type of thinking that got you to where you started. Why ruin the good work you’ve put in place? Food isn’t a treat it’s what you need to survive… The sooner that’s realised the easier this will be. Calling a 5am doughnut a treat or a reward gives it power over you. Ultimately it may taste good but think how you’re gonna feel after or how you’re gonna feel stepping on that scale Thursday knowing the result isn’t as good as it was gonna be had you avoided the doughnut and no doubt the slippery slope that will follow.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:11 pm

      No Liz…Perhaps you should read the post. I did not call it a reward…nor did I imply that I deserve a treat for eating flawlessly all week. Instead, I said “why not have a donut?” I’ve lost an incredible amount of weight by doing exactly what I’m doing now…

      Eating something that isn’t as healthy as everything else does not have to become a slippery slope…and it didn’t…I’ve eaten flawlessly throughout the rest of the day too…

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 13, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    You know me- I say have the donut. One is appropriate, hot and fresh and yeah. 🙂 But more than that…. yeah. Notsomuch. And you’re right it’s not an everyday thing…. This is how ppl who have learned to live with food (or at least me) think. Somedays I want the donut and so I have it. Most days I drive right on by.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 13, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      Yep…I know you…ha I had it and moved on..end of story. It was delicious..

  • Reply
    Bella
    September 13, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    I’ve recently started therapy, and one of the things that the therapists suggested for me in order to avoid binge eating and “all or nothing mentalities” is to schedule in my treats. Someone else already mentioned this, but I do think it’s an important point. Since I’ve been trying it, the binge-eating behavior (or anything close to it), has really diminished.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the donut and are taking a healthy and sane approach.

  • Reply
    KLA
    September 14, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Ten years ago I belonged to an intuitive eating group therapy program and last year I worked with a cognitive behavior therapist, so I agree that if you tell yourself that you can’t eat something, you are going to crave it even more. Dieting is all about restricting what you eat and how much you eat, so I think this is the heart of why so many have dieted, lost weight and proceed to gain even more.

    The intuitive eating rule that you are referring to is eat what your body wants. There are two points to this rule: the first is what your body wants to eat, and the second is about deprivation. Your body wants to eat healthy foods such as all the vegetables and whole foods, but it is your mind that wants to eat sugar, high-fat food such as the donut. The more you eat vegetables and whole foods, the more you will gravitate and crave those foods.

    The other point to this rule is to address the deprivation aspect of dieting. Many times I’ve eaten crackers, crackers with peanut butter, chocolate milk etc just to avoid eating a donut (in my case timbits). In the end, I would have just been better off eating the donut in the first place. But, you don’t want to get caught up focusing on the deprivation aspect of this rule (I did), and remember that your body wants to eat healthy foods; it’s your mind that wants to eat the donut!

    From a CBT standpoint, I tell myself I can eat if I really want to and in as much quantity as I want, but, I’m choosing to not eat this food because I want to lose weight and be healthier. And after that if I decide to eat a donut or timbits, I say oh well and move on (as you did). From a psychological view, feeling guilty about eating is just the same as telling yourself that the food is forbidden.

  • Reply
    Jill
    September 14, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I’m not eating enough protein I think…. my goal is to eat breakfast everyday and try to include a vegetable (non legume) at most … every? …. meal.

    Man, the hardest part for me is the working out thing! why do I struggle!!?

  • Reply
    Mary
    September 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    The 49 WW points is for that very thing — for you to not be deprived. But only 49 extra points.

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