When you want to eat sweets, you want to eat sweets. Period. There’s no substitute. In fact, I searched for a sweet-tooth substitute for so long that my eating habits sometimes spiraled out of control.
All day, I’d eat all around the sweet treats sweetly summoning me. Then, finally at the conclusion of the day when my tired mind is most vulnerable, I’d succumb to the summoning. I mean I’d REALLY EAT sweets. Only after the girls were tucked away for the evening, I’d polish off a pint of ice cream. Or, I’d go back for seconds (and thirds, fourths and fifths) on the baked treat I wandered longingly past all day long. I’d even stand staring straight into the refrigerator or pantry eating a cookie so I could see what sweet sensation would be my next victim.
Oh, how I hope you can relate! I’m not crazy, I promise (well, that’s a stretch of a promise…). I simply like sweets. And when I resist or tell myself I can’t, shouldn’t or won’t ever eat sugar again to pay penance for my past head-first-plunges into the cookie jar, my desire only grows.
Restrict….eat….resolve…remorse……repeat. There’s the cycle in black and white, Ladies.
It’s the American eating restrictive mindset, you know. You tell yourself over and over again, ‘I cannot have that! Never, ever. And if I do it will be the tiniest morsel my taste buds can sense.’ Then, the flood gates break loose and you lose all control when the tantalizing tastes you’ve held out on hit your tongue.
The problem is in the penance. The guilt. The feeling that we have to ‘pay’ or make up for the major malfunction in our minds that allowed us to eat until we feel filled to the point of pain.
Why? Why do we, then, tell ourselves that we cannot ever eat a certain thing?
Oh, I admit I’ve had the conversation with myself. Privately, in my head only….and now for your eyes in this online confessional! (No judging, promise?) After I start, it’s hard to stop. Then, once I’ve stuffed myself silly with sweets and it’s time for bed, I swear I’ll never do it again!
I swear off sweets once again. ‘That was the last time! I’ll learn this time! After all, I don’t even TASTE my temptress after the umpteenth taste!’
What do you swear off in the wake of a guilty palate pleasure?
Well, now I really have learned my lesson. I’ve released myself from that restrict/eat/remorse cycle. I’m reformed…for the most part.
I do love sweets…and I’m proud of it! I don’t wait only until the girls are asleep anymore to indulge a little. There’s no shame in savoring a small portion of something sweet and creamy or chewy-licious.
It’s the same old motto of moderation you’ve heard preached a hundred times. But this time, I want you to hear this too:
Enjoy ALL foods you eat, even the ones you once believed forbidden. There are NO forbidden foods! There are only foods you CHOOSE.
What you’ll find might surprise you. It surprised me!
Once I removed my self-imposed rules and restrictions, I found ways to make my sweets and EAT them too, without remorse. I focused on ways to enjoy my sweet tooth without binging on big portions. I even started experimenting with real-foods and healthier sweeteners to satisfy me. Interestingly, my mind settled in while my sweet tooth seemed to tame. A little went a long way and I developed a real appreciation for natural ingredients in place of processed ones. Now when I do eat something without any nutritional value at all, who cares! It’s only a little and because my twisted perception of ‘allowable’ foods has left me, I savor a little and simply move on.
Tell me. Are you caught up in the ‘restrict….eat….remorse….repeat cycle’?
Is some arbitrary food summoning you until you succumb to over-consumption?
It’s just a thought, really: Try simply letting go of restrictions; REALLY releasing yourself to the freedom of making CHOICES rather than following rules.
Why follow rules when YOU ARE your self-nourishment leader?
Well, maybe it’s a seed planted….
Eating Well Without Rules,