Monday, October 22, 2012

The world of absolutes

As part of my mindful eating exercises, I've been seeing if I can challenge some of those sayings I've said and used for SO long, I've actually come to believe they are the sworn truth. You know, we all have them: "I'm not a morning person", "I can't catch a ball because I'm totally uncoordinated", "I have no willpower", etc. The particular one I'm referring to is, "I can't have 'junk' food in my house because I'll eat it all in one go."

Now, this might seem a harmless enough thought to have and even a sensible one in some ways. After all, I don't believe in making life harder if it can be avoided. And it's true to say that when I lost a lot of weight last time, I did actually follow this mantra and I tried as much as possible to avoid having foods in the house that tempt me. But now, I'm flipping this idea on its head. I managed to have a packet of Arnott's Shapes in my cupboard in a container for over a week. In fact, there are still a few of them left even now. I could absolutely eat the whole packet in one go - I've done it before *blush* - but the idea was to see if I could leave them and only have a couple now and then. And guess what - I could, and I did. I'm as shocked as I could possibly be about this because I would formerly have sworn blind it was absolutely something I could not do. See, that's the problem with absolutes. If we say them enough, we start to believe they are as much a fact as the sun going down and coming up every day. And they are so not that.

When I think back to my last semi-successful weight loss "jurneeee", do I think it helped me focus less on food, removing that temptation from my home? The short answer is no, it didn't! Because unless you are planning to go into a monastery version of the Biggest Loser house, where you can live forever without any access to food that is not "clean" and healthy, there is ALWAYS going to be temptation around. For a start, there IS no "food monastery". And if you decided to go out in public wearing blinkers like a horse so you don't see food that tempts you, or with a peg on your nose so you can't smell food that might lead you astray, well, you'd get some odd looks to say the least. Now, of course, I'm being a little facetious here but it's just to drive home my point that it's impossible in the Western world to avoid tempting foods. So if you can't avoid them, the next best thing is to learn to make peace with them, to find a way to coexist in the universe with them where you are the one in control. So, to this end, right now I have a block of this in my fridge which has been there since last Thursday:

This is a biggest test than the savoury foods as I'm far more a sweet tooth, but until yesterday I'd actually forgotten it was there. Amazing story, but true. I wasn't trying to hide it - I just forgot. Last night after I came home from work I had two squares of it. Now, it's Lindt so it's lovely chocolate, quite a cut above Cadbury chocolate, and it's rich. Two squares was actually plenty. I can't believe I just typed that but it's true. :) So, now let's see how much longer I can leave it there, only having a little of it now and then. I have a good feeling about this. I reckon I can make it to about a week. Wish me luck!

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