I don’t know about you, but one thing counting calories does for me is making me a whole lot more discerning when it comes to my food choices.
In other words, if I’m gonna waste calories on it, it’d better be good.
By good I mean something that didn’t come out of a vending machine. For example, let’s talk chocolate. I think it’s a fitting example seeing as how yesterday was the day of love and candy – and as I’ve told Rob a thousand times, I have no love for candy unless it’s chocolate. So there’s a good chance many of you have candy laying around now. Lucky you. And if not, it’s probably on clearance today, so…you might want to get on that.
Back to chocolate. Not only am I a candy snob, I’m a chocolate snob as well – or, as I like to call myself, a discerning customer. If I’m going to spend precious, hard-won calories on chocolate, it’s going to be a good dark chocolate that doesn’t break the bank. I’m talking Lindt or Ghirardelli squares. The best part is, one or two squares and I’m set. I don’t need handful upon handful as I would if I were eating, say, M&M’s or Kisses. So it works on more than one level.
Same thing with any sort of dessert. If I’m at a restaurant and I make the choice to get dessert, it had better be the best thing I’ve tasted in days or else I’m not eating it.
Not only that, but if I’m gonna spend calories on regular food, it’d better fill me up sufficiently.
Wait, what? Did you just say “Duh!”? Well, maybe it’s obvious to you – but not so much to me. I mean, it is. But it’s not.
There’s a level on which I know all of these things. It’s intuitive. I’m sure we all possess this knowledge, this power over what we take into our bodies, this understanding of how things should be.
So what happens? Why are so many people overweight?
In my case, it’s thoughtlessness. I go unconscious in a way and just start reacting to life – stress, boredom, loneliness, sadness – by eating. That’s just the way it is. I don’t think, I just eat. Other people smoke or drink too much or spend too much money on things they don’t need. I eat.
Along with being choosy, then, comes being present in the moment. Present when those familiar yearnings come knocking on my door. Not just mindlessly handing myself over but questioning where they’re coming from instead. Not running away from them or trying to ignore them, because what we try to ignore only grows stronger until it overcomes us (seriously, have you ever tried to ignore an itch?). Just figuring out what’s up in those critical moments and what I can do to give myself what I need – because what I need probably isn’t food.
Have you ever had to face a mindless habit? Did you overcome it? If so, what did you do?
Also, are you a candy snob like me? What’s your favorite kind?
Pouring My Heart Out with Shell today.