Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bad Habits

I was thinking about our silly little habits and how they might contribute to our weight issues. This ties in with my previous post, about listening to your body. Lots of people, myself included, have this habit of saving the best or favorite part of their food for the last bite. Have you ever done that? You cut off all the tougher edges of the steak and eat those first, leaving the very center piece... all pink and tender and juicy... for last. Do you eat your least favorite parts of the meal first, leaving the tastiest, most delicious thing on your plate for last? I used to do this with Big Macs, too! Eat all the edges and leave the center with the most sauce for the last bite! Or, since I am not very fond of pie crust, I often have eaten the crust first, and left the very center to enjoy as the Grand Finale! What is the point of that?????? WHY EAT THE CRUST TO BEGIN WITH??

How can you practice the principle of eating only until you are satisfied, and listening to your body, and stopping when it says "enough," if you are saving the best for last??? You will eat all the stuff you don't like as much, then get the signal from your body to STOP, and you will look at those last bites... the ones you were saving for last... your very favorite parts of the meal... and you will think, "No.... I have to finish this! That's the best part!" Wouldn't it be SO much easier to listen to your body and stop, if the thing left on your plate was the LEAST favorite part? Do you think, if I ate the center of that Big Mac first, because I like it best, that I would be DRIVEN to continue eating the plain old dry crusts of bun that would be left when my body tells me to stop?? Do you think, if I ate the yummy center of a cheesecake first and then felt that signal that I am satisfied, that I would keep eating just so I could have the crust that I don't even LIKE??? Stop eating backwards! Eat the best part first, and then when you are satisfied, stop!

It's little habits like this that help us lose the weight. (Not that I am advocating eating Big Macs and cheesecake) but you have to listen to your body, and think about how you are eating in order to decrease the amounts you are eating, even of healthy foods. If you eat the best looking, freshest part of your chef salad first, then when you feel full you can stop, without thinking, "but I want to finish my favorite part." Listen to your body, even if all you are eating is a peach or a dish of yogurt.


Chubby Chick said...

Wow! That really makes sense! Thanks for the insight! :)

Shannon said...

You make a great point. I've done basically the same thing on my weight loss journey. Early on I decided that I'm not going to eat anything I don't love just because it's "diet food" (yuck.) That goes right along with not saving the best for last. I eat the best first now, although I used to do what you did, saving it for last. There are times when I'll eat dessert first if that's what I want the most.

You're right when you talk about listening to your body. It's important to know what you need and when. And the fantastic thing is that our bodies were created to give us those signals. But, most of us have spent so many years ignoring the signals that it's really a chore to learn to hear them again. A chore, but very worth it.

Maya said...

Hi Lyn,
I respect your honesty on this blog, and I can relate to a lot of what you've shared. I have to tell you that my life shifted gears last year when I went to my first Overeaters Anonymous meeting. I was scared to go at first, dismissing it as NOT my thing. But as soon as I heard other people share, I felt like they were speaking my own secrets out loud. I was amazed to realize that other people experienced the same patterns, making me see more clearly that I was born with a physical addiction (with parallels to my mom's alcoholism). The 12 step program has helped me get down into the core issues of my eating, body-perception, self-esteem, spiritual faith, and much more. One of the best aspects is the amount of support that I feel from the other people in the program, since they deal with many of the same exact issues. So many of us have tried to use our own control to diet in the past, only going on a crash course of yo-yo relapses again and again. I’ve met many people who have lost a lot of weight since finding OA -- able to keep it off permanently. It wasn't until I found OA that I learned how to fully adopt a routine that has the stability to last the rest of my life. I just wanted to share this info with you, since it has helped me incredibly. No pressure if it doesn't appeal! But if you feel curious, you could always just try going to a meeting. The web page offers info to find a meeting in your local area. Best wishes to you, Lyn! Remember that you're not alone in these struggles.

Mahla said...

You're so right about this. Saving the best bite for last helps guarantee that you'll EAT that last bite, whether you really feel truly hungry for it or not. Even when I don't save the "best" bite for last, though, I feel that compulsion. That plate-cleaning compulsion.

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant!!!

Anonymous said... I just started reading and relating to your blog, but this has to be commented on. I can not WAIT to incorporate this philosophy into my life. Still crunchy cherrios, cheesy part of my soup, unbroken chips, muffin tops... here I come!