Friday, September 7, 2007


If you're a Mom, or a babysitter, or know a kid, you have probably heard this whine many times. My own children have often asked me, with sweet little faces and pleading eyes, for a cookie right before dinner, or a bowl of ice cream for breakfast. I nicely tell them they cannot have it right now, because of x reason. And what do they say? "But I WANT it!!!" Three-year-olds sometimes even pout and stomp their little feet while saying this phrase.

Are you acting like a 3 year old? I have, sometimes. I am in the midst of eating my healthy stuff and I see a commercial for Pizza Hut stuffed crust pizza or the new dippers pizza with 3 kinds of sauce to dunk them in (because pepperoni pizza alone is not nearly fattening enough... got to add those sauces) and I immediately think, "I WANT IT!!!" In the past, I have nearly killed myself tripping over toys and shoes to race to the phone and order something I saw on TV, or decided I just HAD to have, and went flying out the door to pick up whatever goodie is in my head. (Notice, if my kids had asked me 5 minutes prior if I would come outside and play with them, I would have slugged around on the couch droning, "No, I am too tired." But let me get a food in my head, I suddenly have the energy of a nuclear bomb). Why do we do this to ourselves? It is all those times of giving in to what I WANTED without weighing the true consequences that got me where I am today.

When I was a little kid, I did the same foot stomping, high pitched whining of "I WANT IT" to my own mother. And my mother, being the loving mother that she was, would give me a dish of chocolate ice cream for breakfast. I have proof. There are pictures of me at 2 having this very breakfast. Bad idea. Very bad idea. Can you say food issues? I thought I should have whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to eat it. This all changed when I was 10 or 11. My mother had become obese, and did me no favors with her obsession with "her" food. She was always going to Weight Watchers, always buying "special" WW frozen meals that smelled and looked SO good (but she never cooked ME anything while she was snarfing her special meal). When I would ask/beg to try one, or have one, because I was HUNGRY, she snarled, "NO!! There are MINE!!" and practically covered the meals with her body in a defensive posture. The same posture she took when my Dad would buy her a 2 pound box of chocolates and I would ask to try ONE PIECE. And so, she gained and lost, and gained and lost, and died fat, and when I grew up I bought loads of those frozen WW meals and boxes of chocolates and I hid in my room and ate them all myself, until I was sick.

So what is the happy medium? How do we eat right, and not give in to our endless wants, without depriving ourselves so much that we lose it and binge? Well, I think we have to be kind to ourselves. We have to see the inner child in us who, when we drive past McDonald's, cries out, "I want a Happy Meal! Please please please, can we go there??" We have to be kind to that child, and not mean. "No, sweetie, we are not going there today. We have a yummy, healthy dinner planned at home. But how would you like to have a bowl of ice cream for dessert?" And let ourselves have that dish of low fat ice cream with berries on top, or even a few bites of brownie if we don't go overboard with it. Allow some treats now and then, but it is absolutely essential that we stop giving in to our wants constantly. Instant gratification is nice, but it does not cultivate strength, patience, and perseverance. When I want a cookie, I tell myself that I have had more cookies in my lifetime than a whole class of fifth graders has. I look at my belly and thighs, and I think about it. I have 500 cookies stored ON my body. I do not need any more.

Be kind to yourself, yet firm. Recognise your desires, but choose carefully and sparingly which desires you will give in to. Remember your true goals, and fight for them. We can do this.


Bean said...

I am so that mom that always says no... now I just have to learn how to say no to me too....

Great post, it made more sense to me than I'd like to admit most days.

Twix said...

So true! Thanks for putting all of this in words!!! :D

I'm having my own battle today. I am not allowed to touch that candy bar on the table! A lesson in self control!

Karen (aka DeadBudgee) said... have nailed it!!! That is my exact problem...I WANT IT...and therefore think I should have it. Lyn, as usual you have cut to the chase and really explained what lead to our battle of the bulge...but for today, even if I WANT IT, I am telling my spoiled self "No, its not good for you! :)

Chubby Chick said...

I totally acted like a 3 year-old tonight. I wish I had read this post before hubby and I decided to venture out for supper. lol

Marshmallow said...

I think this is a great post :-) My brother used to scream 'BUT I WANT IT', and he used to get the greasy foods - meanwhile, I used to get belt or a shoe across the back of my hand or my face. No wonder we're both messed up in our own separate ways.

Fantastic post. :-)

stephseef said...

wow. This is brilliant. If you are as motivated at this journey as you are gifted at writing, you'll be there in NO time. And i know you are!! THANKS.