I came so close to telling my husband that I wanted to go back on Optifast this week. I want to do something about my weight and I want the instant gratification of weighing 30 lbs less NOW.
Then my brain re-engaged and I realized the impermanence of that solution. The permanent solution is for me to learn to love my body and really believe I can eat for pleasure with some guidelines. My guidelines, no on else’s.
What are my guidelines?
1. Enjoy food based on the pleasure scale
2. Respect the pleasure scale and choose to not eat beyond it
That’s it. 2 simple guidelines.
I know there are lots of other things I can do: keep a food diary, keep a mood diary, work out all the time, etc. And maybe overt time, I’ll add to my base guidelines.
For now, I’m challenging myself to respect the pleasure scale when it comes to food. For the next 30 days, I’m committing to enjoying my food until I feel the pleasure scale slipping below a 7. Then I must stop, breathe and assess and if continued eating will not produce pleasure, then I must choose to stop eating it. Leaving food on the plate is desired.
This supports all three of my core desired feelings:
LIGHT: eating less will naturally help me feel light and by avoiding over eating, I’ll avoid the heaviness of guilt and angst about food and my self worth.
CONTENT: Eating to the pleasure scale will naturally help me feel content with food choices without feeling deprived.
CONNECTION: Really homing in on what gives me pleasure will help me become more connected with myself.
So, that’s it. I started my challenge yesterday. I did not enjoy my lunch and left some behind, though my natural inclination is to clean the plate unless what is on it is inedible. Last night we had fried chicken. I realized I like 2 things about fried chicken: the decadent breaded skin and the meat closest to the bone. I pulled the meat away from the bone and ate that closest to the bone first. I left several bites that would not have been as pleasurable.
Today is Day 2. I’m feeling strong and confident that I’ll be able to choose foods I love and enjoy them until the pleasure scale slips.
More on the pleasure scale later.