You know, I had an inkling when I started my diet back in 2008 that I needed to make permanent changes, and commit to eating differently, forever. But forever is a long time. Let's face it, it's easy to proclaim that after losing weight, you feel so fantastic that you'll never eat another French fry in your life. You don't need them. Nope. French fries are out of your life for good. But guess what? French fries are pretty damn tasty. And so, eventually, they creep back into your way of eating. And that's OK, provided they aren't consumed on a daily basis. There's room for practically everything, in moderation.
Moderation. Sounds reasonable, except that if you are or have been overweight, you well know how challenging moderation can be. So it becomes tricky, this practicing of moderation, especially with foods that you previously didn't have the best track record with. Honestly, sometimes it's easier to just not eat some foods, rather than try to moderate them, because how much is too much? I mean, I know I can count calories, but once a basket of French fries is placed in front of me and I take a single fry, moderation takes a back seat to the salty deliciousness that is on my plate. So in lieu of attempting to limit the amount of fries I eat, instead I limit the amount of times I can order fries. Currently I'm at once a week, which is working well for me. And, believe it or not, often I'll leave some fries on my plate when I'm done eating. I know, it shocks me, too, because when I first see those fries, I'm convinced that I'm going to EAT ALL THE FRIES. But somewhere between satiety and satisfaction, I can actually managed to empower the moderation part of my brain, and that's no small miracle, considering where I've come from.
French fries are just an example of a food challenge to me. Dieting and/or maintaining your weight is hard. I still believe it's got to be a lifestyle change, and not just a temporary way of eating to lose weight, in order to make this stick for the rest of my life. I have some basic personal rules that I go by all the time, like no alcohol, and nothing breaded and deep-fried (my lack of gallbladder makes sure I stick to that one), and then I periodically set some other rules, depending on my current goals, or if something is becoming too easy to eat too much of. I can eat French fries once a week right now. But I'm in this for the long haul, and if they start appearing on my plate more often, well then, they will be put in time-out until I can regain control.
What about you? If you are currently dieting, do you look at it as a temporary situation? Have you thought beyond the day when you reach your goal weight? And if you are maintaining a weight loss, do you have some personal rules and boundaries set to help you stay the course? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!