Lying to ourselves
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I saw this article on Ivillage and it really hit home. How many times do we "fib" or lie to ourselves about what we eat? Everday,if you are me! The following is a list of the 10 fibs we tell ourselves that sabotage our diet and weight loss plan.
When Pinocchio lied, his nose grew. When you lie to yourself about your diet, it won't be your nose growing.
1) I deserve it This is a classic example of self-sabotage. Exactly what do you deserve? Blown progress? Thicker thighs? Self-medicating with food is a learned behavior, which invariably leaves us feeling miserable. Instead, establish a food-free reward system such as indulging in a good workout, or new pair of running socks. Work on progressively altering the feeling that food soothes. The numbing effect is fleeting at best but the consequences sadly linger.
2) I've saved calories from skipping breakfast. Not so. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Skipping breakfast lowers your metabolism meaning that the next meal you eat (famished) is far more likely to be stored as saddle bags. Skipping a healthy breakfast doesn't give you free license to gorge on chips and dip before lunch. Some appetizers run 1500+ calories. Eat regularly and consistently to keep your blood sugar level and temper temptation.
3) It's free! Hardly. The 500+ calorie free bagel at the office costs you $80 with your trainer just to get back to square one. Furthermore when food is free we settle for sub-par standards. Stale? Picked over? Bring it on! Ask yourself if you'd shell out the money to eat the item. While you're at it - pop $1 in a jar each time you skip free food. At the end of the month treat yourself to a healthy reward.
4) It would be rude to refuse Never have two issues been as frequently confused as food and love. When a co-worker, mother or friend offers us food, we feel compelled to accept even when we're not hungry. If this situation occurs frequently make your case clear: rather than repeatedly turning down food state your intention once, firmly and politely and ask for your efforts to be supported. In circumstances which require a little more finesse, graciously accept while insisting you're already full and are only having a bite because "it looks divine". If you announce your intention, you're less likely to then polish off of the entire slice of pie.
5) It's not the same without [popcorn, hotdog..] If an event requires food to distract you, go home. It can't be that entertaining. Our behavior at the movies is quasi-Pavlovian. So use this to your advantage: create a new habit, and work on making it stick. Bring your own air popped popcorn to the movies or better yet, take pride in proving yourself you can survive two hours (gasp!) without food. Once you've established a new habit, you can draw upon that behavior the next time and repeat it until it becomes the new you.
6) Supersize and save! $1 extra for a vat of coke and side of chips... why not? Because your goal isn't to load up on as much food as possible, that's why. Food isn't scarce. If you pay full price for half the portion, enjoy the fact that you're treating yourself right. Pay more for less you. Now that's a bargain.
7) It would be wasteful not to. Call me cheap, but this is my downfall. Throwing food away doesn't come easily; apparently I'd rather use my tummy as a trash can. How many times have you finished what's on your plate in a restaurant because you paid for it, even though it didn't taste particularly good or ate a tasteless protein bar because it cost $3.50? The "children are starving" mantra haunts us, but we fail to recognize that shoveling in the last few bites won't help anyone. Note to moms: stop this manipulative tactic immediately. It's a terrible precedent to set. Overeating is just as wasteful (in a far more damaging manner) than throwing leftover food.
8) But it's a party, we've got to celebrate. Is every get -together an excuse to eat? Food is fuel, not a party trick. Focus on the conversation and company, rather than the caterer. You might meet someone nice, which beats a pig in a blanket.
9) Just this once won't hurt... Actually, yes it will. The devil is in the details. 100 calories a day translates into an additional 10.2lbs a year. Your body is the most accurate computer ever made: while you might choose to pretend the sneaked bite never occurred, your metabolism won't let a single calorie slip by. Rather than working on excuses, channel your energy into testing whether "just this once" you can pass the temptation by. The pride you gain is immeasurable.
10) It's too complicated/expensive to eat right When we're feeling particularly lazy, this little fib sounds plausible until we weigh the cost of an apple and yogurt ($1.50) against a bag of chips ($1.50). Echoing Fib #3, think how much you'll save by eliminating the need for another training session to melt away a pound of fat grown as a result of "cheap decisions". Inexpensive healthy snacks are abundant. Make a list of your 20 favorites, and refer to it when feeling thrifty