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Old Eating Habits - A Treat for Every Meal

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

I felt the urge to write, but the topic was evading me - until I realized, you know what I haven't done since last year? Old Eating Habits! What a better topic to discuss in January, the time where you've made New Year's Resolutions and are resetting your health goals?!

To Review:

In "Cake and Carrots", I talked about how I thought eating heaps of carrots would somehow offset the massive slices of carrot cake (or whatever "treat" I chose) I would eat.

In "That's Not a Serving Size", I talked about how my young mind would be stunned at how little a serving size of junk food would fill me - and how many serving sizes it took to fill me up.

In "Cream of Mushroom Soup Casserole", I talked about the quick, cheap and not-so-healthy ways that I was raised to make food.

And finally in "Let's Have an Ice Cream", I talked about emotional eating.

What else is there? Oh, plenty! Today, let's talk about my horrible habit of having a treat with every meal.

I don't know where I got this mentality from. I remember being young, and my mom would let us get one "treat" food a week while shopping. But my habit of "a treat with every meal" didn't come into being until I was working.

Back in the day (prior to my first Health Reboot of November 2012), I would have to skip breakfast, as my stomach ached so bad. For lunch, I would go out to eat; every time I made a decision where to go, I ALWAYS was thinking, "What about a treat afterwards?" Did the sandwich shop have an option for a cookie? Could I swing by the coffee shop and pick up a muffin? Or what about a slice of cake with my salad at the grocery store?

Mentally, I told myself I would be eating this "treat" around 2pm, to combat the mid-afternoon nibble, but actually, as soon as I got back to the office, I'd scarf down whatever sweet treat I had found.

Then, as if the sweet treat during lunch wasn't enough, I HAD to have a sweet treat for dinner. Was it cookie dough from Papa Murphy's to go with the pizza? A blizzard from DQ to go with the dinner sized burger option? Or perhaps some leftovers or other packaged foods I had bought previously?

If it's not obvious, I was having sweet treats with my meals EVERY DAY for TWICE A DAY. No WONDER I got to nearly 270 pounds (if not higher, since my scale back then was analog). I was probably easily doubling what my caloric intake should have been - and NOT exercising at all.

There is nothing wrong with a sweet treat - once in awhile. Cake for your birthday, ice cream for a party, or perhaps a cookie over the holidays. The problem is the mentality of needing a treat 1) every day and 2) for every meal.

From the Oxford dictionary, "treat" means "an event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure". If you are having a cookie every day, how is that "out of the ordinary"? It isn't! That cookie, the cake, the cupcakes, the ice cream, the donuts, the candy bars stop being special when you constantly get them. Then suddenly you need more to make it special - more of them or more frequently or both.

These days, I try to make low sugar versions of my treats - but I still try to keep the treats a treat, not a daily or weekly occurence. Getting to this point was TOUGH - those first couple of weeks of telling my body no was brutal. However, at this point, I generally don't crave it like I used to. I can find satisfaction in things like mandarin oranges, dates, cashews or many other items that previously would have been the furthest from my mind when I thought of having a treat.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • OOLALA53
    I came across your username on the Singles team. (It looks like that team is resting in 2020.) Too bad. I can kind of get triggered on my other teams by all the talk of husbands, children, grandchildren...

    Boy, oh, boy, when I think of how much over the years I have clung to the idea that I need "treats." I see it so much now in other members. They keep defending them. I used to, too! Some things that finally helped me are knowing that people on average now eat the same amount of sugar in seven hours as it took people in the 1800's FIVE DAYS to ingest. And that was still a lot compared to just a hundred or so years before. It's almost horrifying how high the baseline is considered to be now- every generation takes more and more intake as a necessary given-, and how much people seem to think a person would be deprived to go "back" to levels that actually used to be many times what they had been just one generation earlier. When I think of how much people fear NOT giving their kids sweets ON NEARLY ANY DAY AT NEARLY ANY TIME OF DAY!

    Another thing that motv

    After 10 years on my plan- coming up on 8 years of maintenance, I finally decided that it would actually be okay to try a year of no sweets in 2020. Not to lose any more, but just because I'm older, I abused sweets for decades, and I am ready enough that I don't think it will hurt me to abstain. (There was a time early on when I think it might have jeopardized my resolve, especially because willpower researcher Roy Baumeister had said it was usually a mistake to swear off any food. But I think if the only reason you say no is for weight loss, that is not enough for most people. If you are really facing a health condition or become convinced deeply of the peril, it becomes easier. Being a senior citizen makes me a LOT more sensitive to aging triggers. My favorite source says sugar definitely accelerates internal aging processes, including mental ones. THAT one rattles my cage! So that's the second thing that really helped me.

    And I kept reading that people who gave up sugar ( and often flour items) stopped craving sweets. I wouldn't say I crave it, but a part of me still wishes I could just binge away. Maybe it's the stevia. Maybe 2021 will be a stevia-free year...

    But it's probably true that if we had sweets only a few times a year, we'd probably be okay. At this point, I'm willing to think I had enough for a few times a year for a few lifetimes, so a year without is in order.

    Still use stevia and occasionally erythritol.

    But I try not to recommend it. It's not lightly done!

    Sorry to blabber on. Keep up the good work!
    79 days ago
    I was raised where it was normal to have dessert every day at lunch and dinnertime. Saturday's were my Mom's baking day and she would bake for the following week: pies, cookies, etc. I definitely got my sweet tooth from my Mom.

    I still think of dessert, but now I look for fat-free yogurt or a fruit and it generally satisfies me. Sugary treats for special occasions. My husband is not a sweet eater, so we generally don't have any in the house and I don't do much baking. I'd have to say that ice cream is probably my downfall. Luckily I'm don't particularly like the ice cream that my husband likes, so it's not a problem.

    Congratulations on 39 weeks of maintenance. That's HUGE!
    139 days ago
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