Habits that we carry from childhood can definitely reappear from time to time and try to steer us back to how we USED to be, no matter where we are in our journey. – Alison Meacham, Admin, Bariatric Eating Support Groups on Facebook
Remember being part of the clean plate club? Being told not to waste food? A parent telling you “there are starving children in Africa ( or fill in the blank with a different country, depending on your age), so you had better eat everything as we don’t waste food”. I recall one moment, as a precocious 6 year old telling my mom ‘Let’s get their address and mail it to them!’. I spent that evening in my room – after finishing my plate of course.
Thirty six years later, that memory still makes me smile and I see how that kind of thinking can still follow all of us right into adulthood.
Scenes from an Italian Restaurant
Last night Mr. M and I visited a local Italian restaurant. We eat there from time to time and I always get the same thing: salad no croutons with Italian dressing, and the sausage appetizer: a house made Italian sausage sliced lengthwise and grilled, covered with tomato sauce and cheese and baked. No pasta, perfectly on point, perfectly satisfying.
We usually tell the waitress no bread, as they bring it hot and fresh from the brick oven. Mr M follows a relatively low carb lifestyle, so we don’t usually allow them to bring it to the table. This time,deep in conversation, we forgot. It arrived hot and fresh, steaming just a touch, with a big ole knife sticking out of the top, ala Sword in the Stone, just waiting to be cut. It was paired with a big vat of gleaming, softly whipped butter, made just for the bread.
As I enjoyed my salad, Fat Brain noticed the bread sitting there, and it’s first thought was “how wasteful”. It whispered to me, “cmon, Ali, just a bit, we wouldn’t want to waste a WHOLE loaf that they brought. They’ll throw it out untouched”. I looked at the shiny butter and thought “oh my, perhaps one taste wouldn’t be so bad, then it would not be wasted. You’re at goal weight, one bite wouldn’t cause you to regain ALL of your weight, you could probably sneak it in there”. As if!!!
I reeled in Fat Brain with a shake of my head and a chuckle. I then shared my thoughts with Roman, as he could tell I was having some sort of inner conflict/self discussion. He looked at me, looked at the bread, and then back at me. He said “you know, I’m so proud of you, you’ve come so far, and maintained what you set out to accomplish.” Not worth it, right? No, Sir!!!
Say CHEESE bread!
Dinner continued, the bread remained untouched, and I stayed on point. I DID snap a picture of the bread before we left, not because it had control over me, but simply because I retained control of the situation. It’s a beautiful, empowering thing!!!
Don’t be fooled-even at goal weight, even as an Admin for the most popular Support Group on Facebook, even in my skinny jeans and tiny skirts, I struggle. My choices in the past not only put me on the surgery table, but also put me back at 224 pounds AFTER surgery and regain. A double lesson learned on WHY NOT.
Truth: I DO think about foods I choose to no longer consume, I AM tempted, but have yet to go off of the rails. I KNOW in my heart of hearts that I can’t have just one bite, it won’t stop there. I will tumble headfirst over the hill, right back into bad habits. That’s why I choose not to go there, it’s safer to just steer clear, embrace the wonderful appropriate choices we do have, and remain at goal. This is it for me, the habits I’ve learned here and instilled for good, and for life.