• Always eating whatever we want

    This week, on Mother's Day, I got a much-hoped-for present: My kid graduated from college. No one was sure that it would actually happen; there were fits, false starts, and some abrupt reversals on that journey.

    In the end - and we were all a bit stunned to realize this, because we'd been telling ourselves a different story - that kid set a family record for fastest bachelor's earned. Another example of how the fastest route from A to B isn't necessarily the shortest.

    Anyway, that's what I've been busy with. Thus, today I offer you a piece I wrote a few years ago. Please enjoy, along with what I hope is a nice glow left from your own fabulous weekend.

    You know those annoying thin people who are forever saying "I eat whatever I want"?

    That's me. I eat whatever I want.

    That's also you. You eat whatever you want.

    It's true of just about everyone in the developed world. We are all eating whatever we want, all the time.

    If there's nothing but crap in the pantry, it's because we went shopping, and we bought crap, and put it in our pantry. Unless shackled to a dungeon wall - and maybe even then - the choice to put something in our mouth or not is all ours.

    And you know those other people (or maybe they're the same people) who are always saying I can't eat that! about some food or other? Very similar. I always wonder, oh, so if you were in the outback and that was the only available foodstuff and you ate it, you would go into shock and die? That's true of very few people-n-food combos. 

    Me, I can barely look at a grasshopper without going into shock, but if I were starving in the wilderness and they were the only nutrition available, I would eat those horrible, horrible creatures because I bet my brain would rearrange to allow that choice.

    Aside: When I was breastfeeding, I cannot even tell you the number of women who said to me, Oh I tried to breastfeed,but I couldn't. And I never said this, but I always thought Really? You couldn't? Because in our society, not being able to breastfeed just means formula. I get that breastfeeding might not be comfortable, to say the least. But if not being able to breastfeed meant DEAD KID instead of Nestle, very few people would find that they "couldn't do it."

    So, back to food for grownups. If we take a grownup approach, and acknowledge that we have the power of choice, we are free to choose something different. If we're always eating what we want anyway, we can take a moment and ask, What do I really want? 

    Try it. See how satisfying it is even just to ask the question. (It is kinda the million-dollar question.) Maybe you want a big piece of cake. Maybe you've noticed you want cake rather a lot, and it you'd really prefer to avoid diabetes.

    If restriction leads to bingeing for you (and this is common as mud), seeing that you are always eating what you want removes any need to build up to a big rebellion. There's no one to rebel against. You're in charge. 

Stop bingeing and overeating. Immediately.

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