Wednesday, March 6, 2013

JUNK FOOD (the chip clip people)

I will start this post by admitting (once again) that I am eating junk food every day. 

But for me, this is actually a victory.

Let me explain.

For years, ever since age 11 or so, I have had an unhealthy relationship with food.  I've considered myself addicted to some foods, and to be an emotional eater, a closet eater, an anorexic, a binge-eater, and a chronic dieter, to name a few...

I would always be amazed when I went into someone's house and saw a bag of chips with a CHIP CLIP on it, as if the idea of not eating the entire bag in one sitting was impossible for me.  I didn't know what these people who could keep junk food in the house without obsessing about it.

Some examples of my obsessive thoughts about junk food in my house:

"When will I be alone so that I can eat it?" 
"Why was I so stupid to buy this junk food?"
"WTF is wrong with me?"
"It's okay, I can eat them later..." 
"When can I eat the whole thing???" 
"Why did I eat the whole thing???"
"DON'T eat it.  Just keep it as a reminder of the fat pig that you used to be."
"Why am I torturing myself?"
"Just eat it, then start over tomorrow!"
"And never buy these again." 
"Bad girl for buying these!"
"Good girl for not eating these yet!"
"Bad girl for eating all of these!"
"Good girl for only eating a couple!"
"Bad girl for buying them in the first place.  Seriously, NEVER AGAIN."
"If they weren't here, I wouldn't have eaten them.  STUPID."

And on and on and on.

Whenever I tried Intuitive Eating, I would end up eating mostly junk food.  This was probably because I was still looking at IE as a diet, and I knew that some day it would be over, and that I wouldn't be allowed to eat chips and cookies every day anymore.  Because no one can eat those daily and  be healthy, right?!

Now that I have truly let go of emotional eating, and am allowing myself to truly eat whatever I want without restriction (besides staying within a very generous calorie range and trying to listen to my hunger signals), I am able to enjoy a moderate amount of junk food every day.

I'm finally one of the chip clip people.  I have a box of cookies in the pantry, and a couple of bags of chips.  I enjoy some every evening that I want to, and that has been most evenings these days.  They fit effortlessly into my daily calories, and I am able to stop after a serving or two EVERY TIME.

No longer do I experience true cravings for junk food.  There is no need to crave it, because I can have it today, and again tomorrow, and again the day after that, indefintely. 

That part of Intuitive Eating that I was missing, the part about unconditional permission to eat...  I'm finally there.  And I'm enjoying copious amounts of healthy meals, alongside some junk food every day (see yesterday's Tasty Tuesday).  And I'm 100% okay with this.

Forbidden fruit?  Not any more!  Goodbye, chip fantasies.

One side effect of this is that it's no longer exciting to go down the chips aisle at the grocery store, because I'm no longer thinking "this may be the last time that I will buy this, because I may decide to do a no-junk-food-challenge again soon".  Having chips always available to me has really taken away some of their allure.  Which is  HUGE victory for me.

I think that eventually, if I continue along this path, I will no longer want junk food every day.  But for now, I do.  And that's okay.  My food diary is a judgement-free zone.


Katrin said...

I hope to one day be a chip clip person. Right now, I really can't have just a little taste. Having junk in the house and being at home alone is just too dangerous for me at this point. Hopefully I will get to the stage of not being too tempted one day.

Mariebop said...

I honestly don't crave it unless it's in the pantry staring at me. I swear food really does talk. :P Except chocolate. I always crave chocolate.

Great frame of mind reminding yourself that'll still be there tomorrow and that you don't have to eat it all right now.

I have two things working for me... One, I only take a handful of chips out of the bag and they go right back in the pantry. Two, I'm too lazy to get up a get more when I'm finished eating what I have. By the time I go into the kitchen again that urge to eat more is gone.

cyn knight said...

you and i always seem to be parallel in our frames of mind where *dieting* and eating is concerned. i am battling the same demons and have vowed not to step on the scale for a month and just track on MFP and stay within my calories -- all while eating whatever floats my boat. sometimes i make what i think are *good* choices and sometimes *bad*... but as a chronic dieter i am SO over it all and just want to live, be happy, and concentrate on my fitness level and health!
here's hoping we both have found the key to that!

Brandy said...

That's so awesome, I was so happy to read this! I completely believe that now that it's all okay, you don't have to binge on it because you can have it.

Definitely something that I will be thinking about how I can implement this into my life.

Miss Elizabeth AKA Librarian Lizziefresh said...

Love this post! I've lost 40 lbs by not dieting or consciously restricting my intake. People look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them I need to keep certain foods around in order to not go overboard.

If I always have ice cream, cookies, wine, beer, chips and crackers in the house I'm not as tempted because I know they will always be there if, and when, I want them and I can always stop at a serving or two (I never really measure.)The second I start restricting myself or beating myself up, is when I end up ignoring my body's cues and eat too much (I always seem to gain weight when I'm dieting.)

I also refuse to look at food as "good" or "bad" - obviously some foods are healthier than others, but at the end of the day, a serving of chips is not going to derail me and there's no reason for me to be ashamed of eating them.

I know this strategy doesn't work for everyone, but it's what works for me. For the first time in my life, I feel free (and pretty darn healthy.)