Last night, I went to my first ever grown-up dinner party with friends. Each person got to bring a dish, and I was the lucky one who got to make the dessert. I usually end up making desserts for gatherings, partly because Jonathan and I do not eat a lot of sugar, but mainly because everyone knows I am obsessed with dessert.
I am on The Dessert Diet after all (basically just eating a healthy dessert after every meal). Even though I am currently trying to lose weight, I did not set an unrealistic expectation for myself to count calories on this particular evening.
My intention when going into the dinner party was to allow myself to enjoy the food that was served and to not feel guilty about it. That, for me, would be an incredible victory.
While I am trying to lose weight, I also need to manage my eating disorder behaviour around food. I am a food addict and binge eater, and it is something I have been struggling with all my life.
When it comes to food, I can be impulsive and obsessive. Recently, I really started focusing on working with my binge eating instead of against it. While I do not know how to stop doing it completely yet, I can still figure out ways of still losing fat while I am still learning and trying my best.
I thought of this when listening to Rachel Hollis and Vishen Lakhiani.
Vishen Lakhiani speaks about the difference between a means goal and an end goal. He says that a lot of us pick goals to focus on that are actually just ways of getting to what we really want, which are our end goals.
Rachel Hollis spoke about writing down your goal, and then figuring out what you can do to get there.
While writing down my list of health goals, I realized that they were all means goals that were all meant to help me lose fat. The end goal is to lose fat, and there are many ways to do so, so to make a long story short, this helped me by making me realize that I do not have to feel guilty about eating a lot of calories in one day.
There is not only one path to weight loss. It is not necessary to have a calorie deficit every day for weight loss. If you burn more than you consume most days of the week, and only overeat once or twice, you do not have to feel bad, especially if you are active and you are also doing other things that promote weight loss like making time to relax, getting enough sleep, following a low-carb diet, and cutting out processed foods most of the time.
And so, I gave myself permission to enjoy the food.
Okay, I enjoyed a little bit more than I expected to, but some of my greatest weaknesses were put in front of me last night, and I was happy about it.
When we arrived, I was greeted with a beautiful display of various gluten-free crackers and different types of cheese. Normally, I skip the dairy, but I do not know if I can say no to brie or camembert.
We feasted on that while our lovely host prepared a gorgeous pork belly with roast potatoes, a salad, and an incredible sauce. Not to brag, but dessert was delicious too. I made a coconut mocha cake with vanilla coconut ice cream. All sugar-free of course, but you cannot really tell.
I had seconds…
The thing is that all through the evening, I really did not care about how much I ate. I was just having fun and was excited to be there.
Food is exciting, and I have come to accept that the urge to overeat might be part of my life forever. But that only means that I will have to do my best to remain healthy and lose the last bit of fat, despite the fact that I often have no self control when it comes to the amount of food I am eating.
I can at least practice self control at least four days a week. The whole “trying to eat perfectly every day” strategy has not really been working well for me over the past sixteen years, so I am trying to reduce the urge to do so.
Most days, I wake up giving myself a set of rules to follow for the day, and I usually only follow about half of them and end up going to bed feeling like a failure.
For me, saying screw it and allowing myself to eat without trying to restrict myself or feeling guilty about it is something worth feeling proud of. It is much more fun to be at a social gathering when you do not sit there obsessing and stressing over how many calories you have already eaten.
I have taken a doggy bag full of self-loathing home with me countless times in my life after social events.
That is something I am working on. The thing with being someone who has a history with disordered behaviour around food is that it takes time to stop caring about certain things completely.
But, food freedom is one of my biggest goals, and I am determined to rewire my brain, so that I can be more relaxed around food, enjoy it fully, and be as healthy as I can possibly be.