Little Mama On The Prairie

A life and weight-loss journey.

On deprivation…

on February 27, 2013

You’ve just made a decision. No more french fries, or no more Pepsi, or no more carbs… what’s probably the first thing you crave and can’t get out of your mind because you want it so bad? Probably french fries. Or Pepsi. Or carbs. Or am I the only one with this problem? And then you eat everything in your house except the french fries, pepsi or carbs trying to avoid eating the french fries, pepsi or carbs and in the end, you eat the french fries, pepsi AND carbs all in one sitting. Again, maybe its just me…but I’m betting its not.

The problem with extreme dieting and depriving yourself of foods (and drinks) you actually eat for enjoyment is that it can make life miserable and you set yourself up for failure. I completely, honestly, truly believe that God created us to enjoy food. If eating was meant to be nothing but for the nourishment and survival of our bodies, why would He have placed taste buds on our tongues? Why would He have allowed us to differentiate flavours through our sense of smell? Ever noticed how boring and pointless eating seems when you’ve had a bad cold and can’t taste or smell a thing?

Then there is the documented fact that when you try to avoid something, it will be on your mind that much more. I’ve never been a huge bread eater. If there were dinner rolls served at a meal, I could take or leave them, no big deal. BUT, when I started Atkins (low/no carb, high protein) years and years ago, the only thing I wanted in my mouth was bread and butter. I could have given up every slice of bacon, every perfectly grilled steak for one stale bun with a slab of butter on it. What gives?

I know for myself, to be successful on this long journey to lose 100lbs, there HAS to be moderation. I have to be able to have a bit of chocolate now and then. I have to be able to eat a french fry every once in a while. I have to be allowed to drink a regular, full of sugar, ice cold Coca-Cola Classic or Pepsi with a slice of pepperoni pizza here and there. If I tell myself I can’t have these for a year, chances are I’ll have failed by the end of the week. And I have to be able to have at least one coffee a day, prepared just the way I like it, which includes sugar.

On the other side, when making healthier choices day to day, if I simply ask myself, “can I avoid the french fries today? Just today?” I usually can, knowing that maybe next week, I’ll have the opportunity again and if I really want them, I can have them. Or, maybe if I’m having a day where I really can’t see living without a single french fry, I order a small. And you know what? It’s enough, sometimes just having a few of my hubby’s fries is enough. Sometimes, I just need the taste and I’m satisfied. But every once in a while, I need the fries to myself. With the cheeseburger. And the coke. And if its really just “every once in a while”, that’s ok.



Approach treats and indulgences with maturity, not excuses. If you find yourself saying “It’s just [insert excuse].” to justify what you’re about to put in your mouth – you probably should toss it in the garbage can instead. Or work your butt off for an extra hour. On the other hand, if you’ve just had an awesome week, you’re on track for the day and you see some wiggle room available, go ahead, you deserve a treat. Just don’t over-do it to the point of ruining all the hard work you just accomplished.

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