How my brain works
I’ve been redeveloping my sweet tooth these past few months. Previously, I had been at a point where I was eating a ‘real’ dessert (like big gooey baked thing) once a week and otherwise sticking to small amounts of lightish sweets the rest of the time (think a few squares of dark chocolate each day.)
Then I started drinking diet soda at least once a day and adding a bit more candy. And hey, like I’ve said before, it’s one of the great things about having a better understanding of how this whole weight-loss thing works that my diet can fluctuate without completely stopping the progress I’ve made. But now I’m at a point where I’m craving (and eating) something sweet at the end of each meal. I’m drinking hot chocolate (peppermint hot chocolate tastes like christmas!) and my sugar consumption is pretty high and sugar substitute consumption is probably even higher.
So I’m wanting to get back to a more balanced diet. There’s pretty much no reason for me to worry about my waist circumference if I’m doing the same kind of damage with my diet.
Easy to say. Hard to do. I make a nice lunch. Sandwich on sprouted wheat bread. Peas with ‘butter’ and curry powder. And a nice ripe banana. No sooner is the last bite finished then I’m thinking of the cookies in my cabinet. So good. And I want one. I have one. I feel frustrated and wonder if I should go back to never having any kind of sweet in the house (no.) Repeat for about a week. Each time reinforces the belief that I’m going to go get that cookie every time. I feel a bit helpless.
Until it occurs to me yesterday that this belief (I cannot control my intake of sweets) exists solely as a thought inside my brain. It is only more powerful than the thought “I am totally capable of eating fewer sweets” because I keep favoring it over the latter. But all of this drama is just inside my brain and really, I do actually have the power to stop this pattern. And then, like that. It stops. I get green tea instead of hot chocolate while I’m studying for finals at the coffeeshop. I don’t eat a dessert after lunch. After dinner, I make a pot of fruity tea and eat one shortbread cookie while reading a book. I am satisfied. Gone is the struggle, the constant cycle of wanting-obsessing-indulging-recriminations.
The interesting part is that if you had taken me through the same idea last week, I would have agreed, but it wouldn’t have clicked. I have no clue what causes the final click, but it really does feel like a switch gets flipped. It’s that abrupt sometimes.