I'm sort of living the dream with the muscles, the baking, the food peace, the lack of a gym membership. I don't know if obsessive dieter overexerciser me could have imagined it. This afternoon I listened to Georgie's interview on the On Air with Ella podcast. It was really good. One of the things Georgie said that stuck with me is that for something to be sustainable it has to work on a bad day. If your approach requires major thought and effort, specific foods, long workouts, and no room for error, it's going to implode the moment things get rough.
I also saw a discussion in the Lean Habits Facebook group about if it's necessary to do something different or more extreme to lose the last 5 pounds or to maintain a very lean body. Georgie and Roland said the difference is practicing the habits with a high rate of consistency like (95%) and keeping treat numbers low. Ok, I did LOL just a little bit at the last part because I melt chocolate on everything, but I understand the point. Relatively low. Low compared to what it would take to maintain an overweight me. Looking at it that way, I definitely eat "low" treat numbers compared to when I was 20 pounds heavier and binge eating. I enjoy my treats more though, so it doesn't feel like a sacrifice. It feels pretty abundant, which is maybe why I don't experience that restriction-driven need to overeat sweets.
Let's talk about the giant Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies I made this afternoon (pics on Instagram and in the baking thread). It's interesting how my brain works now. I had these big amazing cookies hot from the oven lined up on cooling racks all over the kitchen. I didn't eat any when they were warm because I wanted to be hungry for my dinner. My plan was to have one after I ate. I went a little light on dinner (taco night!) making sure not to get carried away with the grated cheese or chips & salsa. After eating and cleaning up the dishes, my husband and I split one cookie. The thought was to see if that was enough. Maybe we'd be too full and wouldn't want more. We both ate kind of slowly, breaking them into pieces and really savoring. Then we locked eyes, jumped from the couch, and ran to the kitchen for another one, which we also split. I'd now consumed one big cookie after dinner like a reasonable person. I wasn't hungry anymore and wasn't too full. I was just right, but I still had to put the cookies away and pack up some to go to work with him tomorrow.
Now, at this point my brain fireworks were going off in a big way. These cookies were really, really good! I wanted MORE!! RIGHT NOW!! I decided to set one aside for myself while I found the plastic wrap and washed the cooling racks and whatnot. It took a few minutes. Then I thought to myself, self, will I feel better if I eat this or better if I don't? That was easy. I would definitely feel better if I did not eat a second big cookie when I'd already had plenty of food. I started to put it back in the container when I was hit with a wave of, "Oh, no! Sad!!" So I did more talking to myself. Self, you can eat this cookie and all the cookies right now if that's what you really want. Is that what you want? No. (Self is pouting and looking at the floor now.) Self, you can have these cookies again anytime, every day, at every meal. You can even have a cookie for breakfast in the morning. Would you like that? (Self is grinning and really perking up now.) You could have it with your chocolate peanut butter banana protein shake. YES! YES! That's exactly what I want! A cookie for breakfast as part of a meal when I'm hungry. WINNING! Then I turned off the light and left the kitchen.
I never tell myself no, or that I can't or shouldn't. Instead, I think about what I really want, especially how I want to feel, not just right this second, but how I'll feel the moment I stop eating, in an hour, before bed, the next morning. I walk it all the way through and time travel to those future moments. How will I feel if I overeat all this stuff right now? How will I feel if I don't? How can I still eat exactly what I want in a more enjoyable way?
Eating to feel good works. Willpower and motivation are too fickle to be reliable and cause too much fallout when they fail.