From skwigg's journal:
These are a few of the things I consider to be cornerstones of my happy eating:
- No off-limits foods. None. (Discovered that labeling something "bad" or "dangerous" made me approximately eight gajillion times more likely to overeat it.)
- I usually eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Tried 6 meals a day, tried intermittent fasting, arrived at 3 squares as being best for me.)
- I'm physically hungry before most meals and very satisfied afterward. (Being hungry for a meal makes it so much more enjoyable! Eating enough to be satisfied is critical for me to make good food decisions and avoid chaos, obsession, and cravings.)
- Perfect is the enemy of everything. (Being messy and happy consistently works better than being perfect or not trying. All or nothing usually spells nothing.)
- I don't snack unless I do. (Generally, I feel better, enjoy my food more, and hunger signals are clearer if I don't snack. But if get hungry between meals or find something yummy and special, I will certainly eat.)
- I don't weigh myself or let weight determine my mood or actions. (I focus on the big picture of consistency over time and feeling my very best. That's the plan every day. )
- I love absolutely everything I eat. If I don't love it, I don't eat it again. If I do love it, I'll find a way to have it regularly. (Loving my food keeps me from losing my mind and overeating stupid stuff out of rebellion or frustration.)
- Vegetables are better with cheese, butter, or olive oil. OR smushed into a smoothie with berries and bananas. (I ate way too many plain, steamed, unsalted, yuckball veggies in my bodybuilding days. Zinging them up with cheese, oil, seasoning, or fruit is the way to go.)
- Fruit is awesome! (I feel best if I eat plenty of it every day.)
- I put peanut butter on everything. (I have no explanation for this. LOL)
- On a related note, I put sriracha sauce on everything. (I mean everything: burgers, pizza, spaghetti, sandwiches, crackers, veggies, eggs.)
- Sometimes I put peanut butter and sriracha sauce on the same thing. (Burgers, crackers, celery, carrots.)
- I love to eat in front of the television. (That "don't eat with distractions" thing makes me hate food and life. I love to eat with Netflix, the interwebz, HGTV, or a friend. I just don't eat while watching The Walking Dead because...zombie intestines.)
- Strength training is sort of magical. (I discovered that it sends my food to all the right places.)
- I sleep 7-9 hours every 24. (I may not get them all in a row, but I get them. Energy, mood, workout recovery, decision making, immune function, all of it is better with enough sleep.)
- All of my meals don't have to be the same size. (Lunch is usually my biggest meal of the day, often twice the size of the others. It's when I have the most time to enjoy cooking and take my time eating.)
- I like big meals and I cannot lie. (All of my meals aren't huge, but I love a huge meal. No shame.)
- Shame is fattening. So is guilt. (Somebody smart said, "It's not what you eat but how you FEEL about what you eat that is imortant." So true! My self-worth isn't tangled up with what or how much I eat. When it was, OMG, the food drama! The stories I tell myself are important, so I never choose painful horrible ones.)
Sunshine, that one, not eating less now so I am eat more later, was hard to come by at first but it’s been very self-rewarding! I find that eating what I want now, truly with no restriction, naturally makes what I want later more reasonable, and that’s so nice and neat I keep on doing it. The main example for me personally was I used to deliberately skimp on breakfast and lunch so that I could eat a big dinner. I just assumed that’s what I wanted because it’s what I always did, and I wanted to have that last meal of the day wide open with (caloric) room to spare so I could really indulge. But, in fact, when I eat heavier or later lunches now, I just end up eating smaller dinners, regardless of what the food is or if we’re eating at home or out, zero temptation to overeat. I always assumed I had to cut back somewhere or else I’d end up overeating overall. But I don’t actually need a huge dinner when I’m eating more during the rest of the day. It was a leap of faith at first, but it’s really cool seeing both my physical and mental appetite self-regulate.
"Perfect is the enemy of everything. (Being messy and happy consistently works better than being perfect or not trying)" Yes! this is so true!
" I eat what I want at the time, and not based on what I ate before or what I plan to eat later. "
This is what I'm striving for. I HATE that I still skip now so that I can eat more later. It's the direct intention of eating less now so I can eat more later that I'd like to stop.
I love your cornerstones, Mott! No conscious balancing is a good one. I'm also only vaguely aware of hunger and fullness. They're there, but honoring them is second nature. There was a whole lot more brain power involved when I was first learning to recognize hunger and fullness signals again after years of ignoring them.
All of mine still hold except for combining peanut butter and sriracha sauce. That doesn't appeal to me so much these days.
How do these match up with you now, Skwigg, compared to when you wrote this, if it was a while ago? A lot of my things are similar or the same as your list. And they’re all things I “do except when I don’t”. Nothing is a 100% invariable rule, and life happens. But usually... - I eat everything, except foods I don’t like or don’t sit well with me, which are few and far between. Even the foods I am somewhat allergic or intolerant to (fruits, dairy) were only real problems when I’d eat huge quantities of them. Nothing off-limits or bad. It took a while to get here, but I truly feel like all foods are equal candidates now. - I eat what I want at the time, and not based on what I ate before or what I plan to eat later. No conscious balancing out of calories or food groups, even though that seems to happen over the long-term anyway, in the way that food kicks happen and then I get interested in something else next. - I eat two or three meals a day. Morning coffee is a meal, then always lunch and dinner, and sometimes a separate breakfast if I’ve been awake too early or lunch is too late. Most often no snacks or desserts, “unless I do”. Timing doesn’t matter at all. In general a few hours between meals is enough time to get hungry again. - Most of my meals are home-cooked from scratch, because it’s fun and delicious and usually cheaper than eating or buying out (and way more enjoyable when small children are in attendance). I definitely don’t do it in order to skimp on oil or condiments or carbs when cooking anymore! Tastiness is just as much a goal as nutrition, and caloric content doesn’t factor in at all. And I do love and appreciate eating out or having someone else cook for me just as much, when it happens. - If it’s just me eating, I love eating while reading or on the computer for fun or work. If it’s a shared mealtime, I love eating while talking with other people. I also love eating while on the go or outside. I very rarely do none of those things and just sit down and concentrate solely on eating. I don’t love that. - I very loosely and vaguely eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full and satisfied. No real analyzing or thinking about it though, and convenience and habit factors in just as heavily. I don’t usually choose to not eat if it happens to be a food time (especially with other people involved) but I’m not that hungry, or stop eating when there’s still some bites left on my plate even if I could say I’m full. It works for me. I just don’t take it to any silly extremes, I guess - I won’t start eating if I’ve just had a big meal, and I won’t eat to the point I feel sick. - I don’t eat or not eat because of anything to do with my weight/size or how much physical activity. I can’t make myself make any connection there. - No labels. Nothing good or bad. Nothing is overeating, undereating, a binge versus not a binge. No rules. Nothing always or never. No part of my personal identity based on what I do or don’t eat. - I could say more about preferences, but overall I really do like most foods, if they’re cooked well. I love strong and unique flavors. I love spicy food, really insane spicy food. I love salads, and equal parts salad dressing. I love pasta, love pizza. Eggs, rice, vegetables, fish. I like thin sliced meat better than thick slices. I like most savory food more than sweet. But I like sugary sweet more than rich when it comes to desserts. My favorite cuisines are Italian, Japanese, and Indian. I am indifferent to peanut butter, any bread that’s not hot and fresh, tofu unless it’s fried, and fruit except on special occasions. I will try anything once, but I do not want to try organ meats or fish eggs a second time. I loathe avocados. These all may change!