Several years ago I read a book titled: The Fat is in Your Head. I didn't have any "aha" moments then, but it was an interesting read.
Fast forward 20 years. Twenty years filled with a glut of nutritional information from the media...T.V....radio...magazines...newspapers...primary care physicians. The result? A head full of "stuff" based on studies that "suggest" this and "suggest" that but offer nothing definitive.
All that "stuff" in my head was lurking in the recesses, waiting for me to apply it to my immediate eating scenario. There was little that I could eat that was not "bad" in some way. Even a simple piece of fruit tripped a slew of thought provoking warnings. "That is carbs...no different than sugar...your body can't tell the difference...it does have a few vitamins and fiber, but you should limit it...etcetera and etcetera, amen." Get the picture?
This past January one of my new year's resolutions was to banish the litany in my head. I was tired of feeling guilty over every food choice I made. I would have no peace, I realized, until I'd purged the demons.
Thee demons which were more guilt provoking than beneficial were making me fat. The fat, truly, was in my head. Why, say you. Well one's way of thinking leads to his way of acting i.e. his behaviour. Every time I ate believing the food to be "bad", I felt guilty. That guilt started a chain reaction. Guilt leads to feeling "bad", which leads to needing comfort, which leads to eating food for comfort, which leads to more guilt. Get the idea?
Marshaling all my personal discipline I could not withstand the guilt. When I caved and ate, not only did I feel the guilt and eat more, I beat myself up. Beat myself up for having no willpower....thinking myself to be a loser. ....or cursed with a bad metabolism. And knowing that others were judging me thus didn't help either. My food knowledge had become counter productive.
So I rejected all the food knowledge thereby kicking out all the demons and resumed eating in ignorance. And amazingly I found myself eating less and desiring the forbidden less. And I discovered the few "good" foods I'd allowed myself to routinely indulge in were leaving me "starved".
And that is when I finally understood..... I was not weak willed or undisciplined. I was just plain hungry.