We rarely reflect on eating “success.” Too often, we look at our “failures,” admonishing ourselves for making poor choices.
Sometimes we need to highlight the “right.” It is easier to keep doing what already works than to list everything we must change.
Look at your Food Journal from the past week and find a meal or snack that was fine, normal, or even wonderful. You felt satisfied, enjoyed your food, and were able to stop before emotional eating took over. Think about “what made it good.”
For example, on Day 2, I ate a large slice of vegetable lasagna and some baby carrots for lunch. I had one chocolate square for dessert. Putting my infant down for a nap had been a struggle, and I was tired. Exhaustion can lead to food showdowns, but this lunch was actually pleasant.
I answered “What made it good?” with…
I enjoyed the large piece of lasagna and the carrots. I finished lunch without eating a crazy amount of chocolate. I got to sit in a quiet house for 10 minutes as I slowly ate and read a book. I didn’t have any urge to over-eat or to binge on sugar.
I read over my answer and asked myself, “Why was this good?”
I realized, for me, an ideal mid-day meal is quiet, leisurely, and satisfying. Family meals are important to me, but I had to admit I actually enjoy some time alone. Even when tired, I don’t eat emotionally if I have space to myself, eat what I actually like, and slow down.
In all honesty, I don’t usually get all those things, but at least I know what makes “it good” for me. Knowing this helps me keep doing what works.
Maybe I can’t always read a book, but I can tell myself to slow down when I’m eating.
Maybe I can stop thinking about if a meal is “unhealthy,” and instead enjoy eating hearty foods.
Maybe I can wait to eat my meals during a kid’s nap time, or I can ask my husband to let me enjoy a meal while he takes the kids for a walk. Or, even better, maybe I can get a babysitter so my husband and I can go out to dinner.
Life can get chaotic, and we can’t always construct perfect meal opportunities, but we can pay attention to the moments when our eating is pleasant, moderate, and guilt-free. These clues will help us construct days that provide more opportunities to continue our successes.
No answer is right or wrong. What works for you is all that matters.
Answer These Questions About Your Meal:
What time of day was it?
What did you eat?
Did you stop yourself from overeating?
What else were you doing, if anything?
Who were you with?
What made it good?
Why was this good?
How will you foster continued positive eating experiences?
Return to Week 8