I don’t know about you, fellow dieters and healthy eaters, but this weather makes me hungry! I’m not talking about craving veggies with low-fat hummus dip; I’m talking about ice cream and pizza. Despite my better judgement a few nights ago, I made a bold purchase at the Sheetz near my house. I bought my first container of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in nearly a year. I bought the coffee ice cream with chunks of Heath bars in it, despite my search for their frozen yogurt version. Of course I couldn’t just get the ice cream, so naturally I grabbed a small bag of jalapeño flavored pretzel bits and trust me when I say this isn’t one of my weird cravings. I grabbed a copy of Us Weekly and headed home for a much anticipated pig-out session. However, I was pleasantly surprised by my control.
I got home and grabbed a spoon before even sitting down. I had originally planned to just eat the ice cream straight out of the container, but after examining the nutrition information, I reconsidered. Normally I would disregard this information when eating something as fantastic as Ben and Jerry’s, but this time I thought I’d see how much time I was going to have to put in at the gym to work this off. After thinking about the advice of my many fitness and health magazine websites, I decided to consider why I felt I needed to eat as much as I planned. I couldn’t really think of a reason why I shouldn’t just eat a little and save the rest for later and this was when the guilt started to set in. Now I’m sure many of you are thinking, “Why would you spend this much time agonizing over food?” and I too have struggled with this thought. Why would I buy something so bad if I was just going to wrestle with the idea of even actually consuming it? Well I decided that even though it was going to be a boat-load of empty calories, I should at least obey the recommended serving size and try to stay within the realm of diet reason. I grabbed a measuring cup, scooped out 1/2 a cup and placed it in a bowl. After doing this I examined how much ice cream was actually in the bowl. Surprisingly, it was a lot! I couldn’t believe how much 1/2 a cup was. Now maybe it’s because I’ve been used to counting out each almond and measuring out my soy milk before putting it on my cereal, but this made me feel a lot better. Even though I was still consuming nearly 300 calories of fattening goodness, I still felt like I was at least getting a decent deal. It made me realize that I don’t need to eat the entire carton of ice cream to get my sugar fix and it reaffirmed my belief that I do have some self-control when it comes to eating. After nearly two years of work I finally feel like I can control my cravings. Who knew ice cream could cause such an epiphany?
Still a lesson was learned and I now feel comfortable with my diet. I’ve finally reached a point of control that I’ve never felt before. *I don’t have to worry about resisting unhealthy foods anymore because I know that I really can. I think maybe that’s half the battle when trying to lose weight, shape up or just maintain a healthy diet. I think maybe the reason so many people fear dieting is the worry that they can’t stick to it. Maybe they feel they won’t be able to eat junk food occasionally, or that they won’t be allowed to eat at all and this isn’t something that can be corrected by word of mouth or by reading success stories. This is something we all have to come to terms with in our own time. We all have to overcome the fear that a slip up will cause all the work to come crashing down. Once we get past that, it seems like it all will be a little easier.
*The day after the ice cream epiphany, I sat through an entire movie at the theater without even touching my boyfriend’s popcorn and Sourpatch Kids!