Have you been in this situation? :
You are hungry and want something to eat, say, a muffin. But you decide against it because you plan to lose weight and your brain quickly reminds you; muffin in the mouth = muffin over the jeans.
But you really want a muffin! So instead you have a banana. But that didn’t quite hit the spot. So you have some almond butter with rice crackers. That didn’t do it either. Next is a few squares of dark chocolate. And now you have a full tummy but also an unsatisfied, gnawing feeling. You eat a bowl of left-overs to try tame it.
Before you know it you have eaten the equivalent of 6 muffins…and you still want a muffin!
So you eat a muffin. Arggghhhhhh!
It seems like such a ridiculous scenario when I re-read it. And yet I would do versions of this very thing time and time again.
Now ponder this: What could have happened if you had just eaten the muffin in the first place?
You could have enjoyed picking a muffin you really wanted. Sat down to revel in that collection of fresh baked crumbs and ended up feeling so very satisfied and delighted after eating it. Maybe, because the muffin was just exactly what you wanted, that you only needed half to feel fabulous, so that’s all you eat.
The first scenario is focused on restriction, rule following and trying to do the right thing according to the weight loss Gods. And the result was eating more food than you needed or even wanted.
The second scenario focused on pleasure. Listening to your body’s signals. Responding to your desires. Tuning into what makes you feel good. And that lead to some extremely glorious muffin eating and a whole lot less stuffing yourself with mediocre alternatives.
By focusing on pleasure, we often end up needing to eat a lot less food. Firstly, because you are not trying to substitute what you want with a whole lot of food you don’t. And secondly, because what you are eating is satisfying. Satisfying to your hunger, your senses and your craving to enjoy your life.
Next time you find your brain telling you to swap your first choice for a second rate muffin understudy all in the name of “being good”; ask yourself a two rapid fire questions:
Is the food that I want going to feel good in my body?
Is the food that I want going to bring me pleasure while I eat it?
If you answered yes to both these questions; it’s pretty likely that what you want is a fantastic choice. And your choice will be tasty, fun and nourishing. Triple deliciousness!
Focusing on pleasure can help you to eat less and feel more satisfied and fabulous while doing so. And sometimes eating the warm, fluffy, chocolate chipped muffin you’re hungry for is just about as pleasurable as it gets.
p.s. I really like muffins. Can you tell?
Photo credit: Matt Hampel. Source.