I’m a big believer in the whole #wycwyc movement: “what you can, when you can.” It beautifully applies to anything in life — the notion that little bits DO add up to big things. And now, it’s being turned into a book!!! (Way to go, Carla and Roni!).
But it hit me last night that lately I’ve been royally sucking at #wycwyc … and, when it comes to food … I’ve been acting like an impulsive toddler. I’ve been doing a lot of “what I want, when I want it.” (which I’ll be dubbing #wiwwiwi).
The truth is, I’ve had zero self-control since we got back from California which, clear-as-day, explains why I can’t ditch the vacation weight from a couple weeks ago. I’ve been doing a lot more of #wiwwiwi than #wycwyc.
The cycle needs to end.
Not because the couple pounds really matter — my clothes fit fine; I don’t look at myself and loathe what I see … No, that’s not in. It’s more because I’m a 34-year-old woman, not a 3-year-old preschooler … and I’m acting like someone who can’t tie her own shoes; having thoughts like someone who doesn’t yet know how to read. And, as one of my fave English teachers from high school would have said, “There’s the rub.”
I have a brain that doesn’t operate solely on impulse … yet that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.
And it doesn’t work.
I watch my daughter and observe her relationship with food. Sunday we had a BBQ and, when it was dinner time, she said, “I’m really not hungry just yet, Mommy,” in her little singsong voice. In her mind, just because food was on the table, didn’t mean she needed to eat if she wasn’t hungry.
On the one hand I was annoyed — my husband had grilled a beautiful dinner of chicken and steak kebobs and BBQ chicken and we had a guest (one of our besties and her “aunt” but still) …. but on the flip-side, she is very in-tune with her body (and always has been) and if girlfriend wasn’t hungry, she wasn’t hungry.
(Side note: I addressed how toddlers are the best teachers of intuitive eating in a Babble.com post, which seems to be gone now, WTH?! Good thing I’d also shared it here).
She did sit down with us and did eventually eat (maybe 20 minutes later than we had started) but the point is — she knew her hunger cues.
And I never have.
I eat because food is there. I eat because food looks good. I eat because I know it’s dinner time and I “should” eat to avoid snacking later [defensive eating]. I eat because I feel like it. Because I have a craving. Because … food! Because I like to eat. Because it’s fun and enjoyable and an experience.
Food is good.
Too much food, however — like too much exercise or too much shopping or too much anything else in life — not so good.
And then the other night before bed, she told me she was still hungry — and meanwhile had eaten a balanced dinner. Go figure. I was surprised — she never asks for more food — and so I offered her a banana, which she wolfed down.
I never want her to feel she can’t have something or feel ashamed of hunger or anything. I want her to have a healthy relationship with food and the way to do that — I feel — is by not making an issue out of things.
I like that she sees me eating an ice cream cone — but she also sees me going to the gym. I like that she knows when Mommy is wearing lulu and sneakers, she’s (most likely) going to work out or go for a family walk. And I like that she has never seen me step on a scale and only once has she seen me gaze disapprovingly at my reflection–when she was too young to remember.
All of these things are great … but she’s also never seen me shovel handfuls of chocolate chips into my mouth as I emotionally ate, either. She’s seen the #wycywyc in action and I’d never want her to see the #wiwwiwi in action.
How can I critique a toddler for any impulsive and irrational behaviors she might engage in (throwing toys, taking something she shouldn’t) when I’m doing the same (but different) as a grown woman?? It’s not right and it is something I really need to work on, this whole attitude of #wiwwiwi which is really just entitlement eating.
I know it can be done with mindfulness … I’m just not quite there yet. I hope to work on it a bit this weekend – without the stress and demands of work weighing over me; when it’s just family time and we will mostly be home.
How about you? Do you ever find yourself behaving like an irrational, compulsive child when it comes to food? Any tricks you care to share?