Sunday, May 15, 2011

Deprivation and Over Eater's Math

When I stick to plan, I do really well. When I sit down, plan my meals, plan my snacks, have the kitchen stocked with all the right things - I do well. However, I tend to attempt to deprive myself, often, which results in moments of completely falling down.  My goal, through this entire journey, is to learn how to have the bad stuff, sometimes, while maintaining a healthy diet, most of the time, and in turn avoid binges, overeating, feelings of deprivation followed by feelings of entitlement. The ONLY way I can have a healthy relationship with food is to no longer abuse it and eat in moderation.

For many, having off-limits lists works and depriving themselves eventually turns into just lifestyle. "I don't eat that.' However, over the last year (yes, I've been doing Weight Watchers for a full year as of last weekend) I have discovered that doesn't work for me and I know it doesn't work for many that are just like me.

I attempted to cut Diet Coke completely out. I felt like I was missing something. I didn't feel "good" about it. I wanted something and constantly yearned for it. I'm sorry, I just am not into living my life unhappy because I am denying myself a drink that I really enjoy. So, I've made a deal with myself. I will drink Diet Coke. I have a "Diet Coke Time" and it's typically in the afternoons at work. I make sure I drink all the water during the day and then I have a small treat around 3pm each day to look forward to. If we go out to dinner, or running errands - I have a Diet Coke. I've cut way back and my consumption is no where near what it used to be - moderation. It's a great thing!

The same goes for sweets. For several weeks I attempted to cut out my evening chocolate fix, which, by the way, turned from regular ice cream, cake or candy bars before Weight Watchers to Weight Watcher's Smart One desserts and Vitatops which completely satisfy my craving and were on plan. But, I got it in my head that I needed to cut back on those things - that it was "time" to cut them out.  Well, consequently I felt deprived. I wanted my sweets. I wanted them so badly that I started the old tactics of sneaking them.  I started stopping at the vending machine at work and grabbing a candy bar or cookie.  At school in the evenings, with no one around, I would grab one of their homemade chocolate chip cookies.  I'm not sure who I thought I was hiding it from, perhaps myself and my tracker. If I ate them and only I knew, I could easily selectively forget - right?

Hence the same 5lbs I've been juggling the last 15 weeks.

What do I attribute all this to? DEPRIVATION!

I made the choice many, many weeks ago to change what was working for me. I wanted to strive for those stellar days of perfect food choices, no sweets, no refined sugar, no processed foods . . .

That simply doesn't work for me. I know this now. When I do that, I talk myself out of being on plan because the very first slip up I feel my day is no longer perfect and therefore, not worth while to continue on plan. It goes like this. . .

"Ok, I'm having an off-plan day (rather than considering it on plan or considering it an off-plan MOMENT), I might as well have whatever I want  now because tomorrow it's back on plan and I won't have it."  This thought then snowballs into having a full size Kit-Kat bar during they day, only to come home later that evening and have a fast-food milkshake. At least the milkshake was a small.

"I haven't tracked the last two days, this week is pointless, I might as well enjoy it because next week I'm back on plan."  If I know I like sweets and the plan is built to have what I want - make the sweets on-plan, in the budget and don't allow this to happen. Duh, Elizabeth!

"I NEVER eat sweets, so it's ok if I have two servings of that birthday cake. Today's a wash, anyway."  With over eater's math, those two servings of birthday cake can then equal birthday cake, ice cream, a handful of M&M's and several glasses of wine. Why? Because after being "good" for so long - I'm entitled, I deserve it, right?

I could have avoided all of these situations of "blowing" my days if I had just done what Weight Watchers preaches - plan it, have it, track it - it's ALL still on plan!  With the "I'm still on plan" mindset, I know I'm less likely to overeat the special treats because I know I'm within my limits to still lose weight. Nothing is blown, nothing is ruined and progress continues.

It's all a mental game.  My deprivation days end here. I know what worked for the first 50lbs and I can tell you, it wasn't following a strict diet of no treats, no chocolate and no enjoyment.


  1. I am right there with you Liz. I hate giving up my Diet Coke, though I am drinking way way less. I have decided to just allow myself at a special time of the day and then water all other times.

    Also trying the SFT and see how that goes. I loved the old "Core" program. So next Sunday will tell.

  2. All we can do in this journey is this: Do what works for you for as long as it works and keep an open mind to changing what you do if it ever does not work for you.
    I lost most of my weight while still eating sugar and treats etc. In my journey I did not give them up until I was a normal weight and found I could not stay a normal weight with any freedom from daily cravings until I gave up even a bite, lick or taste of the sugar.

    I do not know if that will always work for me but it does today.

    I have been away so I did not get to respond to some of your previous posts this month. Congrats on your degree! You are very inspiring to me!


  3. Jane,
    I absolutely agree. What works for some, doesn't work for others. And what may work now may not work later. I'm hoping going back to some of my ways of late last year will assist in getting that scale moving and get me back into the right mindset.

    I will go check out your trip blog posts. I read the first two as you were posting them and it sounded like you had a great trip!

    Thank you for your kind words. :)

  4. Shelley,
    I think the Diet Coke in moderation is going to work best for me at this stage of the game.

    I haven't been brave enough to try SFT yet as I almost feel like I need that super structure of counting each and every point. If the scale doesn't start moving like this, I may give it a try. I'm just afraid I won't recognize my signals and end up gaining on SFT.

  5. i so needed this post! i've been doing that for last 3 weeks!!!! And i've yo yoing 2 pounds around. UGH! Then my scale broke and I thought, hey my scale is broke...i can cheat. And cheat i did. I had pizza, magic cookie bars, and root beer. ugh. And everytime i do this I think tomorrow is another day, i'll do better! Thank you for your comments. I never realized how hard it is to lose weight, until i started doing it! I know what i need to do, it's just me having to do it that's hard. I know when i'm making a bad choice, and i still do it. And then i feel bad about myself afterwards. OH, if only i never let myself go out of control! The key for me as it seems to be for you too is to not deprive myself. I can have the pizza but only 2 slices and thin crust and load it with veggies. I can have the chocolate but only one bar. I can have the pop, but only in moderation. I need to remember that!!