Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It wasn't about the cinnamon roll, they do not talk

All I could think of was a cinnamon roll when I photographed this snail. Either that or Princess Leia hair from Star Wars. ;)

Anyhoo, one weekend in Nov, almost 10 months into maintenance, I ran into a Costco to buy some raspberries and a few vegetables. I was on vacation and it was about 10:30 am.

The smell of the cinnamon rolls hit me like a ton of bricks. Just over powering me. I gripped the cart tight, white knuckling it all the way, grabbed the raspberries and kept moving, away from that smell.

During my first year in maintenance, I had to stop and think- why do I want to eat this? Is this hunger? What steps do I need to take? BE HONEST.... slippery slope voice is always right there.

The self talk went like this:

1. I'm hungry, it is time to eat- choices are from my food template, that's it.

2. Something else is going on, my brain is sending signals to eat but I need to ______ (sleep, drink water, walk away, face a problem, or feel feelings. Maybe even feel hunger, but wait it out until I get to where my prepped food is stored.

In the cinnamon roll example- I was truly hungry. I had walked 23,000+ steps at a theme park the day before, woke up and walked a steep hill to the beach and back- and it was time to re-fuel. I had a salad, with veggies, serving of protein, some avocado.

I half shuddered at the thought that the old me would have picked up cinnamon rolls for my family for me because I could afford the WW points, or I had "earned it". Big huge red flag- that cinnamon roll smell called to me. The old slippery slope call. Had I eaten the cinnamon roll, I would be sick from the wheat, frosting, and sugar.

The new me: "Oh, hmm... I just walked a lot this morning- very active, so when I get home at 11am, I'll make myself a quick early lunch. I'm probably dehydrated, too. I'll make a big glass of ice water with early lunch" I'm not too tired or stressed. I'll be fine."

The whole experience made me glad I had given up the whole moderation scheme this time around. The roll is not in the food template and I will not give it that power. Cinnamon Rolls do not talk. That was my best clue! ;)  It's never about the food- always about something deeper. Soothing with food. Reliving a "pop-in-fresh" memory with food.

Those old neural pathways sure run deep. It's good to have some excellent skills that I practiced during the first year.  What a relief not to be triggered and to have it be my choice. Frosting on the.... oh, I don't eat cupcakes any more either. Ah, more relief!

Do foods talk? Are you able to figure out what the deal is before you choose?
Caramel coating on ice cream or shell on the beach?


  1. I agree with everything you wrote. I think knowing that some ingredients set off secondary conditions (GI, acne, migraines, inflammation, whatever) is a huge asset. It makes it a lot easier to walk away. I also agree it is easier to stay away from that type of stuff than do moderation of all things. That just seems to bite people in the butt. However, I will add that this is not all on the first day. Most of us who stay away from certain ingredients learned over time. It is a process.

    1. Good point, Vickie. I'm still learning what fits for health and weight maintenance. It's taking very focused and purposeful work. More so than loss this time.

  2. i've said i before and i'll say it again -- it's easier to be perfect than to be moderate! :-) i'm proud of you!

  3. Hi! I just found you from Diane. I LOVE this post! I'm great at losing weight; it's the maintenance I suck at, so finding a great maintainer who also believes as I do re how to do it, is great! Thanks for this post!

  4. It does look like a cinnamon roll!

  5. I'm almost positive that ice cream calls me from the freezer. I don't buy it but occasionally my daughter does. I always hope she will eat it quickly so I won't hear it calling my name. She can eat a half cup serving and not think about it again for a month. Sigh.

  6. The shell on the beach looks like a grilled chicken breast to me.

    @Caron, I have some LC ice cream recipes on my blog--I use Splenda and coconut milk.

  7. That is such a victory that is so very important for long term maintenance. Congrats!

  8. I had a chance to ask my female issues doctor how long to stop eating certain foods when doing an eliminate diet to look for food sensitives. The answer was 2-3 months. So, one (totally) stops eating a food for 2-3 months and then adds it back to see if there are symptoms. I am leaving this same message for anyone who I think I have read past posts talking about food sensitivity issues. I think I have read posts where bloggers thought they could drop a food for a couple days and then add it back in to test. Evidently not.

  9. Thanks for all your comments. :) I was so determined to work on the things that tripped me up in the past for weight maintenance. Yes! That shell could be grilled chicken. ;)

  10. EXACTLY, Karen, those associations are key! We need to know which ones to keep and which to reduce or eliminate entirely.
    This reminds me of a comment somebody made recently, on another blog, belittling a particular TV program that another blogger mentioned. The paraphrased question was along the lines of "who is the moron who would have watched that program in the first place?". I wanted to launch into a scientific explanation of why an adult would watch certain programs that were found to be comforting at a particular time in one's life but knew I would be wasting my time. It is not about the specific food and it is not about the program or the music or an outfit or a place. It is about the individual connection/association that an individual has with that specific stimulus.
    So good that a dysfunctional one did not sneak its way past your lips! Good for you! On the other hand, if the most brilliant scientist I know sits in front of the tv for a few minutes and laughs at Bugs Bunny's antics for the umpteenth time, because it distracts him from the research and from the teaching and from the responsibilities of the adult that he is, which take up 99% of his waking hours and he experiences the freedom and nurturing and carefree Sat. morning of a long ago 5 year old, I say "thank goodness they still show this stuff" and give him a loving hug!