I was talking to a client recently about cookies.
I told her that I had been baking cookies for my children the night before and I wanted to eat twenty-five of them. I didn’t eat that many of course (I had 3), but she was surprised to hear that I could have those thoughts at all.
She believed that the desire to always want more was something she was dealing with exclusively.
I’ve noticed that there is a misconception that people who don’t appear to struggle with weight never think about having more.
Somehow we believe they can have that one brownie, or pizza slice, or tortilla chip and move on without giving it a second thought. Not true.
As humans we are programmed to want more of what is pleasurable; always.
In life and with food we will always want more; more money, more free time, more clothes, and more chocolate cake.
It doesn’t make you weak, lazy, lacking willpower or selfish.
It makes you human.
If something tastes delicious and makes us happy why wouldn’t we want more of it?
The catch is there is a fine line between more and too much.
I know my “too much”, so I am able to stop at a reasonable portion.
This was not always the case.
It took many times of going past the point of no return and paying the price; either with a bad stomach, a sleepless night, tremendous guilt, or another pair of ill-fitting pants, for me to make the connection.
That connection was; I feel better when I feel good.
Now, I choose to feel good.
Yes, eating twenty-five cookies will feel great during the ten minutes it would take me to scarf them down, but the ill effects will stay with me for days. It’s simply not worth it.
Always consider the “during and after effect”, which is; “Do I feel good eating this? And will I feel good when I am done?”
Try to avoid eating behaviors that leave you temporarily satisfied, but long-term unhappy.
Wanting more is a human reaction, but want and need are two very different things.
Don’t confuse the first twinge of want with the need for instant gratification.
For example, if I think I want more money I don’t run out and rob a bank.
Apply this same philosophy to food; “Yes, it would be nice to have more cookies, but I don’t need them. I am going to enjoy what I am eating right now. “
Understand that you will always want “just a little more.” That feeling will not go away because you made a healthy choice, but you can acknowledge the thought, realize it needs no further action, and let it go. We do this all the time with other things (bank example above).
We can’t be perfect one hundred percent of the time, but every chance you have to make a good choice, to stop at the proper point, or to say no when you don’t really need it, will make you stronger the next time.
This of course takes practice, patience, and awareness of what is best for you, but if it helps to know that we all have these urges; we do.
I am not going to stop wanting more out of life (nor should you); I’m just going to figure out the best way to have it all.
“One is one too many; one more is never enough.” Kenny Chesney