Saturday, August 23, 2008

Please Don't Feed the Animals!

One of the worst things about working in my office is that well-meaning people often bring in food for everyone to enjoy. Hardly a day goes by that I'm not tempted by a pan of fudgey brownies, a basket of muffins, a coffee cake or, worst of all, a plate of fresh chocolate chip cookies or snickerdoodles.

All of these are typically laid out on the table where I used to get my coffee, and I always found it difficult to hold back while pouring my java. Interested in removing myself from tempting circumstances, I took matters into my own hands and got a coffee pot which I keep in a different, snack free location. Now I can enjoy my morning brew without placing myself in a difficult situation.

That being said, I certainly do not begrudge anyone else their morning sugar rush. Temptations like these will face me the rest of my life and I have to learn how to prioritize and make good decisions. That's right--I have to learn to make good decisions in the face of temptations--I don't need someone else to make them for me.

And there's very little that gets my panties in a bunch quite like having someone "help" me decide what to eat. Before anyone knew I had lost weight, no one bothered me about what I ate. Now that my efforts are common knowledge around my office, my stick thin boss is constantly advising me not to eat the baked goods people bring in. Usually, when someone has a birthday she says something like, "you don't want any cake, right?" I realize that she is thin because she doesn't eat, but I would never want that to be my reality.

My goal is to lose 120 pounds, and it's become apparent that it might take me years to accomplish. Thinking that I can or even should go without the occassional piece of cake or ice cream cone for the next 3 years seems crazy. Firstly, it suggests that what I'm doing is merely a temporary diet that I can go off of when I reach my goal. But the trouble with that is that I imagine I would pack the pounds back on fairly quickly if I bought into that philosophy. Secondly, I don't think complete self denial would work out so well for me. It wouldn't take me very long to start feeling deprived and we all no where that would go.

As a side note, it could just be my deep-seated difficulty with authority, but when someone advises me not to eat something, it usually increases my desire to eat it. I know that's self sabotaging, but I don't want people to think that I'm going to stop eating because I'm trying to lose weight. (When I was at my heaviest, I was always reluctant to eat junk food in front of people because I didn't want anyone to think, "no wonder she's fat!"). I know that smacks of disordered eating, but what can I say? I'm a work in progress.

1 comment:

Karyn said...

Good for you to set up your own "snack free" coffee area! it is kind of funny that your co-workers now think they need to "help" you with your weight loss AFTER you've already lost almost 50 pounds without their help! :)

I so relate to not wanting to eat fattening foods in front of anyone because of what I thought they were thinking....Actually, in my case, it was more because I was feeling guilty about eating something that would be considered to be "cheating" on whatever diet I was depriving myself with.

It is good to know that now, because I am eating carefully, if I choose to have a sugary/fat filled treat, I don't have to hide it because I don't feel guilty. I am not cheating, I am living. Sweet treats will always be part of life....I need to deal with them wisely and with thought. Mostly, I need to say no...but once in awhile I need to say yes.