Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

“How can you live, knowing you will never eat another potato chip?” the reporter asks me, incredulously.

But I will eat potato chips. I certainly will. And I do. I know I can’t keep them in my house, but I encounter and enjoy chips now and then.

She’s confused because while I worked to lose weight, I didn’t eat one potato chip. I didn’t eat white bread, rice, potatoes in any form. I didn’t eat sugary things, candy, anything whose main ingredient was sugar. I ignored cakes and pies and all sorts of things. I still rarely eat these things.

But I didn’t give them up forever. And I always know I can have them.

I know pie. I know its flavor, texture. I know the ones I prefer (my daughter’s blueberry pie, my mother’s strawberry rhubarb), and the ones that are never worth the calories. I know cake, too.

I am completely familiar with the idea, experience, and satisfaction of “cake,” of “pie,” of “potato chip.” I am so familiar with these things, have had the experience so often, can recall many previous pies and cakes, that it’s really not a huge sacrifice for me to go without them for as long as it takes to bring my weight under control.

And the real secret to my success over giving up foods I love for a little while? Knowing there will always be more.

I knew that I could give up those foods for a year, because at the end of the year, there they would be again. The pie, the cake, the chips. I know today that when I enjoy too many of these things, I have to say goodbye again for a while.

It’s sort of insane to think of this as sacrifice or denial, when it’s always possible to have this food. When it’s always available, choosing not to have it right now is just a choice. Just one of a thousand choices you will make to get through your day. It’s no big deal.

Reader Liz wrote in last week to say her mom, who quit smoking after a long habit, knew that focusing on the whole rest of her life as a non-smoking woman wasn’t going to work for her. So she lived decision by decision. “Maybe later,” she’d say to herself when considering a smoke. “Not right now.”

While you’re losing weight, try not to get caught up in the idea of what you’re giving up. You’re not giving up anything but the calories you don’t need right this minute. It’s not a big deal. Not right now.

9 thoughts on “Not Right Now

  1. Chris says:

    Hi, long-time lurker here.
    Love the “not worth the calories” idea for treats. Since changing my eating habits I have used this myself. If I treat myself to a desert, if its really good I’ll enjoy it. But if its not really that good, and it just tastes like fat and sugar without any nuance, I’ll stop and say “This isn’t really that good. It’s not worth the calories.” Simple, but powerful. I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself, because it really isn’t that good. In the old days I would’ve just finished the thing since it was on my plate.

  2. Chris says:

    Hi, long-time lurker here.
    Love the “not worth the calories” idea for treats. Since changing my eating habits I have used this myself. If I treat myself to a desert, if its really good I’ll enjoy it. But if its not really that good, and it just tastes like fat and sugar without any nuance, I’ll stop and say “This isn’t really that good. It’s not worth the calories.” Simple, but powerful. I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself, because it really isn’t that good. In the old days I would’ve just finished the thing since it was on my plate.

  3. Connie says:

    I commend you on being able to look a year ahead. It has taken me a long time to give up the idea that “I will never have THAT again.” I now can say “not now”, but if it still haunts me in a considerable span of time, I will have it. I still need to work on the taste thing. If I want something bad enough to take a piece, I usually eat all of it. In fact, I try to make my meals filling enough (veggies, salad, chicken…) so I’m not hungry for more. And with eating all that good stuff, I feel good about myself too.

  4. Nicole says:

    I recently found myself wanting those things a little too much. Now, I’ve decided that what I want is to feel healthy again, which it completely worth not eating sweets for a little while again. You’re right… they’re still there if for some reason I just have to have them, but I’m going to choose to do without them for a good long time. Time to put those things back in their places: they’re treats! Treats are not meant to be had everyday. If you vacationed every day, the vacations wouldn’t be as special… neither are “treats” when you eat them all the time.

  5. Quinn says:

    I know pie, too. And I know cake and cookies. And puddings. Fried chicken. Potato salad. And i know that the best versions of these are usually my own, when i decide to make them. Being fairly lazy, i don’t make them very often. Haven’t baked a pie in a good two years now. Can’t remember when i last baked a cake. mmmm. Homemade chocolate cake. Might do that one day soon. Or i might not. 🙂

    What works for me with ALL foods, not just “treats,” is to only eat the very best and only just enough to satisfy the craving. Which is usually maybe half the serving if I remember to take small mouthfuls, chew before swallowing (!!!), and put down the fork/spoon/hand between bites.

    Get better nutrition this way, too. 🙂 Don’t know about you all, but when I’m better nourished, then i feel better and am less likely to crave lots of treats in the first place.

    Re: potato chips. Lately I’ve found that one small potato, cut up and roasted with plenty of extra virgin olive oil satisfies that craving MUCH better than what used to be my very favorite store-bought chips. Taste better, too.

  6. Erin says:

    JULIE!

    Have you been getting my e-mails??? I need you to get in touch with me ASAP!

    xoxox
    E

  7. Carrie says:

    I agree with choosing to splurge on just those foods that I love. So while I am trying to be careful about what i eat, I do reward myself a few times a week with some kind of chocolate. If I had to give it up I would go crazy, as I LOVE it more than anything else. My doctor told me diets don’t work because they cause you to forbid yourself from so many foods and then you just crave them more and eventually go back to your old wicked ways. By depriving yourself you set yourself up for failure in the end. She said it’s a matter of making some positive changes in my diet without going crazy. I don’t know if any of you have problems with overeating like I did, but I joined myselfhelp.com and it’s been great. My doc recommended it and said there’s nothing else like it. They’re putting up a discussion board/blog so check it out. Anyway, my best advice is don’t give up and don’t be hard on yourself if you go overboard once in awhile. Tomorrow is a new day and life is all about new beginnings. It’s too short to worry all the time. Be good to yourself!

  8. Mike says:

    I’m not really into limiting myself about food. Instead I use my Intuition to decide how much of what food I can eat. I intuit that will work for me *if* I exercise at the gym I just subscribed to, every day (using my Intuition to decide how much to exercise:))

  9. Laci says:

    Hi this is laci and I was just wondering if u could answer one simple question ok I wanted to know if u could tell me how in the heck I can get skinny really quick? So can u answer that?

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