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So I’ve been thinking about something. Over the holidays, I went to a bar-crawl that was organized by an old high-school friend, a mini high-school reunion of sorts, a consortium of townies. Everyone noticed how much weight I’ve dropped which was amazing. I got asked an interesting question at one point.

“So, do you allow for treats, or do you deprive yourself of those?” I answered back with, “I try to exercise self-control at all times.” Bearing in mind that when I choose to be bad, I know I’m being bad and adjust for the consequences later on. Sometimes it’s not so healthy. I ate way too much over the holidays, a.k.a. Feastmas as a fellow blogger affectionately called it. But I practiced damage limitation (another phrase coined by Losing Ahundredweight) and escaped the Feastmas by not gaining any more weight (although I didn’t lose, either – that is my cross to bear and good thing my gym opens soon).

This made me think about the concept of deprivation. To me, deprivation means that you’re going without something you need. Foregoing something you want because you know it’s bad for you or you don’t need it and could go without is not deprivation, it’s self-control. I like treats as much as the next guy, and sometimes I want them. But any time I want a treat, I have to think about whether or not I can deal with the consequences. If I can, I go ahead and have the treat. I also like my treats to be planned so I can have exactly what I want and what I deem is good, not some crappy crap. Also, when I cheat I like it to be a high-quality cheat (instead of a Snickers bar, having a small square of gourmet, dark chocolate for instance). I also like my cheats to come in a single-serving size and I do not keep the stuff in my house. If it’s here, I’ll eat it. I know myself better than anyone, so knowing how I will react to certain stimuli helps me create an ideal situation for myself. Thus, practicing self-control is good for me.

If I were truly depriving myself of anything, I would be intentionally going without food when I need it. That’s not what I do. I just choose not to partake of every piece of junkfood in the known universe because I like to control when I have it, how much of it I have, and what it is. I’m not depriving myself, I’m practicing self-control (most of the time, anyway – Thank Gods the Feastmas is over!).

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