This past month or so I have implemented a new practice into my diet routine. I have been planning what my coach calls a Joy Meal. I have been very strict about what I eat for almost a full year now. In fact I wrote a post about why I don’t cheat on my diet. I still practice eating foods that I have learned are best for my body. I have lost 38 pounds and I have a long way to go. But I wanted to learn to practice planning for special foods. I wanted to learn the skill of eating a food that had previously been a problem for me and then getting right back on plan.
When I first heard about this practice it made me all sorts of nervous.
What if it made me gain weight?
What if I overate?
What if I totally blew my diet?
What if? What if? What if?
It made me aware that I still have some work to do related to my thoughts and beliefs about food.
I plan my food 24 hours ahead of time. So joy food is not a last minute decision. I can’t just decide to eat pizza when the girls at the office decide to go out at the last minute. It has to be planned 24 hours ahead of time.
I only have one joy meal per week. I think long and hard about what I want for my joy food. It’s funny, I used to love sweets so much. But since I have stayed away from sugar for a year I crave savory foods for my joy food. My most recent joy meals have included nachos and pizza.
I have a joy meal every week. This gives me practice once a week with sticking to my plan, practicing constraint, and getting back on plan.
I still eat to a +2 on my hunger scale. This is not an excuse to overeat and stuff myself.
I don’t have to feel deprived. For example, one of my favorite desserts is cheesecake. Today at a meeting they served the most beautiful piece of cheesecake. I didn’t plan for it so I didn’t have any. But I don’t have to feel sorry for myself or feel like I can never have cheesecake like everyone else. I can plan for it on another day and enjoy the heck out of it without shame or guilt. The funny thing is, now that it’s not in front of me I don’t want it. I’d rather have nachos this week.
I am proud of myself for planning and following my plans. I’m proud of myself for making better choices to show up as my best self.
I can still lose weight while having a weekly joy eat.
I can eat delicious foods and stop before overeating.
I can be intentional about my food life. It doesn’t control me. I can always make choices.
It’s easier to stick to my daily plans when I have a joy meal to look forward to. It’s easier to say no to donuts in the break room at work when I know that I’m having something special later in the week.
This post is a part of a 30 day series for the Ultimate Blogging Challenge. For more in this series click here for the main page with all the links.
Ending Overeating with 24 Hour Planning
Food Prep Can Help You Stick to Your Weight Loss Plan
How Lack of Sleep Makes Cravings Worse
Managing Urges to Overeat
Clean Up Your Thinking with a Daily Thought Download
Learn From Overeating So You Can Stop
Eat More Fuel Foods to Help You Feel Your Best
Using a Hunger Scale to Curb Mindless Eating