Most of my adult years were spent counting calories and obsessing over my weight and looks. I am not sure where it all started. Only that I know it is not something I wish upon my daughter at all. I know what kind of a hell it can be.
Back to the calorie counting. I always ate the portions that I thought I should eat. I would eat an ounce of nuts, a cup of pasta, etc. Regardless of how I felt afterward. I remember leaving restaurants still hungry with a carryout box and thinking but I ate normal portions! Some days you need more food than others. You need to eat to the point of fullness and satisfaction. Not gut busting full, but satisfied. This might require more food one day than another and that’s okay (or two days or three, etc).
I am not saying I never indulge. I do, but there is always a stopping point now. I always told my husband that something was wrong with (in my twenties) me because I had no “shut off”. I felt like I simply did not know when enough was enough while my husband always did. Now looking back on it, I understand why it was always feast of famine with me. My body did not know I had a house full of food or options of restaurants on every street corner, it only thought it was starving. It figured that it better load up while the getting was good.
It took some time for my body to trust that it was going to get what it needed from me. Now when I enjoy extra desert or some candy, there is always a stopping point. I get to a place where I can honestly say I am finished. In years past if I decided to eat treats of any kind I would do it in overload, feel sick, recover, and do it again (sometimes a few repeats a night).
When I do overeat now I don’t see it as a bad thing (it took two years for that). It means that I am not giving my body what it needs. It can mean a whole host of things: anxiety (big one for me), stress, tired, lonely, not enough down time, rest, or food, etc. I see it as a warning sign that something is off , and I try to work on that. I also know that I will not eat like this for the rest of my week, life, or whatever black and white situation I used to think it would lead to. It is temporary.
Things are not forever and can change. I also had absolutist thinking. I thought if one action occurred than it would lead to X, Y, Z. Not the case. I try to think in shades of gray now.