Why must you give that up in order to be thin?

I went to an Indian restaurant with my oldest daughter last night.
We both love Indian food, and often go just the two of us.
We love the communal aspect of the meal, and enjoy the same dishes.

We usually order samosas, naan bread, and two or three vegetarian dishes with rice.
This is way more than I ever order at a regular restaurant.
Since I’ve been eating in harmony with my body’s hunger/fullness signals
I usually order an appetizer and dessert, or 2 appetizers, or a main course.
That’s about what it takes me to get from hungry to lightly satisfied, which is where I always aim to end a meal.
Somehow, I forget to apply this to Indian restaurants, and, as usual, last night I left  feeling too full, and had difficulty falling asleep due to indigestion.

I woke up this morning, and declared “That’s it. I’m done with Indian restaurants. The food is too greasy, and I eat too much and feel horrible after.”
I imagined telling my daughter I was never going to go with her again, and felt sad.

Then I laughed at myself.
There I was blaming the food. The restaurant.
It’s like my client who blames her husband for her weight problem because he buys ice cream.

Black and white thinking.
So definite, so extreme, so dramatic.
So typical of overweight people, according to Martha Beck.

I realized, with relief, that Indian restaurants are just like buffets, sweet tables, all-you-can-eat sushi bars.
All the food on offer is simply a neutral circumstance.
Nothing to be afraid of.
Nothing to do with me.
Unless I choose to put it in my body.

There’s no rule that I have to have a samosa and naan bread and veggies and rice.
I am perfectly free to have a samosa or two, and stop right there.
To be honest, that’s when I usually feel that I’ve had just the right amount of food.

I dug a bit deeper, and discovered why I ignore my body at Indian restaurants.
I don’t go often because my husband doesn’t enjoy the food, and there aren’t many in my area that are worth going to.
So my mind takes over.
It says “this is special”
“you don’t know when you’ll be here again”
“you can’t take it home with you.”
“better enjoy it all now.”

Such scarce thinking.
So typical of emotional eaters.
It’s a throwback from our primitive ancestors, who never knew where the next meal was coming from, so they had to eat while it was available.

Truly, there’s never a day I can’t find a decent naan bread.

Here’s how I calm my scarce thinking, and make it easy for me to stop eating:
I tell myself, as if I’m speaking to a child (I am – my Inner Child)
“I promise, if you want another samosa when you’re hungry again, I’ll get you one”.

This sentence alone enabled me to lose tons of weight a few years ago.

It’s how I weaned myself from buying croissants whenever I was near Rahier Patisserie. Or chocolate whenever Soma called to me when I was at the Distillery District. Or gelato whenever I was near Il Gelatiere. My Toronto was a food map, and my eating was determined by what part of the city I was in.

This promise worked every time.
It instantly calmed me, and got me to feeling abundant rather than scarce.
And I never once had to go back when I was hungry again.
Becasue when I’m calm, I knew that food was just food, chocolate is just chocolate, a samosa is just a samosa.
It can’t make me happy,
It can’t make me feel better,
But it certainly can make me feel worse if I eat more than my body requires.

So now I’m going to use this stratgey next time I go for Indian with my daughter.
Just thinking about this makes me excited to experience the calmness of sitting surrounded by the delicious smells, sights and tastes of the food, while knowing that I can eat only what I need at this meal, because the next meal is whenever I choose it will be.

I’m soooo glad I don’t have to ban myself from Indian food.
So glad there’s a gentler way.


About Forever Free with Bev Aron, Certified Weight Loss Coach

I work with emotional eaters who desperately want relief from emotional eating, but can't seem to do it on their own. They know they need to eat less and move more, but can't figure out why they aren't doing it. My specialty is showing them the why and the how. I also work with parents who are worried about their children's weight. I help those parents encourage their children to have a healthy body image and a healthy relationship with food.
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