Eric Viskovicz B.S.
It’s Friday afternoon, you are leaving your office after a long hard week, and you are looking forward to a much needed break. As you begin your drive home, you are thinking about being home, relaxing, and maybe even rewarding yourself for all of the hard work you have done. Maybe it even occurs to you that you are feeling as if you have earned it. Surely everyone deserves a reward every now and then you think. As this thought crosses your mind, you pass by a Pizza Hut, that seems to be calling your name. With your eyes fixated on the big red and white sign, you car appears to be steering itself into the driveway. Before you realize it, you have devoured several slices of the delicious deep-dish pizza, and as a feeling of guilt washes over you, it occurs to you that this does not feel like a reward.
As with most rewards, the tendency to go overboard with pizza, or any food for that matter is everpresent. While we have all used food either consciously, or unconsciously as a reward at some point, we have all probably also abused it as well. As you can see from the example given above, without a conscious awareness of what we are doing, this tendency becomes magnified. Much of the reason for this is due to the fact that when we are not aware of what we are doing, we are at a loss to change it. As you can see from above, the reality of our actions does not occur to us until after we have already done them. Clearly, at that point it is much to late. It is usually then that we feel overwhelmed with guilt. The difference between using something, food or anything else as a reward, and abusing it, is being consciously aware of what we are doing. With this awareness, we are armed with the power of choice about what we do. This of course, enables us to evaluate our decisions, negotiate for what we want, and leave the situation feeling satisfied. This sense of choice applies to everything we do, and in the area of weight loss, becomes invaluable.
Applying a sense of choice to foods, we are able to evaluate every decision we make, weighing the impact of what we want to eat, against where we want to be. If we want to eat a hot fudge sundae, yet we want to fit into that pairs of pants currently collecting dust in our closet, we are going to have to make some serious choices. The reason this choice becomes so important is that without evaluating it clearly, one of two things will inevitably happen: we will either avoid the sundae, telling ourself we can never have it, feel deprived, and end up overdoing it later, or we will avoid thinking anything, and just have it anyway, without thinking about it, and end up overdoing it, and feeling guilty. Avoiding both of these negative situations then becomes dependent on our ability to think clearly through the decision making process. Obviously, we can neither avoid the sundae totally, or have all of it right now, as neither one of these choices satisfies both of our wants, ands goals. So, we are going to have to be able to negotiate with ourselves for both these wants and goals, and look for a third option.
Here is how to make a good pizza, no more guilty feelings.