UPDATED TO ADD: Just got back from WW meeting - I'm down 1.2 lbs for the week. Total loss to date: 24.4 lbs!
I had a eureka moment back at the beginning of the year following one of my WW meetings. The discussion focused on the WHY behind what makes our comfort foods so comforting. With the thought that if we know what triggers our binges or lapses in judgment, we can at least head them off at the pass.
I thought back to my childhood, all the fried foods and cheesy dishes - all the things that made special occasions special. Grandma's stuffing at Thanksgiving, fancy appetizers found in that month's Redbook, green bean casserole, broccoli souffle (which on the surface sounds healthy, but once the cream and cheese got a hold of it, all nutritional value was lost). And then the desserts. It was in that arena that my "ah, ha" moment hit me.
My mother prided herself each gathering on finding new, exciting desserts to show off. She was a working mother, always short on time and homecooked meals were not in surplus. Quick and easy was a survival mode - I'm sure you busy moms and dads can relate. She'd clip recipes she'd come across or had been given by a friend. Hoarding them until the time presented itself and she could wow the masses with her latest culinary delight. I remember the pride she took in those offerings. I remember how loved I felt when she cut that piece of Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie and handed it to me. It was her heart on that plate - handed right to me to let me know how important I was.
Not to over analyze, but there is a little bit of that memory played out every time I find myself in front of a pan of brownies or birthday cake. For reasons I am painfully aware of, those treats offer me love and warmth - they make me feel special. That little voice in my head telling me I deserve that feeling - I work hard and I'm a good person - I owe it to myself. The universe owes me, doesn't it?
After that WW meeting, I thought more about this. I realized that I'm starting this trend with my daughter Parker already. Oh, I haven't perfected the Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie, mind you, but I do tend to reward her with food and use food to express my love for her. I remember after dinner one night trying to find something to give her for dessert. My husband cautioned me that she didn't need dessert after EVERY meal. And I thought to myself 'But then how will she know I love her?'. Bam! That'll wake you up.
The behavior modification is a big piece for me in this journey - just as difficult as adding regular exercise - maybe more so. And I'm confident that once I have a good grip on this piece, the journey will get easier.
I'll always be the product of my childhood - we all are. I'll cherish the memories of Mom and all the ways she showed her affection for me. But I'll remind myself that her love for me was absolute and unconditional - whether there was a piece of pie involved or not.