You can’t keep doing the same things and expect a different outcome.
You can’t eat the same amount of food, do the same amount of exercise, and expect to lose weight.
Why do I prefer milk in my coffee rather than black? Because of the taste.
I prefer the taste but I don’t prefer the byproduct of being overweight.
Everything I eat at the moment is about enjoyment. I’m eating food for the enjoyment of it. And while that sounds okay, I don’t like the byproduct of being overweight.
But the thought of eating less right now is terrifying. It feels like hard work and sacrifice, and for what? To be a few kilos lighter?
Am I really willing to sacrifice all that pleasure and enjoyment for the sake of such a minor aesthetic goal?
Of course not. Why the hell would I?
Not for minor weight loss, but for something more meaningful and more daunting: the realisation that the pleasure and enjoyment means so much to me.
I’m not against pleasure and enjoyment; I think life should be enjoyed. But honestly I’m disturbed by how much food means to me right now, and how fiercely I resisted the thought of going without.
Have I no other pleasure or happiness in life? Does food overshadow all other sources of enjoyment? Will my inner landscape be so bleak if I stop eating for pleasure?
There are other sources of enjoyment but I haven’t practiced enjoying them. That’s why food is so prominent for me. I’m a good cook, I buy good ingredients, I make sure it tastes great. And it’s so easy to enjoy what I’ve created.
I’m very good at making food that my family and I enjoy. So why not turn some of that skill, focus, and attention to other aspects of life?
Why not get good at enjoying other things? Why not practice finding pleasure and enjoyment elsewhere? I can make a tasty dinner out of random leftovers and ingredients in my fridge; can’t I make enjoyment out of the vast resources of my daily life?
It’s terrifying and daunting to think of cutting back on my enjoyment of food, but for that very reason it’s a clarifying moment and an opportunity to start finding enjoyment elsewhere, to start becoming someone who feels great being alive, regardless of how much I’m eating.
Relish the more subtle flavours and tastes of everyday life. Start choosing fresh, good quality ingredients. Blend them in new and interesting ways and give them time to cook to perfection.
Explore these underdeveloped senses of taste and smell. Appreciate the savour and the sweetness in each moment as if sampling a new cuisine.
I believe I can do it. I can turn my creativity and my appetite to new aspects of life. I can find the wanted aspects of every day and draw happiness and pleasure from them.
Eating less is not a sacrifice of pleasure. Abstaining from food gives space and time, an opportunity to truly appreciate the fullness of my experience.