What is your favorite food? If you could eat any food in the world and not gain a pound, what would it be? Most of us can rattle off a ton of options. For me it’s dessert, sweets, chocolate and frankly anything with icing.
But when you stop and think of what those foods REALLY taste like, can you describe it? Or have emotions drowned out the flavors of our favorite foods? For me this is absolutely the case. That’s because I am emotionally destroyed from the way I have treated myself AFTER eating the foods I mentioned above. With the first bite comes panic. With the second, fear. With the third, it’s anger. By the time I’m done it’s pure self hatred for not having more self control.These feelings run so deep that food doesn’t taste as good.
Entenmann’s Ultimate Crumb Cake was a staple in my house growing up, and it still is to this day. Just the site of the box reminds of the love and joy I feel when I’m with my family. If you think about it, I’m sure there is something in your cabinet that is accompanied by an emotional connection. When I go home on the weekends and the whole family is there for any meal, one of these will be on the table – knife in box. If the Ultimate Crumb Cake isn’t there, it will be the Entenmann’s Crumb Donuts, The Entenmann’s Cheese Danish or those little mini chocolate chip cookies, that I can pop like Pez. I have had an estimated 1 billion bites of Entenmann’s in my life. This is precisly the reason I should be able to pass it up. Sounds counter intuitive. Why would the food that brings me so many memories and love of my family, be a food I resist… shouldn’t this be my splurge food?
No. Because I have had it so many times that I don’t know what it taste like anymore. It’s like repeating the same word over and over and temporarily losing the word’s meaning.
My nutritionist brought this to my attention one day when I was professing my need for sweets. She said to me, it’s OK to have sweets everyday, but don’t just have ANY sweets everyday. If you want a cookie, walk to the end of the earth to get the best cookie on the eastern seaboard. Don’t settle for a prepacked cupcake when you can get the best cupcake in all of Manhattan. If you are going to go in, really go in. Then you can stop to truly savor the taste.
I love Starbucks. Everything about Starbucks. As I order my coffee in the morning, those muffins tempt me. Coffee and a muffin….yum. But the other day I saw them take that muffin out of a package and that killed my craving. I’m not going to eat something out of a package that I can get any day of the week. I wouldn’t savor it – it’s not special. It’s eating to eat and not to experience and savor.
See, when you struggle with emotional eating you are using food as a coping device. Therefore, you don’t taste food the way you should.
Think about that next time you have a craving. Tell yourself it’s ok to fulfill the craving. But make it an event; an experience and sit down and savor every bite of that treat. I’ve been craving a cupcake for a couple days now, but my research hasn’t provided me with the newest and best place to try. So I haven’t had a cupcake in a couple days, but I will. As soon as I find the best cupcake in the world… stay tuned!