But lately, I've noticed my nighttime snacking session has taken on a different feel. It doesn't feel "right". It just feels indulgent, unnecessary and a little out of control. So, I'm making the decision to say good-bye and move on. This was the topic for this week's story of power in the Be PowerFULL email newsletter...getting rid of something that no longer serves us. By the way…I'm talking about getting rid of even those things that were once good for us.
This is how it usually goes down. Every night, about 30 minutes after dinner and the kids are sleeping, I head to the cabinet and grab my bag of chips. Lately, my chip of choice is Late July's Chia & Quinoa Restaurant Style Chips. The perfect crunch and saltiness, from my chip-connoisseur point of view! So, I grab my chips and kick back on the couch next to my hubby as we catch up on some of our DVR.
To be clear, I grab the bag. I do not concern myself with counting out 12 chips for a correct portion size. Because...seriously? This is a no holds barred, no rules, treat. Despite how it sounds, for a long time this snacking session had been a healthy tool for my moderate and sustainable, healthy lifestyle.
I sort of stumbled upon this and I credit a friend of mine for helping me label my ritual, turning my thinking about this snack from shame to empowerment. When my friend and Fitness Professional, Jill Coleman of JILLFIT, started talking about pre-emptive cheats as a means to create moderation and end all or nothing diets, I realized…"I'M ALREADY DOING THIS!".
Because I was giving myself this treat every day, I never reached the feeling of deprivation, from days or weeks of eating like a rabbit on a diet. I learned how NOT to fall off the tracks with wild abandon because I had my little snack session to look forward to…every night. When faced with decisions during the day, I stuck with super clean choices because I had a built in pre-emptive cheat waiting for me.
When I made the decision to get serious and lose the baby weight, this snack helped me make smart decisions during the day as I worked to re-establish my healthy lifestyle choices. In fact, I credit this ritual with by transformation from an all or nothing fad-dieter to someone who enjoys moderation successfully. Of course, the decisions got easier with practice and some nights...I didn't even need this snack. Other nights, I'd forget about it completely (though, if I'm being honest, THAT was rare). Every once and a while, I'd eat the whole damn bag. But even then, after eating the whole bag, I woke up renewed in the morning, fresh willpower in tact. I hadn't failed or fallen off my plan because the chip consumption, no matter how much, was in the context of my treat snack.
*It's important to note that listening to your own body is critical when employing a strategy like this, especially for fat loss. For some, this may stall your weight loss depending on your unique metabolism. For others, like me, this may be just what you need to create moderation and lose slowly, over time. Of course, exercising control and common sense is critical. No, you will not eat a bag of chips every night and lose weight. And no, you can't have a pint of ice cream every night and still get results. Additionally, exercise focused on fat loss principles should be employed as well.
So, why am I moving on?
Because I've found myself relying on this cheat snack more and more psychologically. I've found myself reaching for the bag of chips, out of habit, while still full from dinner. I've found myself thinking far too much about stopping by the store on the way home to re-stock my supply. I've found myself adding in a few pieces of australian licorice to this snack. I've found that I'm hungrier in the morning as a result of my increased intake of carbohydrates at night. Further...I've been working my butt off in the gym and I'm seeing great results but I'm curious what the results could be if I clean things up even more.
In short, I've realized that this ritual doesn't serve me anymore and I'm up to the challenge to say "BYEEE!"…keep you updated on how it goes!
Are there habits that are no longer serving you in your life? Rituals that don't feel good to you or have outstayed their welcome? Kick them to the curb…let's do this together! I'd love to hear from you about what you are planning to mindfully let go of.
YOU'VE GOT THIS!