I know a lot of people struggle with portion control… including myself. In fact its the one thing I still can’t seem to get right when it comes to my health. I can wake up at 5 AM every day and workout like a maniac, I can drink gallons of water, I can cut out sugar and sweets for the most part, I meal prep, I make sure to eat a balanced diet … but when it comes to portion control, I am at a loss. I remember being a VERY young girl and I would go missing for an hour in the house. My mom would look everywhere for me yelling my name. She would come into the kitchen and see the “Lazy Suzanne” cupboard moving in and out and she would suddenly hear crunching and wrapper noises… there I would be hiding inside the cupboard with a family size bag of potato chips, STUFFING my little face to the brim.
The thought still make me laugh inside because sometimes I still do this. Just not inside the cupboard because, well, I don’t fit and that would be REALLY fucking weird to do as an adult. I have struggled with binge eating my entire life and I have learned SO much from it, so I am going to share what I’ve learned…
1. It feels really good while you’re inhaling a bag of family size salty chips, its like a high.
2. I only do it when I am alone, board and stressed (finding your triggers are KEY)
3. I feel like complete GARBAGE afterwards and SO shameful
But I still did it over the years regardless of #3. So rather than hating myself for it, I started to become more mindful of it and what triggered me. First things first, … I realized I HATE being alone, I’m dependent on human company. Reality is… I will always be alone at times so, I started listening to music that made me want to dance when I was alone. I avoided TV and I kept my mind on constructive things when I was alone (cleaning, organizing, walking, working out, reading, writing).
My next trigger, restrictive eating. I wouldn’t go NEAR cookies or salty potato chips for weeks, refused to keep them in the house and then as soon as I caught myself alone with a big bag… I was inhaling it and miserable minutes later. The fix? I stopped RESTRICTING myself. I now ALWAYS have my salty chips on hand, but rather than avoiding them, I have them once a week in a small portion. Not going to lie, I am alone right now writing this blog post, listening to music and STILL thinking about the dreamy salty bag of bbq chips right behind me in the pantry. But I know now that NOW is not the only opportunity to stuff them into my mouth, I can stop being afraid of them (insert my #FearFood) I can have some whenever I want, and have some self control (at most times now.. I still mess up!).
I have learned a lot about myself over the last 30 years, but in particular the last 5 years. I have realized that my “portion control problems” are a little more deep rooted than just LOVING potato chips. By addressing the deeper issues like being OK with being alone and with myself, I can get through the cravings. This is still a big trigger for me, like who can be around me 24/7 to keep my mind off eating my body weight in chips…??!! When I am alone I listen to music, keep myself busy like I mentioned earlier. I will call a friend or get outside… basically any distraction I can find.
Another problem I addressed, being OK with allowing myself to splurge on unhealthy foods when I want and it’s not going to make me 80 pounds overweight to have a portion of chips a few times a week. I can absolve SOME of my binge problems… I still binge on Netflix and on the occasional pizza but I don’t beat myself up on it (as-much) anymore. I actually pat myself on the back, accept it, live through it, and get my butt to the gym the next day while trying my best to love myself though it. Every day is a new day, I still fall victim to that self hatred, depressed “I over indulged feeling”, but I get over it faster, move the fuck on and start over. I will never be perfect NO ONE is, so just let it go and forgive yourself when you mess up and try again tomorrow. Find your triggers and work with yourself, work on being patient with yourself and work on loving yourself because a LOT of people love the shit out of you and you should too.