Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cookies & Power

I think of energy as a finite resource. It helps me be more considering of where I use it and when to just drop something. Sure, I could get really worked up about the lady who just stole my cab or I can remember there will be another and save my energy. Something I do not think a lot about is power.

I've been seeing a new nutritionist. A quick recap, Marisa went away on maternity leave, and I started seeing Stephanie. Then Stephanie's husband got transferred so now I am seeing Lindsay. I get around. Lindsay is really cool and I like her. She is very smart and making me see behaviors I am so used to and resigned to differently. I also think having some fresh eyes and ears on old problems is very helpful.

All that being said, she had noticed in my food journal that I had been obsessing over a cookie. Yes, a cookie. A very specific cookie. A delicious amazing s'mores cookie. She also had flagged and pointed out that a lot of my behavior was still very restrictive and my inner dialogue critical and judgmental. No argument there. It's a constant dialogue of keeping myself on the rails. She explained though that with the restriction and the negative dialogue I was giving away my power. She explained I was giving the cookie all the power. I tell you want will stop you for a second and make you listen someone telling you a cookie has all the power. I was removing permission. She emphasized I can have a cookie whenever I want. I have easy access to it, I can allow for it in my daily intake, and I am allowed to have a cookie. A cookie is not bad, wrong, or against myself. It's a cookie. She made me buy a cookie when I did not want it and carry it around in my bag to have it available when I did want it. I was like ohhhh helllll nooooo. I am going to last three seconds, or have constant cookie chatter in my brain, or make it a test of the cookie wills. She said it's an experiment just try to have it when you want it. When your brain fires just ask do you want it. When you want the cookie have it.

This amazingly worked. Thinking of things in terms of permission and power has been really helpful for me. I remind myself I can have whatever I want whenever I want so the question is do I want it? The question is not will it make me fat, or will I think I am gross after.

Thinking about power makes me cringe a little. I do not know why. It just seems so cheesy and overblown a thought, but it's an important one, because I know feeling powerless makes me feel bad. It also is a time when I am very capable of wrecking myself. Finding the flipside of the powerless in being powerful helps set myself up for being more mindful of both emotions and scenarios.

What I really continue to enjoy about the nutritional care I receive is it's never just about food. It always relates back to my life because food is the metaphor. I let the silliest things have power over me like sleeveless dresses. I mean I had my excess skin cut off of my arms and still hesitate to go sleeveless. That is literally one of the dumbest things. What am I waiting for? Bionic arms? This week I made myself eat an ice cream cone in a sleeveless dress because it's hot, and my arms are just fine and ice cream is delicious. My friend James said you look quite smart in that dress. It made me laugh because I do like the dress very much and feel good in it, but I felt smart for realizing the time to do things is now not when your arms are more toned, or to eat the cookie in 3 days because you might be 3 days thinner, it's whenever you decide you want it.


  1. This post really hits home for me. I know that I often will give up my power to foods that I think I crave, immediately I thought of three cheese buns and marshmallow peanut butter squares. I don't think I am at the point yet where I can just buy these foods and not consume them immediately, but it definitely gives me hope for the future :)

  2. Great job! I did a post similar to this a day or so ago :) We must have been thinking the same thing :p

  3. This is a slightly old post now but I relate so much! It's incredible how we obsess over specific foods and don't even question the obsession. It becomes so normal to us. I've been reading through your back catalogue and many other of your posts, like the one on beauty and fat acceptance, hit close to home as well - you're a great writer.

    1. Thank you so much Nina. Really kind of you to say. The obsessing becomes just an accepted way of life. I have to say though focusing really hard on catching the behavior and just not letting food have power has been working for me. Removing a lot of judgment and criticism has brought me some clarity. A smidge of it anyway :)