Thursday, 11 December 2008

Need versus want

The trite saying is that we have many wants and few needs. Trite, but true. Sometimes, especially when I'm stressed, I want foods I consider comforting, which are usually carbs. In the bad old days I would go for ice cream or french toast. I had already 'healthified' these dishes--the ice cream was low fat and the french toast was made with low carb bread, egg whites and sugar free syrup (as a side note, wtf are those cartoned egg whites??? I tried to whip them once and they DID NOT act like real egg whites). In other words, a lower calorie, but still carby or low nutrient indulgence, and neither paleo nor CRON.

Those urges haven't gone away. But what I do now is actively question why I want what I think I want, and try to figure out what I need. Sometimes, I realize I'm just tired and I want emotional comfort. Sometimes, I feel like I just want what I want, and some part of my brains is acting like a spoiled six year old, complete with foot stomping. On those days when I can't reason with my inner six year old, I do what many parents do. I bribe me.

I buy the ingredients for french toast. I put them in my fridge. And then I look at all my food and ask myself if what I have bought is the thing I would prefer above ALL others in my fridge. In the end, rarely does the junky food win. I usually pick my Brie, or avocado, or a small square of dark chocolate. But buying the food shuts my inner six year old up. And once she shuts up, I can reason with her.

I know this approach doesn't work for everyone. For some, having that food in the house is too much temptation. But what I rebel against is the idea that I can't have what I want. In the end, when I have the option to choose what I want, I tend to reach for what I need.

No comments: