That smell… Lordy. You know it, don’t you? Yeah, me too.
Here’s the conversation that I’d have with myself when I was fat and was assaulted by that smell:
“Oh my God, CINNABON!!! It smells sooooooo good. And I could really use a pick-me-up. Yes! Yes! YES!!!!”
“Knock it off! You don’t need that cinnamon roll and it’s not on your diet! You promised yourself weren’t gonna eat crap like that anymore!”
“Oh shut up, you annoying buzzkill! Why must you suck the fun out of everything?!?”
Walking through the food court (what I refer to as the “food carnival”) at any American mall is an extravaganza of enticing sights, sounds and smells. The granddaddy of all those outlets? Cinnabon.
The conversation would go on inside my head as I approached the Cinnabon, all in the space of a few seconds. Sometimes I’d white-knuckle it past the place and avoid the sirens’ call. Very often I would not.
The reason I would give in to Cinnabon was not just because the smell was so enticing. (It was.) It wasn’t just because it tasted so damn good. (It did.)
I’d give in and get the Cinnabon because I had no reason not to.
I wanted it; I knew it would satisfy my desire to be indulged. It would make me feel comforted and pampered. It was a source of pleasure that demanded nothing in return. Besides, if I somehow managed to avoid it, it’s not like I’d wake up the next day and be thin! I’d still be fat, plus I didn’t get to have the cinnamon roll!
No surprise, most days I caved and got the damn cinnamon roll. Feel free to substitute “cinnamon roll” with just about any other unhealthy, indulgent treat. It’s a long list.
When you feel that there is no hope you will ever reach your weight loss goals you do exactly that; you eat the cinnamon roll.
Why wouldn’t you? It’s actually completely logical. If there’s no hope of any different outcome than your being fat, why wouldn’t you allow yourself this small pleasure? You tried depriving yourself a thousand times before on this diet or the other. All to no avail. Resisting the enticing treats from the food carnival seems impossible. In fact, it feels futile.
Hopelessness takes hold and futility is the result. There’s no reason not to give in.
And yet I know now, there is.
I have found a reason not to give in. And it’s not some white-knuckle, deprivation diet.
I have hope.
I have hope that my future could not possibly be as dark as my past. That hope engenders optimism – that I can make good food and exercise choices every day. That I can sustain my healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life.
Cinnabon still smells good. It would probably still taste good. But I don’t have those tortured conversations with myself anymore in the food court. Instead I walk by and smile, knowing that the life ahead of me is filled with possibility.
There’ll be more about where my hope and optimism came from – and how I channeled it to lose weight – in Thursday’s blog. So stay tuned!
Losing weight, unraveling emotional eating is hard. But it gets easier. And you’re so worth it!
Let’s go get it!