Choices and Responsibility

- POSTED ON: Sep 01, 2011



There are many different food plans,and many ways to look at eating.
All of them work for someone, but none of them work for everyone.

The following quote is from a member of a forum I frequently visit.
The principle discussed is the matter of choice and responsibility for that choice,which actually fits into many different food-plans, however. in the present quote,
the principle is being applied to “S” days in the No S Diet.

“Something I want to mention is out of the books
Beating Overeating and Overcoming Overeating by Gillian Riley.
She says to give yourself Complete freedom (seriously)
and tell yourself you CAN do whatever you want.
Then ask yourself, I am I really Choosing??
This has really freed me in the past eating changes.

I ask myself, What do I really want,
do I want to go ahead and eat/overeat,
and then imagine the outcomes of both choices
the negative and positive, how I will feel, ect.
if I choose one or the other.

Then I can decide what I TRULY want to do,
whether its negative or positive,
and I also have to ACCEPT the consequences ect.
So in doing it this way I am taking responsibility for my choices.

Instead of just binging a whole bunch and beating myself up afterwards,
If I think it over and imagine how I'll feel later
and what might be the consequences of doing it,
I didn’t always want to overeat/binge!
In fact, a lot of times, I chose NOT to do the negative thing!

I can ask myself what I REALLY want (quality vs. quantity)
and then eat accordingly. If I REALLY want to binge, I can binge,
but then accept the consequences with no problems.
If I REALLY want to enjoy a few treats without going overboard,
then I could choose that too.

I think If I truly ask myself I could be more true to myself
and my true desires. It is a powerful tool,
with also allowing yourself complete freedom!”

This is a principle of mental control, and seems completely reasonable.

 The elephant in the room here though, is the possible chemical effects of highly altered foods on the body,
and their attraction and availability in our current world.

And ….if…. these modern (non) foods with combinations of salt/fat/sugars and man-made chemicals that help with flavor and shelf-life, actually affect an individual body the way alcohol affects an alcoholic… making it almost impossible for some bodies to establish ongoing mental control after any of that substance enters the body.

I don’t know. 
But when bingeing is a personal problem, it seems like this might be an issue to consider.

Leave me a comment.

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Existing Comments:

On Sep 01, 2011 TexArk wrote:
And this is exactly why, for me, I do better with abstinence than moderation. If I haven't been able to train myself after forty years of trying to have some foods in moderation, I don't think it is going to happen. Since I have eliminated 3 types of foods that some actually think are toxic: sugar, gluten, and seed oils, I never crave or give in and binge on these foods. I still may choose to overeat, but I don't have to worry about making a mental decision about these foods. My foods that I have to watch out for are nuts and cheese. I have to work hard not to overeat these and sometimes I am just too weak to have them in the house. The decision is already made about the "big 3" and that helps my "willpower" immensely. So, I am in the camp that thinks that there really may be something to the chemical effects of these "toxic" foods.

On Sep 01, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             TexArk, Congratulations on thinking about the issue and coming to a personal resolution. As for me, I'm still on that ... (rather uncomfortable)... fence, and have not been able to bring myself to permanently eliminate any type of foods for more than brief periods of time. However, it might come to that for me as well.

On Sep 01, 2011 TexArk wrote:
Dr. Collins: Your ability to stay at or under 1000 calories has amazed and inspired me. You must have a very strong frontal lobe because I know that you have to be fighting hunger. And it seems to be getting harder and harder to maintain even with that severe restriction. I don't know the answer and right now I am suffering from information overload trying to figure it out.

On Sep 01, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Thanks TexArk. Probably my mind is stronger and my body weaker due to a lifetime spent involving myself in a great deal of BOTH Deprivation and Excess ... and also of course, sometimes "Balance". I'm programed rather well to withstand actual "hunger" but "cravings" are another matter entirely. I work very hard to keep my AVERAGE near that calorie range simply because that is what my own body requires in order for me to maintain my large weight-loss. It still surprises me that although eating a slightly higher calorie average causes a weight-gain, managing to have a slightly lower calorie average does not result in weight-loss. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around that one.

On Sep 01, 2011 Karen925 wrote:
do I want to go ahead and eat/overeat, and then imagine the outcomes of both choices the negative and positive**** I guess some might be able to imagine the consequences correctly, I for one could not until I systematically did so by journaling my food and weight over a period of time. Even my always slim DH is finding age catching up with his usual food choices, weight increasing with his weekly weighing, and changing accordingly. I reflect on the "healthy" foods I ate for so long to have discovered by methodical documentation that these "good" foods were not so good for me. By letting someone else determine MY food plan, I put off not figuring this out for far too long. No one else can figure out what is good for me. It took almost 50 years to come to this knowledge. However, better late than never:-) I love, love my body and what my body can do. I also struggle mightily when people ask how I did it. They, like me in the past, want a SIMPLE, one size fits all answer, when in fact, there are only general principles. I have not posted in a while. I had medical procedures the test results came out great. Additionally, TMJ is improving nicely. How much easier all of this is being trim and fit!

On Sep 01, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Hi Karen, I am happy to hear your medical tests results were good. I believe that those of us who have weight problems need to set some kind of boundaries around eating. There are many, many different ways to do that. Personally, I find that consistently using computer software to track all of my food every day gives me self-knowledge, which results in the greatest amount of food choice freedom. I, personally, do better with a food-plan of my own design, and have difficulty following a plan in which restrictions are set by others.

On Sep 01, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
Wow, after all my time of reading about and thinking about these issues, it has only occurred to me recently that I could actually choose to eat in a way that I don't think is the best idea at the time and not freak about it. I've been doing that lately and find I've been able to relax about it in a way I wasn't able to when I was first introduced to the idea of non-dieting and eating according to hunger (or not) back in the late 70's. I know I pretty much gave myself permission to eat most forbidden foods years ago, but didn't realize I was still harboring a bit of sorrow that these foods continue to have a draw for me. I also have weighed only once during August and found that I was holding steady despite some pretty silly eating days, not that that is the final measure of success. So, I'm probably not doing as badly as I think-- the longer you eat moderately and let yourself experience true hunger, the more pronounced the effects feel when I do overindulge. Just my experience. Some people on No S (and other non-calorie counting systems) act as if being told you can eat what you want will allow you to defy the laws of physics. Good luck. And even the No S founder says he's seen that eating moderately, as he recommends, may not get people to as low a weight as they want. But that is not his intention. His intention was to try to simplify eating guidelines to reduce systematic excess. He can't stop people from using the rules against themselves. Phyllis, also think you definitely do have a point when you talk about the difficult straits that some people are in over modern foods. When AA says the alcoholic is powerless over booze, it means over drinking once the drinker starts. Of course, he/she has to have power over not taking the first drink , or no one would ever stop! It may be possible for some to establish very strict rules about how much of offending foods to eat at a time, but it is probably much harder to do than to just not start. But, I too, have not decided there is any food that I am willing to say that about yet. Bakery cake frosting and chocolate chip cookie dough probably should be on the list, but since I can imagine being sane about each of them if I am not allowed unlimited access to the substance at a time, and won't necessarily go buy more, I hang on to hope.

On Sep 01, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             oolala, I enjoy learning about others who are sharing the weight-control journey, thanks for sharing here. I very much relate to your comments about "offending foods" and I find that I, too, "hang on to hope".

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