Recently I had a nice restaurant dinner with my husband David and we decided to share a dessert. It was a large, delicious piece of banana cream pie, a specialty of our favorite local restaurant.
David did what he always does with dessert: he plunged right in. I on the other hand did what I always do: I tried to save the best for last. Why do we eat pleasure food so differently? I know that my eating style comes from years of dieting. Dessert was considered either off limits or so special that you needed to make it last.
And if you did have dessert, you knew that restriction and a fresh start were just around the corner. Because as soon as you were finished indulging, you were headed right back to the old lean eating plan. So, what happened with me and David was that while he dug in and got his best bites, full of thick, crunchy sweet crust and soft creamy filling, I was trying to make mine last.
I started nervously watching how much he was eating. I worried that I wasn't getting my share. And I lost the whole experience of the pie. I missed it—I missed my pleasure.
Also, by trying to save my share of dessert, I saved the best delicious part (the crust is my favorite) for last, and when the end came, I wasn’t really hungry anymore. But I ate it anyway. Why? Because it was the best part.
If you are either always watching what you eat with strict, hawk-like vision, or eating whatever you want with total abandon, you probably spend more time worrying about your eating than enjoying your food. And that's a waste.
If you give up the idea of dieting, and allow yourself to eat banana cream pie, and french fries and Snickers bars, you won't be worried about when they will be gone. You'll know that they will always be there. And when you're hungry you can eat them again.
So right now, in the moment, there is no need to save anything. Instead of saving, and building a little fort around your dessert so no one takes a bite, it's time to actually savor.
Take your best bite first. Make every bite a delicious experience. And get rid of that scarcity mindset. You don't have to overindulge and you don't have to hoard it for the bare winter to come. just enjoy it now. Like David does.
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