Weighty Matters

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on January 17, 2013

In the old days before my weight loss surgery (BWLS?), I didn’t have a great sense of portion control.  Honestly, I rarely looked at my plate and thought, “Holy chit, that’s a helluva lot of food” even if I’d served myself enough to satisfy a college linebacker.   No portion or meal combination appeared to be too much.  When dieting, I loathed having to weigh and measure.  I was always inwardly freaked that I would never have enough food to eat.  The way that my thought process worked, you’d think that I grew up poor in a family that didn’t know where they’d find their next meal, or if there would be a next meal.

Trust me, there was never a shortage of food.  I know now that quantity of food had less to do with nutritional needs and more to do with emotional issues but I spent a lot of years with a screwed up concept of portions.  I’m trying to unscrew that concept but it’s hard work.

****** Quick whining break******

******Okay.  Break’s over.******

When I make myself dinner, I know that not only can I not physically eat too much, but I also don’t want to eat too much.  That’s a big improvement from diets when it was more a matter of shouldn’t physically eat too much but always wanted more, no matter how “good” I promised myself I’d be.  My eye assessments are still a little off, however.  It’s like I can’t believe that I really can eat much less and still be completely nourished and satisfied.  I end up putting more on my plate than I want or need.

Even though I know that I should weight and measure my portions, I’m stubbornly determined to retrain myself.  I already understand that it is not a valid technique to eat until nausea tells me I’ve had enough.  That’s not healthy on several different counts.   Much of the time I’m doing okay with not eating too much for my stomach, but that’s because I’ve been able to stop before I hit the “too much” point.  I still put more than I need to on my plate, however.  That old habit is dying hard.  What I want to do is serve myself less from the get-go.

Since I’m not willing to break out the food scale and measuring cups, despite the encouragement to do so, I need to come up with another method.  This week I started making my dinner portions ridiculously smaller than usual and concentrating extra hard to eat slowwwwllllyyy.

That “ridiculously small” turns out to be not so ridiculous and, while smaller than usual, not smaller than I need.  Tonight I enjoyed a tender beef tip and spoonful of mixed veggies.  Not a giant, serving dish spoonful, but more like a soup spoon from my flatware setting.  I ate slowly and, when I’d consumed the last bite, I was satisfied.  Not stuffed.  Not uncomfortable.  Satisfied.

I think I’m on to something.  I’m going to continue to serve myself a lot less than I think I need and consume it slowly.  I know that I need to do this over and over and over again to reshape the habits, but each time I do so successfully, I’m one step closer.



5 responses to “Portions

  1. Mary Stella says:

    Great suggestions. Thank you!

  2. Egads says:

    Maybe smaller plates would help. Salad plates are 7″ but you could look for even smaller ones. I think tea set plates are about 5″ if you like flowers. Some sushi plates are quite small. Have some fun with it, get a plate from a few different patterns you like, save the larger dish set for when you have company.

  3. Hope says:

    You can use your hand to help figure out portion sizes. http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/healthy/Portions_Kit/serving_sizes_in_hand.pdf

    I’ve never done it, but it seems easier than busting out the measuring cups and scale.

  4. Skye says:

    I understand not wanting to get out the scale and measuring cups. It seems so antithetical to the pleasure and the value of eating. Clinical, not natural. And you have a desire for eating the right amount to be natural, not clinical. So I say, go you. it was successful once, it will be successful again and again until it is natural to you and comfortable. Sounds like you are doing well.

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