“Care for a cookie?” Someone points to a plate of chocolate chip cookies on the table. When you see the cookies, what’s your knee-jerk reaction? How do you decide whether or not to take one?
Let’s stop and examine our thought processes.
My first thought is, do the cookies look good? Yum! (That’s a yes.)
Second, do I have room for a cookie? Yes. (I almost always have room for a yummy-looking cookie.)
Third, is anyone else having a cookie right now? Yes. (I love social eating.)
Fourth, am I hungry? A little. (A little hunger = enough for a cookie.)
Fifth, do I want one? Yes.
Okay, I’ll eat one, thanks.
Last month, a reader gave me a link to an article called, Transform Your Relationship with Food by Doing This One Simple Thing, by Maryann Jacobsen, who described reactions to cookies from six people that reveal their views – and ours – on a lot more than just cookies.
Person A thinks about the gluten in it.
Person B thinks about the fat grams in it.
Person C thinks about the carbs in it.
Person D thinks about the sugar in it.
Person E thinks about the chemicals in it.
Person F thinks, “there’s cookies.” That’s it.
Which person are you?
The first five people see what they believe is bad in the food. “But,” according to Jacobsen, “the worst part is this feeling sticks.”
(I relate to that. Back in my dieting days, I was Person B, C, or D, depending on which diet I was on for lo, those many years. When I ate cookies back then, I always felt guilty.)
The cookie is just a cookie to Person F. She considers having one, decides she’s not interested, and quickly forgets it.
The article goes on to differentiate between the restraint model of eating vs. the moderation model. Restraint is food restriction based on what’s in the food. Moderation means “self-regulating eating based on responding to one’s needs and desires in a reasonable manner.” Jacobsen likens these eating models to views of happiness. Some of us obsess over circumstances that we can’t change while others focus on the things we can change, such as our outlook on life.
Person F doesn’t obsess about the cookie, but takes into account the big picture as she listens to internal cues while considering food satisfaction and health, “not a set of inflexible food rules.”
I like Person F a lot because she either takes time to savor the cookie or gets on with the rest of her day.
What are your thoughts when you see a cookie?
Thanks for reading!
Posted on October 27, 2015