Tame the Inner Cookie Monster

My inner toddler seems to have taken control of my eating since my surgery last Wednesday and has turned into a bit of a Cookie Monster.

This came about because my tummy wasn’t very accommodating for the first few days, so it seemed OK to enjoy saltines, ginger ale, and a few cookies. But as my body has gotten better in balance, my indulgence in cookies has only increased.

Granted these are “healthier” cookies than normal. Before the surgery, my wonderful husband, David, made my recipe for peanut-butter oatmeal cookies, which have no additional fat from the peanut butter and just a little dark brown sugar and honey. When he mentioned making some chocolate chip cookies, out of self-preservation I went on-line and found a lightened up recipe that substitutes oatmeal for much of the flour and cuts the fat significantly. (And wow are they good!) While these are better choices that are fine for an occasional indulgence, they are still more calories than nutrition.

After I set my intention yesterday to eat clean, but wound up having cookies for two of my meals (what works for me is to eat five to six smaller meals a day) and was sneaking in one or two more, I realized it was time to tame this beast and get back on track with my healthy eating. I really do want to be able to wear my jeans at the end of the week!

What I would ask a client is, “What are the feelings that are leading to eating the cookies?”

For me there is some boredom (which makes total sense because my activities are curtailed for the time being and David has had to go back to work, so I’m having to entertain myself) and a sense of entitlement from my inner toddler that feels like I “deserve” cookies because I went through surgery (and behaved really well!), it’s the holidays, and I just plain want them because they are easy and delicious.

(I can almost hear the whining and feel the temper-tantrum coming on!)

Since my commitment to eating healthy is pretty darn high and I’m putting this out there to you fabulous readers to help me stay accountable, what can I do to tame this inner Cookie Monster and meet my goals?

  • I can put the cookies in the freezer, which will require that they thaw before I eat them, making sure I have a good 20 minutes to decide if I really want them or not. (Done!)
  • Every day, I can read my affirmations and my list of reasons why I want to start the New Year feeling great. (I just went and read them.)
  • When I want cookies, I can offer myself a choice of an apple or orange instead.
  • I can plan out my meals in advance. (Done)
  • I can plan to eat some cookies on Christmas day.
  • If my inner toddler throws a tantrum, I can mentally walk away and just let her throw a fit. But the answer will still be “No.”
  • I will post how I am doing with food and exercise for the next two weeks so that you can keep me accountable.

I suspect that I’m not the only one who has found themselves eating foods that generate guilt rather than a feeling of ease and alignment with their goals.

If you are in the same boat, ask yourself what you are feeling as you reach for that treat? Look at your commitment to eating healthy—if it’s fairly low, what can you do to raise it? What are some strategies you can engage to make the changes you want? How can you hold yourself accountable?

You are the only one responsible for the things you eat and put in your body. What can you do to eat foods that feel good, rather than create guilt?

Together we can do it!