Remember when one donut was enough?
When I was a kid, my grandma used to bring us long johns from the Viborg bakery when she would come to visit. She also brought the equalizer – colored peppers. Yellow, red and orange. She was a chronic dieter. I wonder if she thought she had to balance the “bad” food, long johns with the “good” food, peppers. Who knows, but it makes sense in my mind. We could not wait for those long johns when we knew grandma Esther was coming. They were the best. Absolutely delicious. Savored and enjoyed without guilt on the part of us kids. I remember loving the colored peppers just the same. Both foods were just food for me at that point. I remember her coming mostly to the Euclid House. She would arrive and we would run to meet her. Always looking for it. The white box. The bakery box. The long john box. It was simple then. Food was simple then.
I don’t care what anyone says, food is amazing and it will always stir up emotions and memories. We all love food. If someone says they don’t, they are lying! It brings people together and forms those memories and emotions. That is one of my favorite memories of my grandma. In her tiny little town where she lived (Viborg, South Dakota), she was known as the cookie lady. She was always helping where she could. Her baking was the best. She made THE BEST sugar cookies. It makes my mouth water to think of them. Mmmmm.
That was when food was just food to me. It was when there was no good or bad. That was when I just ate food because we ate food. It would be a few more years before food started becoming good and bad. It would be a few more years when my beloved sport of gymnastics ruined my relationship with food. Things started shifting from simple. From one donut.
Somewhere along the way, your relationship with food was ruined as well. You told me. You told me it’s all or nothing. You can’t lose weight because you think in the all or nothing realm. If you eat something that you consider “bad,” off you go. Running fast away from progress. You think you ruined it. If only you had gotten right back to your plan and knew you didn’t need to be perfect, you would have been fine. But you kept running. Faster and faster and then you got further behind the faster you went.
You also told me you suck at having discipline. That’s because you try to restrict and eat as little as possible. This solidifies the cycle of restricting and overeating and the cycle of I’ll start again on Monday, because I’m blowing it all this weekend. You told me. But if you would have gotten right back to your plan after one meal off plan, you would have been fine.
You also told me you crave “bad” foods all the time. That’s because again, you restrict, but also because you probably aren’t eating enough protein. You started running again. You got frustrated and kept running away. But if you would have gotten right back to your plan, you would have been fine.
You told me you have a hard time being consistent. If you only realized that you don’t have to eat only 1200 calories to lose fat, you would have been fine. You can eat way more than that and still lose body fat. When you restrict your food too much, it makes it impossible to stay consistent. It’s easier to be consistent when you eat more food and lose body fat at a slower pace.
You told me you have no discipline. You told me you eat all the bad foods. If you would have realized you can eat the foods you love and still lose weight, you would have been fine.
All of those examples of complicating things was me. I did them all. I told myself them all. I beat myself up over all of them. The simple in my mind was gone.
You told me you know your biggest hurdle to losing weight is yourself. If you would have believed you could make progress, you would have been fine. Believe in yourself. Believe that you can do it.
It’s easy to beat ourselves up over what we look like or what we think we can’t accomplish. It’s easy to overeat and to keep overeating. It’s easier to be comfortable in our excuses. Because honestly, change takes time. It takes a lot of hard work. It takes guts to commit to change. It doesn’t take perfection. It doesn’t take restriction. It doesn’t take ALL the discipline.
We get one life, being disciplined in your journey is a gift to yourself. Treat it as such. Don’t treat it with dread. You get to do this. You get to be able to change. You get to move your body and change your life. Making that shift, can change your life.
So, my title…you are probably wondering what the hell I mean by that. When my grandma brought those long johns, one of them was enough. Life was simple then and it was enough. The metaphor. Remember when one donut was enough? Remember when life was simple and uncomplicated. That’s the point. That’s the rub. Remember when simple was enough?
The older I got, the more I was influenced by people and things and food and coaches. Then one donut was never enough. I started using food for comfort. I started bingeing and purging. I wanted all the food, because that is what I could control. All the chaos in my life had no chance against all the food. It had no chance against my dirty little secret. It had no chance again me. Simple wasn’t enough then. I had to have things complicated. I thought I thrived off it.
I didn’t. And you shouldn’t either. You are enough. Don’t over complicate the changes you want to make. Just have one donut. It’s enough. You are enough. Do simple.
One donut can be enough. Simple can be enough. We always tend to think that harder is better or more complicated is the way to get results. It’s not. Simplify everything. Simple works better. One donut is better.