When you’re overweight and diabetic, when you know you should be losing weight and controlling what you eat, ordering take-away food could be seen as failure. It certainly feels like failing. It doesn’t mean I don’t do it – and in fact, because I feel like it’s failing I usually end up ordering the worst possible thing (more calories than you can shake a stick at), because since I’m failing, fuck it, might as well fail in style.
But it’s not a good place to be mentally. Food and emotions are already tied together too much (feeling good, why not eat to celebrate, feeling down, why not eat to cheer yourself up, eaten too much, better feel guilty, feeling guilty, why not eat to cheer yourself up. repeat). So feeling like a failure every time you order take-away food doesn’t help, it just drives the circle even faster.
So I decided to redefine success.
Now, the normal position is ordering take-away food. That’s normal. Success is not ordering take-away food. There is no failure option. Every day I don’t order take-away is a success. I’ve achieved a goal. I eat the chicken and veg or whatever other bloody meal I can pretend to enjoy and I succeed. If I get take-away then that’s okay, it’s normal. Tomorrow I have another chance at success.
It’s a much better head-space to be in. Might feel like cheating, but I think that it doesn’t matter. You have to be in control of how you feel to some extent, in order to manage what you eat and actually survive. If I have to cheat by moving the goal posts to do that then I will. It hasn’t (and won’t) lead to me eating more take-away food, but it’ll certainly lead to me not feeling so bad about it if I do (which in turn means I don’t eat even more crap), and every day I eat something boring and tedious and with the vague semblance of being healthy I’ll feel like I made progress rather than being stuck with the status quo.