In my review of Susan Maria Leach’s book, Before & After: Living & Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery, I mentioned that this book has helped me make a major change in my life.
After reading it, I realized for the first time that I’ve acquired the unhealthy habit of overeating at the dinner table. I clean my plate every meal. It’s a habit, and I don’t even consider whether I feel full or not. I also feel like this shows appreciation to the cook (even when it’s me) by eating every single bite. And to further express my gratitude, I go back for seconds.
I also realized I still have the mentality that I’m eating for two — because for most of the past decade, I’ve been either pregnant or nursing. Especially during my pregnancies, I was more likely to overeat because I wanted to be sure my baby got all the nutrients possible. During the first trimester, it’s crucial to get the vitamins your infant needs as his or her brain and major organs are developing. So my motto became “More is more, just in case.”
Now I’m only eating for one, so I should notice when I feel full and then stop, whether or not my plate is clean or I’ve had seconds. Susan Leach also chews her food slowly. Part of my overeating habit comes from being famished before I sit down, then eating too fast.
We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and a plate with a very large square of birthday cake was handed to me. I stared at it for a moment, looked at the picnic table of unhealthy food and knew why their entire family was unhealthy and obese. To make things worse, they noticed that I didn’t touch my cake and one of ‘the Aunts’ made her second comment about there being something wrong with the food.
I have a long way to go, but thanks to this book, I’m more aware of how saying “no” to poor food choices and overeating means saying “yes” to healthier living. This is the secret, I’m sure, to permanent weight loss: eat only what your body needs.