When I was a 300-pound woman years and years ago, I was always concerned about what food I was going to eat and how much I could have.
Would John and I go out to eat for lunch and/or dinner?
Would I take a secret trip through the McDonald’s drive thru after I went grocery shopping?
Would I be able to have the most food on my plate at dinner?
I thought a lot about food and sometimes planned my day around what, when, and where I would eat.
If we weren’t going out to dinner that night, I’d do what millions of other people do every day. Stand in the kitchen and cook a meal for my family. Once I finally learned to cook, I found that I liked to try new recipes and experiment with different foods.
It turns out that it is a good thing that I know how to cook and like it considering we went on to have four more children after I lost all my weight. When I made meals for the family, I always thought about how much I would get. I’d look at the pan of chicken cordon bleu as it came out of the oven and mentally divide the meal into “their” portions and “mind.”
Mine were always the biggest. I am kind of ashamed to admit it, but it’s true. I always wanted to be sure that I had the most food on my plate.
I made sure this happened by being the one who served out the meals. I’d lay out the plates, dole out everyone’s food, saving my plate for last. I’d load up my plate with the biggest piece of chicken or largest serving of pasta I could get away with, making sure to spoon plenty of sauce on top of it. As we ate, I’d find myself surreptitiously watching everyone else eat, wondering if they would want more, or could I have the rest? If they wanted more, I’d give it to them, but then I’d remind myself that there was plenty of chocolate cake sitting on the counter for me!
Dessert time came, and once again, the largest piece of cake or pie was reserved for me. To make matters worse for my weight, I’d also take little slivers of the cake and pop them in my mouth while I served everyone else their piece. That’s the cook’s privilege – right?
When I think back on that time in my life, I realize that I likely ate about twice as much as John did. I was so obsessed with food that I always ate more than I needed and served myself the largest portions of everything (except vegetables).
I changed that habit as I lost weight. I realized that my portion sizes were directly correlated to the number of calories I ate and decided to make a swift change.
I learned what appropriate portion sizes looked like and worked on reducing how often I thought about food. That took a lot of practice but over time I conquered it.
The concept of portion control at restaurants is important, but controlling your portions at home is equally as important. It is all part of the retraining process that naturally takes place as you shed extra pounds and change your life.
Learning to be satisfied with the right portion of food whether it is a small piece of dessert or a great whole wheat roll has made weight maintenance easier on me.
How do you do with portion control at home? Did you ever worry that other people were getting more than you were? Diane