Weight Loss- Navigating Guilty Pleasures

Weight loss-nagivating guilty pleasuresA  post in which my primary audience is myself. *ahem*

Hi, I’m Gwen, and I LOVE food. Really. I’ve heard the “food is just fuel” theory, but I am not an adherent to that. I mean, I realize that it’s fuel, but it’s SO much MORE than just fuel. Or at least it can be. Food can be savored, celebrated, shared, grown, and preserved. It’s smell, taste, texture, and bringer of memories. Food can be a very, very powerful part of life. And just like any powerful gift, we have to work at keeping a healthy perspective and relationship with how we interact with and think about it.

For myself, when I’m focusing in weight loss, I struggle with wanting to treat myself for being good…this reward mentality is something I’m certain that I picked up on in childhood, and have unintentionally passed to my kids. I honestly don’t have a huge problem with the treat mentality, but the ugly underbelly of it is what I have to really be aware of: guilt and punishment for not being “good”.

When I start attaching a moral value to foods, and making them “good” and “bad”, I have noticed that I am more apt to have guilt or pride over how closely I stick to my food rules. This ends up being a really self defeating approach, because when we become our own moral judge, we are SO much more apt to start overlooking the “bad” if we get enough “good” in there.

This interview with Kelly McGonigal on the science of willpower was so eye opening for me. It’s a 25 minute interview, but it’s WELL worth the time to watch.

My take away is this: I’m going to enjoy the foods I choose to eat without guilt (and without pride), and aim to make choices that reflect my goals of sustaining and supporting my health most of the time. :) This means that my daily “treats” will be in line with my goals, and only the occasional weekend or holiday treats or meals will be off plan.

Last year, I did a THM Q&A post, and I’d love to repeat that. Next Tuesday, I’ll be answering your questions…so bring them on. I’ll pick 5 questions to answer from the comments here and on my Facebook page. Do you have any questions about THM that you’d like me to address?


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  1. v says

    I have to make a lot of vegetarian suppers in order to fit in with my husband’s current dietary needs. Do you have any suggestions as to how to do it the THM way and with variety?

  2. Helen says

    Hi Gwen, I really like the new website/look. I think if I had weight loss from the get go I would have had more of a reason to stay on plan. I have yet to loose 10 lbs (my goal is 50) I’m not giving up, Nothing seems to boost my metabolism :( why am I not in fat burning mode when I eat on plan?

  3. Shelley says

    Hi Gwen,

    I’m a newbie to THM! Health and nutrition has always interested me, so I’ve really enjoyed learning the plan and being reminded of several things I’ve picked up over the years. I don’t actually need to lose weight; however, my dear hubby does have a few lbs to shed as well as some cholesterol and bp issues that need attention. He’s in support of my THM efforts on his behalf…thankfully. I guess my question is, how do I practice/ create a diet for someone else?? As much as I like to eat healthy, it’s very hard to be THM strict when it’s not for me! The old adage: what’s good for the goose is good for the gander ( or maybe the other away around) should probably apply, but I find a lot of guilt and frustration trying to keep with the plan for his sake when personally I’m not. I still have much to kearn about the THM system! Hope that makes sense.

    • says

      Hi Shelley,
      What works well for me is to create meals that are S and E for those who are looking to lose, but add in side dishes or toppings that cross over the other family members who are maintaining. For instance, an E breakfast can be crossed over by being generous with the butter on pancakes and cream in your coffee. He can have a tsp of whipped butter to keep him in E mode.

      Make sense? :) Once you get the meal types down, it really is simple to make it work for other family members to either lose or gain depending on how they dress their plate.