I posted some time ago that I'd given up bedtime snacks for good -- after dinner, I'm done with solid food. Last night I learned a little more about that
I had a late afternoon/early evening bit of volunteer work to do at church, so I made dinner for my family and left it in the oven, dropping the kids with Mark on the way, and headed out. I'd brought some paperwork with me, thinking I would stop in a little sandwich shop/bakery on the way home, catch a sandwich for dinner and a cup of coffee while I looked the papers over.
The plates other people were eating from looked too big. A sandwich by itself should be the right size. I ordered a cheese-and-other-yummy-stuff sandwich. When the server came around and plopped my dinner in front of me, the plate was indeed too big, but the sandwich was normal-sized. The rest of the plate supported a good-sized pile of beautifully crisp and brown, curly, sparkling-with-large-crystals-of-sea-salt, batch-cooked potato chips. I suspect them of having been made in-house.
I cleaned my plate.
As I was finishing my water, I looked around, and I saw a family near me who had ordered a side dish of Szechuan green beans. They were bright green and lovely. They filled a plate. And I began to wish that I had ordered the green beans to go with my sandwich, and that I had asked the cashier "Hold the chips." Oh, my plate would have looked ever so much more beautiful with the veggies on it! And I would have felt so much nicer about myself!
A little voice in my head told me, "You should go right up to the counter and order some green beans right now. You need vegetables. Those potato chips gave you no nutrition at all. Go on! Eat your vegetables! They're good for you. YOU NEED TO BUY SOME GREEN BEANS AND EAT THEM ALL UP. Do you want to get rickets or scurvy or whatever it is that comes from a diet of cheese sandwiches and potato chips?"
This is what gluttony always sounds like to me: I convince myself I really need to eat more.
I said no. That meal is behind me now, I told myself. I ate a whole plate of food. No, the potato chips weren't ideal (tasty though). Yes, the giant pile of green beans would have been better for me. You know what? IT'S OVER. Better luck next time. There will be other meals. Even, maybe, meals in this sandwich shop. Yes, the beans are more healthy, but more important is sticking to and reinforcing the don't-stuff-myself habit, the one-plate-meal habit. I AM DONE EATING.
(That all sounds very glib. Actually, as I sat there in the restaurant, I was gritting my teeth and clutching the table edge with the effort of making up my mind whether to go buy and eat a half-pound of stir-fried green beans. I know. Sad.)
Potato chips are not terribly filling. I got hungry again a couple of hours later. I lay in bed listening to my stomach growl and telling myself I'd learned my lesson: Order the big pile of veggies up front.
I am going out for breakfast now. I am going to a place not far from my house where they serve salads with breakfast, a little pile of organic mixed greens tossed with a nice vinaigrette. I am totally craving that salad.