Anyway, I've spend some time hanging out on the forums, reading blog posts, and watching the people on my MFP friend's list. And I've started thinking about self-control more.
I haven't given up any food while counting calories. Just look at my diary! I snack constantly, eat chocolate, sugar, chips, soft drinks, crisps...
|Banana, Chocolate Freedom, Strawberry Freedom, Strawberry syrup, and Flaked Almonds. Can you say 'Yum!'?|
Not all the time, obviously. I figure out when I'm willing to spend my calories on those items, and when they'd be better spent on something else.
Not everyone views weight loss in this way. Lots of people try to cut out junk food and treats entirely. Most famous diets - Atkins, being the obvious one - involve cutting out certain foods almost entirely.
(On a side note, I wonder if vegans can do Atkins?).
People don't like cutting out certain foods, I've noticed. It's a huge willpower thing. I bet I'd be the same, if I tried to cut out chocolate or whatever entirely. And that's made me wonder why veganism doesn't feel like that.
I thought veganism would be really restricting. I thought it would be frustrating, to play the What Can I Eat? game, and have the answer always be "not a lot". I thought I'd be fighting temptation constantly. Instead, after that time period when I really cut down the vegetarianism to veganism, and got over the cheese cravings (about a fortnight) it just all became totally irrelevant. It's just not a viable food source any more. It's off my agenda.
I think the difference is that no one's telling me that I can't eat milk, or eggs, or meat. No one's saying that, if I cut these items out, I'll be thin. Lots of people lose weight quite happily while eating animal products. No, no one's telling me that I can't, or I shouldn't, not even me. I could probably afford it, calorie wise, and it would be a lot easier to get protein that way (although, looking at someone's diary earlier, I did notice that my soy milk had more protein than skim milk does. Result!).
No, the difference is that I've decided I won't eat those things. I can't tell myself that a little bit won't hurt, or make excuses, or budget for it. I can't tell myself that it's just this once, and it doesn't matter. It matters, even a little bit. I have better reasons for not eating those things than for eating them, so it's not hard for me to resist them - I don't even see it as a question of resistance.
On the other hand, I've given up potato scallops for Lent. That will be hard. Waiting for a bus in the cold, standing outside a chippy, smelling the crispy batter and the vinegar? Hold me back.