Raspberry Ice Cream DessertIf you’re over 18 I’m sure you’ve heard this hundreds of times, maybe you’ve even said it yourself: “but I don’t want to deprive myself!”

I know, you don’t feel like you should live a life filled with deprivation of all of those favorite, yummy foods you love, but you know what? There are other ways of looking at this topic of “deprivation”…

Who Is Depriving You?

First off, unless you are being held captive (then I doubt you’d be reading this article 😉 ), you are the one making the choices in what you eat. It’s always your choice what you feed your body, your choice if you want to read labels and learn about what’s in the food you’re eating, or if you want to live like I used to – eating whatever the heck I pleased, 90% of it filled with refined sugar!

Most of that I realize now was my rebellious self, the self I learned about in the Shrink Yourself program (learn more in my emotional eating experiment series), but I was still the one choosing to eat like that.

Is It Really Deprivation?

–verb (used with object), -prived, -priv·ing.
1. to remove or withhold something from the enjoyment or possession of (a person or persons): to deprive a man of life; to deprive a baby of candy.

Isn’t it interesting that in the definition of the word deprive they use the example of depriving a baby of candy (sugar!). It’s good though, because this is exactly my point – if you’re addicted to sugar, if eating sugar makes you want more and you find it hard to stop eating foods that contain it, then are you really depriving yourself if you stay away from it? Aren’t you instead loving yourself and doing yourself a favor by abstaining from any food that contains sugar?

That’s how I look at it. It doesn’t mean that I don’t still want it sometimes, but when I think logically that I’m doing a good thing for myself by staying off of the sugar (think of the mood swings I’m saving myself from!), then it’s really not deprivation but a kindness. 😉

Is it a Treat or an Obstacle?

Here’s one more thought, something I learned from the Hunger Coach portion of the Shrink Yourself program (the Hunger Coach is a neat interactive tool you can use after week 4 of the program to help you avoid overeating) – think of the food you want, that cake, cookie or ice cream as the obstacle it really is instead of being a treat.

It’s an obstacle to your goal of a healthy and fit body and if you indulge in it, it takes you a step back from your goal instead of helping you move towards it. And back to the sugar addiction topic – if you indulge in that sweet you could set yourself up for another cycle of sugar indulgence.

It’s really Not Deprivation

So, are you truly depriving yourself of anything by choosing not to eat the sugary sweet stuff, or are you doing yourself a favor by loving yourself just a little bit more and helping yourself get closer to your goal weight? Just something to think about the next time you start to give yourself the excuse that you’re depriving yourself; I hope these thoughts help you as much as they’re helping me. 😉