How many cookies equal a delightful experience? I’m assuming you like cookies – and – it’s definitely becoming the season for all things cookie. If not, replace cookie with a food you adore overeating.
So, what’s the answer that pops into your head? How many cookies are delightful?
The way your brain tackles this question can be fascinating. Be curious and compassionate.
For many who’ve spent time in battles with food and the scale, the answer comes quickly:
“My delightful experience is as many cookies as I want. I want all the cookies.”
Your inner voice might joke (or not) with you: “There are never enough cookies.”
In a certain moment, this may be true, and telling yourself that you can truly have however much you want may feel truly balmy and satisfying in a specific kind of way.
But let’s take things further. How many cookies provide true satisfaction?
For that answer, it’s important to look past the moment. I know a lot of people who fall in the “never enough cookies” camp who also say that an hour after eating all the cookies, they don’t feel satisfied, they feel kind of sick. And maybe even guilty or frustrated with themselves. Satisfaction isn’t an impulse. Satisfaction takes into account how we feel emotionally and physically. It includes the consequences we create for ourselves (pleasure, satisfaction, fullness, etc.).
It may seem silly, but it’s worth asking – what does satisfaction look like for you when you eat a cookie?
I had this conversation recently with a client who loves to enjoy her holiday baking.
For her, satisfaction includes anticipating the treat, savoring the taste, and feeling pleasantly sated but not uncomfortable afterward. Satisfaction means enjoying what she ate and feeling energized and comfortable for the rest of the day – no overstuffed feeling or blood sugar madness. With this clarity, she decided that satisfaction came with one or two (or one and a half) cookies. She decided an experiment was in order.
How interesting is it that we often have to create a situation where we stop and pay attention to find out how much food really feels good?
Do you know how many cookies do it for you?
Yesterday, in one of our group coaching calls, a member of the Missing Peace program shared an idea I love. She calls it a ceremony of pleasure.
A baker, who loves the traditional treats she creates this time of year, she’s experimenting with how to bake her cake, eat it too, and have peace with food.
For her, satisfaction involves making a clear choice about what and when she eats (instead of mindlessly scooping up a crumb or a broken off piece of cookie and eating it with little or no thought).
Satisfaction involves being present and attentive so she can savor the food she wants to enjoy.
Satisfaction involves choosing the moment and the setting that will make eating most enjoyable.
What works for her: sometimes it’s still enjoying the crumbs and the broken off pieces, but it’s putting them on a plate and sitting down with them so she can really have “a moment.”
She’s decided to focus this season on creating ceremonies of pleasure and honoring the food she eats and the experience of eating.
How many cookies provide you true satisfaction, and what does that satisfaction include for you?
What would your ceremony of pleasure look like if you wanted to fully and deeply honor and enjoy your favorite treat?
I challenge us all to play with these questions this season. Let me know what you learn.
We’ve got this!