When I think about the difference between want and need, usually thoughts of my mother come into play. My mom grew up with parents who lived through the depression. My mom grew up in Detroit - when jobs were scarce. So sometimes her dad had a job and sometimes he didn't.
She knows how to stretch a dollar. So when I think about "want" and "need" I usually think about how she and her family had to do without the things they wanted and were lucky to get the stuff they need.
You know what I don't think about when pondering the differences between want and need? Me.
I've talked a lot about how I'm practicing mindful and intuitive eating. So to catch everyone up, the idea is that you ask yourself if you're hungry. If you are, you ask yourself what you're hungry for. Then you eat it. You stop when you're satisfied. Rinse and repeat for each meal or snack.
But often, what my body is hungry for is not what my mind wants.
The thing is, sometimes I want something sweet. While I know I could be decently satisfied with a piece of dark chocolate or some fruit, what I want is a blizzard, or a cookie, or a sundae, or...
I was thinking about this whole thought this morning. The problem that I have is that I don't want to eat something different than what I want. I WANT to indulge.
And that's when it hit me - sometimes I act like a petulant child on the inside when I don't get what I want.
I'm embarrassed. I was raised better than this. I was raised to "suck it up" and eat what is there instead of what I wanted. But somehow wires got crossed and I learned that it was bad to get what I wanted - that it somehow meant that I was selfish. And somehow I thought that me getting what I wanted in life meant that I was being greedy.
So on the outside, I conformed. I ate what my mom told me to. I deprived myself; I did the right things. And I started binge eating in private.
I want to live an authentic life - not just with food, but with my friends, family, and my emotions.
I know that restriction makes me want to rebel. I know that when I feel that I can't have something, I rebel and eat more of it than I should. I know that I don't enjoy sneaking food in private...the shame isn't worth it.
So my struggle is how to deal with want versus need. How do I listen and honor my body with what it needs while still loving the part of me that wants?
This morning I'm hungry. I want one of the Einstein Brothers bagel with whipped cream cheese that one of my co-workers brought in. I want to not miss out on the fun and rush of people eating the food. I know when I eat the bagel that it tastes SOOO good. But I also know that I'm satisfied with the english muffin and peanut butter. I know that if I don't have that bagel today, I won't miss it as the day goes on. I know that if I really want one tomorrow I can get one before coming to work. I know that seconds before I saw her walking in, I was excited about my breakfast choice.
Most importantly, I know that I want to get rid of this extra weight. I know that my joints want me to make the better choice. I know that I want to be thinner for my younger sister's wedding (where I will hopefully NOT look like an egg on fire) in April. And I know that I want to have pride in the fact that I really am living a healthy lifestyle.
So, I'm going to go and fix myself the english muffin. I'm going to try one of the new samples of nut butters that I purchased last night. And I'm going to concentrate on all of the ways that *I* am choosing this choice. I'm not being made to eat just what I need, but rather I'm getting to choose this delicious and decadent breakfast.
Any thoughts? Am I missing something that could clarify this "want vs. need" thing? How do you lovingly decide to choose between what you want and what you need?