As you might guess, Little Miss Picky is quite a food critic. She is extremely opinionated also, at ease with passing judgment on every morsel to pass my lips. To make matters worse, she has a photographic memory and provides me with vivid images of the less than stellar food choices in my past. She seems to delight in reminding me of those many nights, too many to count, spent on the couch with a comforting bowl of macaroni, butter and cheese. Or the endless broken promises, the times I swore that I would eat just a few potato chips, only to realize later that I had eaten the whole bag in a salt-induced frenzy. Even when I’ve done well by any objective standard, eaten in a way that is low-fat and chock full of fresh fruits and vegetables, even then my inner nag won’t shut up. She points out that the piece of grilled chicken I ate today was a bit large, wasn’t it? Was there a piece of skin left on it? You do know how much fat is in chicken skin, don’t you? It’s enough to drive a girl insane.
This is the main reason that I am skeptical about whether mindful eating could work for me. I’m afraid it might be playing right into Little Miss Picky’s hands. I can picture it, my new health-conscious self trying to get in touch with nascent cravings for leafy salads dressed with lemon vinaigrette, when the old finger-wagger butts in and says, “You really think you crave salad? Ha! That’ll be the day!” And then, after she finishes humiliating me, she turns on the charm, cooing softly in my ear, “Don’t feel bad honey. Just have a big square of that nice, gooey, cheesy lasagna.” Yes, she does seem a bit bi-polar at times.
Before I started losing weight, I thought the change was all about my body, but I’ve discovered it’s really been more about my head. Even though establishing new diet and exercise habits has been hard, it’s been a cinch compared to establishing new beliefs and attitudes about food. And so far, I haven’t silenced Little Miss Picky, I’ve just become more adept at ignoring her. I look forward to that day when she gets tired of being snubbed and decides to go torture someone else.
By the way, Little Miss Picky has a comment on this post. She says she can’t leave because she’s not really a voice in my head, but a part of me that I refuse to recognize. Oh boy, she’s pretty devious, isn’t she?