Many food addicts who had resisted mightily the idea of weighing and measuring report later that, after they tried it for a while, they found a great relief. Rather than experiencing it as harshly restrictive, they say that they actually feel much freer when they weigh and measure. It helps relieve the obsession with food before, during and after a meal. Compulsive eaters who have weighed and measured know for certain that they have eaten exactly what they committed.
There are variations of weighing and measuring. Some weigh and measure all their food; some will weigh and measure only their protein, starch and dressing. Others will weigh and measure at home but not at restaurants or social events. Some will measure their vegetables and starches in a cup; others will weigh them. Some will weigh and measure for the first 30 days, 90 days or a year, then do it only when they feel anxious, notice they are getting sloppy or just want the practice of surrender. There are some with long time, stable abstinence and recovery who have simply integrated surrender to weighing and measuring into their food plan one day at a time for life. For those who are addicted to volume, the use of a cup, scale and measuring spoons is not a form of dieting but rather a physical aid to portion control.
As with bottom lines, the decision about weighing and measuring comes down to individual choice – usually in collaboration with a sponsor – based upon past experience and upon what works and what does not work when it is tried. What is important – as with other parts of a food plan – is to first make a decision then do the spiritual work of staying surrendered to that commitment.
While every food addict does not need to weigh and measure their food, there are some very compelling reasons for doing so:
- Weighing and measuring simplifies portion control. There is no question of how much of each food to eat.
- For the food addict who is weighing and measuring, it is always clear exactly what surrender means.
- If the amount of food in your plan has the amount of calories to be your ideal weight, you will eventually reach it and maintain this weight.
- For those who sometimes – or always – have a distorted concept of food volume, weighing and measuring is like wearing glasses with the corrected prescription.
- Weighing and measuring is a gentler and a much less expensive alternative to intestinal bypass surgery.
- For volume addicts – who almost always want more food – weighing and measuring assures that you are getting enough to eat.
- Weighing and measuring eliminates the need for all the head talk about “how much is enough today?”
- Being committed to weighing and measuring assures that you know there is one important way you are remembering that you are a food addict.
- No one gets hurt– including the food addict – by a practice of weighing and measuring.
- When a food addict weighs and measures in public, there is always the chance another food addict will be helped by seeing and talking about this practice.
© Phil Werdell 2010