Sometimes I walk around the supermarket looking at all of the tasty-looking treats and knowing from my experience checking labels that the price to be paid for the enjoyment is not worth it. That nice-looking slice of Swiss cake roll over there is going to be 300 calories. That's as much as I spend on breakfast or 2/3 of a substantial snack. That innocent looking bit of cheese is 100 calories for two nibbles and I could have a banana for that cost.
For many years, I realized that there was a price for bad eating choices, but I pretended that price didn't apply to me because I was already fat. I was like the credit card user who sees the balance going up, but keeps spending because what's another $5, $10, $15, or $20 a month in payment on the bill when I can have what I want now? I'm already in debt, what's a little more? It's not like denying myself is going to change my status any time soon.
When I think about those tasty foods, I'll wish, on occasion, that I could have the pleasure of those foods without the price. I'll wish that someone would invent wonderful food that had great texture and flavor for zero calories, or for a fraction of the current price. I think that this wish is not one that only I have had and is part of what has us eating so much manufactured and processed diet food. We want the good without the bad, and when someone offers us a chance at this gustatory brass ring, we grab it. It always ends up that the ring is cheap plastic painted the same color as brass and we're sorely disappointed, but we keep grabbing anyway.
Part of coming to terms in a meaningful way with my problem has been recognizing that the price of overeating applies to me even if I'm already fat. Because I've been overweight nearly my entire life, it took health problems that were frightening and painful as well as a looming life change to make me wake up and smell the proverbial coffee. You can hate yourself everyday and still not change if you think that the change is never going to be meaningful enough to sacrifice the pleasures of food. And if you've spent more years fat than thin, it's going to be damn hard to believe you'll ever be thin. Even now, I'm not sure I'll ever actually be thin, but I'll settle for healthy.
Another part of coming to terms with my problems has been realizing that piling more food "debt" on my current debt is not staying in the same state, but rather getting worse and worse. Being fat is bad. Being obese is worse. Being morbidly obese even worse yet. It took my heart pounding on random occasions while I was sitting down or walking short distances to make me see that I was about to go bankrupt on the health front from accumulating too much food "debt". With the weight I've lost and the changes I've made, the heart pounding experience has almost completely vanished.
The next point that I really want to come to terms with is the idea that there will never be pleasure without a price when it comes to food so I need to stop wishing for that and just accept that the hot fudge sundaes are like buying a diamond ring whereas the carrot is like a dollar bauble from a kid's vending machine. There's never going to be a free ride, and I need to stop hoping and looking for it if I'm ever going to have a healthy relationship with food.