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Old habits die hard

By Charlene Rayburn

While ruminating on the material in Chapter 2 of “Eat What You Love Love What You Eat,” I had a couple insights about how I’ve used preventative eating.

open faced hot turkey sandwichI had a “memory pop” of a time when I was about 10 years old. It is very vivid. My mother, one of my sisters and I were at one of our favorite restaurants. I ordered the meal that I loved, a roast beef sandwich on white bread, with mashed potatoes and gravy over the entire meal. I knew I was getting full and had slowed my eating pace. My good intentioned mother said, “You’d better eat that, you never know when you’ll get your next meal.”

She had experienced the depression at a young age and it shaped her ideas about food. I thought about what she said. Mentally, I knew we had plenty of food at home, but I really loved those roast beef sandwiches and mashed potatoes. So, I used it as an excuse to eat more.

Thinking back on it now, I think I not only gave myself permission for that meal, but I gave myself permission for the rest of my life. Preventative eating is definitely a behavior I’ve practiced over and over again. It is a form of eating out of (subtle) fear.

Another time I’ve repeatedly practiced preventative eating is right before I start my new diet (or an old diet again…and again). I will habitually have my “last meal” because I know it to be forbidden foods on the diet and I tell myself I’d better enjoy it now. In reality, I have my last several meals sometimes for days before the target date that I restart my diet. Interesting. I’m grateful for the awareness.


About the author

Charlene Rayburn, CVCC, lives her passion for mindfulness and intentional leadership by serving as a personal and professional leadership coach, by managing a department of dedicated employees for a Fortune 500 sized health insurance organization, and by facilitating Am I Hungry?® workshops and coaching sessions. She has coached extensively with individuals and groups outside the corporate world, as well as with executives, leaders, and teams in non-profit, private, public, governmental, and educational organizations spanning the globe. Charlene received her coaching certificate through the Center for Coaching Mastery at Coachville, LLC, and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Management from Davenport University. She is a member of the National Management Association. One of her most emotionally challenging and rewarding experiences was serving as a volunteer at the Center for Battered Women. Charlene currently lives in Michigan and enjoys spending time with her husband of over 20 years, reading, learning, cooking, practicing yoga, and watching her grandson grow, who lives with his dad, her stepson in Fort Worth, Texas.

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