The negative consequences of trips down memory lane
Friday, May 04, 2018
In March I returned to Finland after twenty years! I was last there as a Rotary exchange student and a work conference brought me there again.
It was a remarkable trip. My first impressions as I stepped off the train in Helsinki with my husband and two year old was the realisation of just how young I was to have ventured into a country so different to my own to live for a year.
Finland was a place where I first gained a lot of weight. Much of my social activity surrounded eating and I went from living in boarding school where my eating was tightly controlled to an environment where I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to.
For the week that we were there I re-visited the amazing flavours of the cakes and breads as well as familiar Finnish family meals like fish soup (full of cream) and meat loaf. I had not eaten some of this food for so long, that I had seconds at almost every meal.
When we returned I jumped on the scale expecting to see an extreme weight gain, only to see that it hadn't been so much. The cold weather and all the walking must have balanced out the larger meals that I had been eating.
The problem has been that since returning I have struggled with the hard reality of having to return to a disciplined regime of eating. Somehow, the connection with my memories of being eighteen and the freedom of eating whatever I wanted, made me want to be like that again.
Of course, the reality is, if I eat whatever I want whenever I want, I gain weight. This week I have confronted this issue and humbly returned to monitoring my eating and recording the weight on my scale.
I really cannot deviate from watching what I eat. Every time I do, I end up really struggling to get back on track and in this horrible "yo-yo" pattern. I realise it is a cognitive issue and have re-visited Martha Beck. Somehow, I need to get into a pattern of thinking where making healthier eating choices is more important than being able to eat whatever, whenever.
I'm working on it. So much of my lifestyle is healthy that it would be wonderful to overcome this issue once and for all.