With food, what works for me is treating refined and processed carbohydrates as though they are poison. I've given myself four to six times a year when I'm allowed to indulge. And you can bet, next Christmas morning I'll be having my Williams-Sonoma croissant—you know the frozen ones they ship to your door, and when you heat them up the whole house smells like bread? The difference is, the year before last, I took an entire tray of those croissants on the plane to South Africa, and we ate them all the way to Sweden. I'm no physician, but I know that the more sugar you consume, the more your body wants. You think your craving is a lack of willpower, but what you've really got is a chemical imbalance.
The biggest imbalance for many of us, though, is in the amount of thought we devote to food and weight. If I could add up the time I've spent worrying about what I just ate and what I shouldn't have just eaten, feeling guilty about it, and getting down on myself about why I'm not where I want to be, it would probably be several years of my life. And you can't get those years back.
I am not wasting any more time. And by no longer dwelling on all of these negative thoughts, I have opened up a whole new energy field for myself. It's amazing. I feel as if I'm living on a higher frequency, a stronger, brighter charge. The voltage got turned up. People stop me all the time and ask, "What have you done to look so different?" This is the answer.
I've also stopped seeing every big occasion as a license to eat. I used to go to parties thinking, Oh boy, I hope they have good hors d'oeuvres. Now I wonder who might be interesting to meet there. And I've changed my behavior to avoid what are food triggers for me. Before, I'd get home, put down my purse, and go straight to the refrigerator. Now, I come in the door, put down my purse, and head for the bedroom to change into my pajamas—those five minutes get me past the fridge impulse. Same thing at work: I'd come up the stairs, go into my little room, and think, I've got to eat some potato chips because I just finished the show and I deserve it. Now I walk all the way around the other side of the building to get to my office, so I break the pattern.
The real key for me is to decide before a meal or an event what I'm going to eat—and if I do have some dessert, I just move on. One piece of anything isn't going to kill you; it's the seconds and thirds and fourths that become a problem. At my own 50th birthday celebration, I made a choice not to have a piece of the incredible cake everybody saw on the show. I appreciated the love that went into that cake. And it sure was pretty. But I did not have any. I didn't even think about it. And to go, "You're not going to eat the cake" and stick to it...what can I say? It felt absolutely fabulous.
Oprah Makes the Commitment continues...