Saturday, October 04, 2008

Is there a direct correlation?

So PastaQueen's post begs the question: Is it really a choice between being happy with your food or being happy with your weight? A lot of her readers think so, and I know I would choose a slice of fresh-baked apple pie over an apple 4 times out of 5. (The5th time would be if I really had already eaten 4 slices of apple pie.)

But maybe it's more like The Fulfillment Curve principle (from a great book, Your Money or Your Life) quoted in The Simple Dollar today. Trent talks about "the sweet spot" between underspending and overspending, between depriving yourself on one hand and spending so much money that you get yourself into trouble on the other:
Basically, the idea argues that there’s a sweet spot for anything that maximizes the fulfillment you get out of it. If you spend more, your fulfillment starts to actually decrease.
Trent is talking about money. He uses two examples, housing and video games, to explain how having too much of something actually causes not just a financial strain, but a feeling of guilt and a restless, unfulfilled feeling. This is the same concept that Peter Walsh uses in his book about clutter, It's All Too Much. You really can have too much stuff, too many toys, too many clothes, too big of a house -- even if you can afford it. I know its unAmerican and all, but there really is a point at which you own so much stuff that it owns you.

I think it really is the same way with food. I tend to swing between wanting to eat all healthy, all the time, and wanting to eat nothing but crackers and cheese and thick slices of bread and butter. But neither end of that spectrum is really a happy place for me. I'd rather feel like I'm eating exactly what I want and exactly how much of it I need, instead of feeling overstuffed with junk food just because it's there. But sometimes it's hard to find that balance.

You know, though, I really do love apples, and not just apple pie. And I love crisp celery, and a perfectly cooked scrambled egg. I need to give some thought to exactly what my food/weight sweet spot might look like.


  1. Oh how wonderful it would be to find that elusive "sweet spot"! I tend to go all or nothing and then beat myself up about it afterwards...sigh

  2. Oh, you are right on target! Yes, I believe there is a sweet spot. It's easier to find your sweet spot if you can peel away all the irrational (and sabatoging) thoughts we often have about food and dieting. And you know what book I credit for helping with those issues!

  3. I know what you mean. In WW's yesterday, the leader said "how wants to overeat celery, right, but give us a bag of cookies and we'll eat the whole thing". There has to be a middle ground there somewhere. When will I find it??

  4. Great observations here. I find my sweet spot at breakfast and especially at lunch. It's after 7 p.m. that nothing will satisfy & it's all or more of all.

    Right now I THINK my nighttime sweet spot might be going out to dinner some times. Not bringing it home, but taking a book to a diner & have some alone time with no dishes to wash, no dog waiting outside the store or restaurant. Not very practical in searching for that financial sweet spot but maybe there's something to it...

    Thanks for this.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07