I just read through this whole exchange and I understand both (all three, rather) sides of the point. As someone who has trudged my way through binge eating disorder-turned-bulemia-turned binge again, a few short years ago, my goal was reduced to the smallest nutshell of wanting freedom with food–not freedom from it. I have been through layer after layer of motives, belief systems regarding food and exercise, victory and despair. I currently find myself in a place of peace. On the way, I was the person who could not forgive herself for her poor decisions, learning the hard way that my unforgiveness only compounded those choices and led to further destructive behavior. I think folks who identify with that mindset are the author’s intended audience. As far as Mandy’s point about tough love, I had many points at which I would have given many things to have had someone in my life offer some accountability. If I got it, I certainly did not recognize it. I married a beautiful man who had no grid for my struggles. He wrestled competitively for most of his life, a crazy high metabolism and no problems with eating whatever he wanted. His weight has not fluctuated more than 5 pounds in the 11 years I’ve known him and he has no ailments outside of a bum knee from an old injury. He does not go work out and never thinks twice about what he eats despite having a sizeable sweet tooth. His version of tough love was to tell me to put up with the trigger foods because my choices were my own. I had to climb a steep mountain to keep foods in the house that I considered triggers. There is a great chance that I would be much slimmer now if I had been feeding only myself and had total jurisdiction over the pantry’s contents. However, if not for that scenario, I may not have been nudged into deeper freedom. I found myself with an opportunity to take advantage of a rigorous situation: how do I get myself to make good choices in an environment over which I did not have total control? I learned that there is an idealism in me which is strong enough to override impulses and bad habits. I don’t even know how to articulate what it was, but the notion was implemented with the question, “would I be happier if I did eat “x” or if I did not eat “x?” Sometimes the answer has been yes, sometimes it’s been no. I had to repeatedly search deep within myself to discover what is really important to me. Asking myself this question turned a new page in my life. It isn’t my focal point anymore, but from time to time I find myself asking it again. I transitioned into a different stage where my internal dialog became “You are a grown-a!$ woman and can make a decision you’re willing to stand by,” haha. This question has not been limited to regarding my food choices, either. I have had to find my own unorthodox inspiration to pursue joy in my life. Along these lines, I learned some other things about myself. It turns out movement, not merely exercise, is something I cherish, so I make it a priority in my day. I discovered that the only reason I was so concerned with my body image was because other people made it their business to criticize me (I went through a season of heavy criticism at a sensitive age. Not all had to do with my body, but much of it did). Once I moved past being so self-conscious, I didn’t mind being a little chubby. In fact, I like my curves and they do not get in my way! Something I never expected began to occur as soon as my attitude settled into contentment. Every couple of weeks I think to weigh myself. And you know what? I am a few ounces less each time! I know that this rate of progress is not for everybody, but for me it is golden. It simply confirms that if in my mind I am free, the rest really does take care of itself. My greatest motivator is, has been and will always be joy. It doesn’t matter if there are chips, kale, cookies or quinoa in the kitchen; what matters is that neither healthy nor unhealthy food control me. Also, I have learned that it is wise to be okay whether or not those around me are.

Combine flour, ⅔ cup sugar and salt in a small heavy saucepan. Whisk in just enough of the milk to form a smooth paste. Mix in the remaining milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent burning (especially around the sides and bottom edges of the pot), until the mixture begins to bubble. Boil gently, stirring constantly, for 2 to 2½ minutes (the mixture will get very thick and then you may notice that it thins ever so slightly as the starch cooks). Scrape the hot mixture immediately over the chocolate and cocoa. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. The batter will be very thick. Stir in egg yolks and vanilla.

Why would you have plain old sweet-potato fries when you can wrap them in bacon? This recipe calls for just two ingredients: sweet potatoes and bacon. The only trick is twirling the bacon around the sweet potato fries, but it's pretty darn easy. What you end up with is a surprisingly attractive party hors d'oeuvre (if you don't devour them all yourself, of course).  
Believe it or not, your body is really, really good at guiding you to eat enough, choose nourishing foods and support your health. Yes, nutrition knowledge and understanding is helpful to guide that intuition, but it’s definitely there. So if you’re eating and choosing foods because of some flashy labeling or creative marketing - it’s hard to tell if you actually LIKE what you’re eating and if it even feels good to you. If you’re eating ‘til the bottom of Halo Top because it’s a ‘permitted food’, you likely aren’t paying attention to your increasing fullness, how satisfying it is, or if you’re even liking it! If we’re constantly ignoring those signals and eating until uncomfortable - albeit, ‘guilt-free’ - fullness, it makes it much harder for us to tune in and eat a satisfying amount of the real stuff and increases our dependence on filling up on the ‘guilt-free’ ones!
Combine flour, ⅔ cup sugar and salt in a small heavy saucepan. Whisk in just enough of the milk to form a smooth paste. Mix in the remaining milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent burning (especially around the sides and bottom edges of the pot), until the mixture begins to bubble. Boil gently, stirring constantly, for 2 to 2½ minutes (the mixture will get very thick and then you may notice that it thins ever so slightly as the starch cooks). Scrape the hot mixture immediately over the chocolate and cocoa. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. The batter will be very thick. Stir in egg yolks and vanilla.
Author Devin Alexander makes it easy. Each recipe is either 100, 200, 300, 400 or 500 calories (within 10 calories), so it's easy to track your calories without a calculator. The dishes are, for the most part, healthy versions of your old favorite fattening ones. So, for example, instead of the typical 746-calorie, 38-grams-of-fat slice of chocolate cake, you can have a slice of Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Buttercream Frosting for 294 calories and 6 grams of fat.
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