If there is one thing I've learned, this journey is all about overcoming mental challenges, changing habits and ways of thinking. When I'm able to change those things, the rest follows.
Growing up, when I ate at my grandparents house, we were forced to finish our plates. Nannie (my grandmother) called it making a "happy plate", and if we didn't, we were in a lot of trouble. Leaving the table without finishing your food literally had consequences. As a result, all of my adult life, I have done this. In fact, I have always noticed a difference between my plate and others... my plate was really always clean when I finished eating. No morsels to put in the garbage disposal or trash, usually nothing to rinse off before putting in the dishwasher.
This has been an incredibly hard habit to break. When I eat at home, I'm usually okay, because I just put a lot less on my plate and am able to finish it. When I eat at a restaurant, this is much harder. I know it sounds dumb, but it is just really hard to leave food on a plate. If there's enough food to take home, that's okay, I don't feel like I'm being wasteful. But since I often order from the kid's menu these days, sometimes it's just a few bites left and I feel GUILTY for leaving it!
I promise myself that when I have kids, I will never force them to eat after they say they are full. I think as a kid this was my family trying to teach the kids not to put too much on our plates, but in the end, it didn't work out that way... It was conditioning me to overeat. I'm not blaming this for my obesity, but I'm sure it hasn't helped. My 'sisters" grew up in the "happy plate" household too, and neither of them have ever struggled with their weight. There is something to be said for having different genetics.
Here's a picture with my sisters last year in May, at my heaviest weight of 344. I CANNOT WAIT to re-make this picture with a skinnier me!