.... makes the "or" mean more than it did before..... (From Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods)
I was chatting with a dear friend of mine and we were talking about life, love, and a bunch of assorted topics when I realized my first "diet." It was a self-imposed restriction on peanut butter. My father loved to take big heaping spoonfuls out of the jar and just eat it like that. Somewhere in my mind I associated those big spoonfuls with being unhealthy. I knew how it was calorically dense and most peanut butters had added fats (oils, binding agents) and salt (for taste). I decided that I could only have one PB&J a month. That was my first "diet" or food rule.
It wasn't a total denial that I couldn't have something, but it was a recognition that, for me, it was a sometime food. Now I'm not strict about it anymore, but I do make sure that I get the good peanut butters (with no added junk) and that I eat it sparingly in the context of a balanced diet.
And you know what happened? I didn't die. I didn't binge. I didn't feel deprived. I had something to look forward to. I feel that way about many more things now. I rarely buy ice cream or steak (unless it's grass grown). I have only ever bought 1 jar of Nutella in my life. I don't keep chips at home. And while there are days when I crave it, I know the feeling will pass.