Question: Dear Luise: I have being reading your site with interest. I especially like the down-to-earth feel of it. You’ve dealt with several questions about diet and exercise that I’ve found especially helpful. My question is about the war within me about treats, celebrations, socializing and having fun kicking over the traces. I know what the foods are that work for me. I feel great and the weight is slowly coming off. The slowness doesn’t bother me…twenty-seven pounds in the last ten months. I don’t find my food plan hard or even boring. It’s just that I want to continue to have a life…to eat out with friends, go to parties, and celebrate when there’s a reason to. For me, all of those things mean delicious deserts full of stuff that isn’t supportive. How do you deal with this? Thanks. Elma H.
Answer: Dear Elma: It is discouraging, isn’t it? Once you get on a food plan that works, you find that there are glaring glitches in it when you have to live in the real world, and not an ivory tower.
Most of us have tried everything…finding OK things on the restaurant menu and at parties, taking stuff from home, not eating anything at all…or even, staying home, just to be safe. I find that sometimes, but not always, my plan when I am at home disintegrates when I am faced with a buffet table groaning with every forbidden treat I have ever obsessed over. My strategies only work when they do, so take them with a grain of salt.
I suggest that each time you go out you have a heart-to-heart talk with yourself first to find out what might work. The reason for that is that we have all kinds of feelings that come and go. Each of us has many “selves” who want to be heard; a strong self that can and will stick to “the plan”, another one that wants to have a day off. We are never static. Well, not for long.
I often rotate how this plays out. There are certain events that I feel warrant the open door, (mouth), policy and I just pick up the pieces the next day, and work very hard to get back in line. Other outings seem to be less important to me, and my over-all progress keeps me in line. It’s my belief that most of us can’t and don’t want to be so rigid that we never deviate or fluctuate in how we approach these real life issues. I’d suggest you create multiple approaches and then decide each time you go out, which one fits. Blessings, Luise