Family Celebrations Are Dieter’s Dilemma

Question: Dear Luise: How do I deal with special family occasions that are held in restaurants when I am on a strict diet and am overwhelmed with a huge buffet. I want to go, and I don’t want to go. I go planning to take only what I am allowed and then I can’t stand the feeling of deprivation that comes over me. If I give in I feel terrible afterwards and if I don’t give in I am so fixated on not “being bad” that I miss most of what’s going on and am miserable. All of this is so repetitious that it’s nauseating. Rita

Answer: Dear Rita: Oh, boy, do I know that one! I have tried everything in the book and until recently, nothing worked. I hate staying home and missing the big event, whatever it is. The last one was when I had a chance to get to see three of my great grand kids, who live out of state. I also have hated going for all of the reasons you have expressed with such clarity, the after-guilt being the worst part of it for me. Your question feels like you just crawled into my head.

This may not work for you but here’s my very successful solution since these are rare occasions for me. I pretend I don’t have a problem for one meal only and just do as I please. I don’t go with any pre-established plan to either eat my self into oblivion or starve myself. I just eat what I want at that time, checking in and asking myself what will work. If I can comfortably pass on the potatoes, I do, and if the desert section gets me, so what? My logic is probably full of holes and loaded with rationalizations but I’ve decided that one wacky meal is not going to sink my ship. It’s a wacky lifestyle that is lethal for anyone with my metabolism. I am very careful, after my “other world experience of pretending to be normal”, to go right back to what supports my health, and to even be extra careful for the first three days until the junk is out of my system. It works for me. Piece of cake! Blessings, Luise

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