The Eating Season

Welcome to the Eating Season. In the US it begins when the grocery stores start displaying Halloween candy front and center and festive co-workers start setting out plates of candy and cookies like traps throughout my office.

I work really hard not to indulge in treats without a good reason. “Just because it’s there” is not a good enough reason for me. I know that willpower for me is not a muscle – it doesn’t get stronger the more I exercise it – it is a finite resource, and each use depletes my pool. So here are some of my strategies, mental tricks, reminders, whatever you want to call it, for not indulging “just because it’s there.”

1. I remind myself that I have a plan for food today, and these things are not on it. I have all of the food I need for the day in my lunch box already, and it has been carefully calculated to give me the nutrition I need without feeling hungry.
2. I can accept and embrace that I am, absolutely and without a doubt, a sensualist. However, while that means I am interested in pleasurable sensations, it also means that I place a premium on NEW ones. There is nothing in the candy bowl that I haven’t tasted before, therefore there is nothing worth breaking my commitment to myself over.
3. I would enjoy the eating of a cookie for about 30 seconds, whereas I can enjoy feeling smug for resisting treats all day long.
4. Sugary foods make my teeth feel fuzzy for the rest of the day. Ew.
5. If I’m feeling very tempted and don’t think I can make it through the whole day, I play a game with myself where I will agree that I can have it if I still want it in an hour. Usually I’ve forgotten about it in an hour, or strengthened my resolve sufficiently to agree to wait another hour. I can do this all day.
6. I chew gum. Hard to eat something when I am chewing gum, and the flavor is usually distracting enough to make the treats unappealing.

I am not completely about denying myself. I can allow myself to enjoy maybe one treat a week. Just one. That means I had better wait until Friday, so that I don’t risk a slippery slope of candy and cookies throughout the week. Oh yes, that can happen if I’m not careful. But I can make it until Friday. Bonus points for me if nobody brings food on Friday, or I end up working at home.

Treats aren’t for every day, so I have a lot of little strategies to keep them to a minimum. What other strategies do you use?


6 Responses to “The Eating Season”

  1. Mrs. D Says:

    I LOVE #3- feeling smug all day long 🙂

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    New trick: Taking veggies to a pot luck. Mom got me brownies to take and that’s what everyone else brought, so here they are. If it’s leftover veggies, no problem. Baby carrots to snack on for a few days. Not going to have a brownie with breakfast, or snag one when I come home this afternoon. They will remain until I go back to school and can hand them out to the people who want them more than I. Now to find a hiding spot for them…

  3. Karen Williams Says:

    I love #2. That’s a good point about having tried all of the candies in the bowl. I’ve noticed that where I’m weakest is on new foods, but having tried them I don’t need them again. I’m going to remember this one.

  4. lisalys Says:

    The smugness is pretty nifty, huh? I felt SO smug last week when I met a bunch of friends at Chevys and didn’t touch the chips. Especially since my roommate and I had gone to the same one the week before I started the program, and I think we ate about 4 baskets of them! Though I must admit, I wanted to try the flan. Just a little taste, y’know? :->

  5. Elizabeth Friend Says:

    #3 is awesome. I’ll have to remind myself of this on the flip side –

  6. Bluezy Says:

    I appreciate your list. Promising if you can have it if you still want it in an hour. Great!

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