This weekend we are going to my mom’s lake house with family. I am a little scared of the ghost who lives there. The Ghost of Derailed Diets Past.
To understand why that phantasm maintains her presence, I need to give you some history. I grew up spending summers with my family at a lake in New Hampshire. Several years ago, after relocating to the Midwest, my mother built a beautiful lake home nearby in hopes that her grown children would spend time there together and build memories for the next generation. Family time at the lake always included lots of food. Some lake treats were things we didn’t have at home – like smores and pumpkin bread and popovers and cinnamon rolls. We ate and we had fun. I ate and I had fun. All throughout the yo-yo years. I don’t ever remember dieting at the lake.
Last summer was different. Last summer I was at my goal weight after dieting yet again and I was still mostly committed to the South Beach lifestyle and intended to stay on plan at the family Fourth of July lake weekend. The first evening there, my sister-in-law brought homemade brownies out onto the porch. I resisted and instead ate some of the sugar free pudding I had brought for myself. The next day she had homemade zucchini bread. I decided I could handle a taste. Yum. And later there was the smell of bagels toasting. I love bagels. Surely I could eat one at the lake and get back on track the moment I hit home. Next I succumbed to the brownies that I had so easily resisted previously. And dump cake. A la mode. And so it began. And, contrary to my intent, I never really got back on track again. The slippery slope had begun at the lake house and the ghost began to haunt me. The following months saw the scale slowly edging higher and higher. And it all began July 4th weekend last year.
Last weekend I was at the lake house again. I was not very worried because I thought the ghost might only show her spectral self on the anniversary of her initial haunting. But I quickly discovered that my willpower and self-control do not come with me to the lake. There are foods there that are not to be found at home – that I should not eat and have trouble resisting. And there is not the same variety and abundance of healthy foods that I would normally eat at home. And there is lots of book reading at the lake – a big trigger for snacking for me. I felt the ghost standing behind me as I stuck my hand into a bag of chips. I heard her laughing when I ate a cinnamon roll the size of a dinner plate.
I am bound and determined to exorcise my demon! I am going to learn from my mistake last summer and last weekend and history will NOT repeat itself. I am setting goals and I want you to hold me accountable. There is no internet at the lake, so no way to reach out to my blog community for support while I am gone. But just knowing you are here, waiting for me to report back, should help keep me on track and the ghost at bay. And maybe, just maybe, an exorcism will take place by virtue of me remaining in control.
My goals for this long weekend:
- Eat only on plan foods at all meals and for all snacks except…
- Allow myself one small treat each day if I really, really want it and if it is truly delicious and if it is a shared dessert that everyone is having. But only after dinner so I won’t have time to let the one treat spiral into a whole day of treats.
- Eat no bread or crackers because they are just not special enough for a holiday treat and all too likely to cause cravings and start me overeating. And no bagels. Zero, zip, nada.
- Write down everything I eat. And try not to lose the little paper this time!
I will return to you here on Tuesday. (Or maybe Wednesday if my creative juices take a while to catch up with being back.) I will bare my soul and tell you how I did. It may be a long story; it may be a short report. With any luck a little willpower, motivation and self-control, I will write a happy conclusion to my ghost story.
Any ghosts in your life? Weekend plans that you are looking forward to or dreading? Words of advice?