Don’t try this at home!
While following my Summer Focus Challenge goals this week, I discovered I am very skilled at cheating without really cheating. You know that expression about following the letter of the law, rather than the spirit? That was me.
Here are some examples of how this played out:
For dinner at the Mexican restaurant this week, my goal was “no entree with ‘grande’ or ‘chubby’ or ‘fried’ in the name.” When the group ordered fried ice cream to share, I had a bite or two before I realized it was “fried.” But then I remembered my goal had nothing to do with dessert, only the entree. Hmm, maybe there was some subconscious plotting at work when I was setting that goal and neglected to mention dessert or chips.
And I have done a great job of snacking less at night and sticking with my two snack limit. But on more than on day I seemingly anticipated my upcoming evening restriction so I had another snack BEFORE dinner and just ate a bit later. Sneaky.
And I have also done a great job of not eating while reading books. But ask me how much I read this week! Not very much. Would I have picked up a book more often without the snacking restriction? Probably. So the goal worked, sort of.
I’m just trying to be honest here. With myself as much as with you. Yes, I met every one of my goals this week as I set them. But, and this is a big but (and I have a big butt), I have to admit that I feel just a bit unsatisfied or guilty about what I did. I am not being hard on myself, just honest and introspective. You know that old saying – “We only cheat ourselves.” So, I need to do some rethinking about how I am setting and meeting my goals.
But maybe not this week. This week it will be particularly difficult for me to eat on plan. We will be traveling. This includes a seven hour drive (each way) and then a long weekend spent in a hotel. Meals at restaurants. Dinner at the home of in-laws. And an all-day potluck wedding celebration. Yikes! I will pack lots of healthy snacks. But mostly, I will steer clear of the worst of the worst when it comes to food and do the best I can.
I need official goals. Think, Karen, think. Okay, here goes:
- For the few days while I am in my own house, I will stay on plan. In the evenings I will continue to allow myself two snacks. I will not practice the newly honed art of “afternoon sneaky snacking in anticipation of evening limited snacking.”
- For the days that I am away from home, I will avoid refined carbs as much as possible.
- For dinner at my in-laws, I will stay on plan as much as possible given whatever they choose to serve. If I truly want dessert, I can enjoy a reasonable serving.
- At the all-day potluck I will do my best to eat with self-control and moderation. Whatever happens at the potluck, stays at the potluck. But the moment I walk out the door I will again get back on my “healthy eating within the limits of traveling” plan.
And next week, when I am back home for seven whole days, I am going to set some goals for myself that address this whole letter-vs.-spirit-of-the-law thing. No more cheating without really cheating. Serious “no excuses of house guests or traveling” buckling down. And then maybe the scale will start moving in the right direction!