Book club for my group is never about the book. It is about catching up. And it is about the food. (The reminder email said, “Come hungry.”) I suppose, in theory, the food is just a supporting character and not the star. Maybe that holds true for the others in my group who I suspect are all “normal” eaters. But for me, the food is never just there, but front and center on my brain.
In the past, I have attended book club when I have been eating well and I have attended when I was not eating so well. Rather what one might expect from a yo-yo dieter. I have gone and eaten little or nothing; I have gone and eaten only the healthiest of options if the hostess was kind enough to serve any; I have gone and overeaten or eaten things I later regretted. And maybe worse, in my opinion, is that often I have fallen prey to my pre-cheating mentality and started my off-track eating in the day or days leading up to book club. Either in anticipation of going off plan or in the grips of emotional eating as I was resentful about the coming food challenge.
But not this time! This time, I’m proud to report, I was, dare I say it, almost “normal” in how I handled the whole thing.
No pre-cheating. No resentment. No post-cheating. And while I was there I ate the healthiest of the offerings and did not indulge in the foods that did not fit with my current eating goals.
Now, I will share that while my eating was almost normal, my thinking was not. I sat there with a plate of mini cupcakes in front of me (because the oh-so-Martha-Stewart-like hostess placed several plates on the coffee table to make it easy for everyone to reach out and grab a beautifully decorated morsel) and I thought about them. I thought about how I really didn’t want one (but I did really want one). I thought about how everyone else ate them. I thought about what they would taste like. I thought about the chocolate candies also sitting in arm’s reach. I thought about how I should, in theory, be able to indulge, just a bit, now and then. And how if I had not gotten my eating and thinking so screwed up I could eat one of those little treats. I thought about how I knew that I would feel regret if I indulged. I thought a lot.
And on the drive home, with a piece of bubble gum to satisfy my frustrated chompers, I thought about how glad I was that I didn’t eat even one cupcake or piece of chocolate or other off plan food. Did I feel regret? Not with my eating:) Only with my thinking. That I had sat there with that inner dialogue and debate. But it was progress.
And for the readers out there, the book we read was “Sarah’s Key.” (Thumbs up.) And we didn’t talk about it at all since half the attendees hadn’t even started it! (Thumbs down.) Let me know if you have any great reads you’d recommend.