April Showers Bring Willpowers

Ah, April.  Longer days.  A farewell to winter; a promise of sun.  Green.  Flowering.  Spirit-lifting.

Ahhhhh, April.  An obstacle course of eating challenges.

This weekend starts it off.  With a bang.  And a barrage of social eating.  Friday dinner.  Saturday dinner.  Sunday, worst of all, hours and hours and hours of family and food and more food and more food.

Then next week… travel.  And the eating challenge to end all eating challenges for me – a road trip.  Eek.  Yikes.  Aaack.

I need a plan.  I don’t have a plan.  Yet.  Funny thing though – I’m not worried.  I’m, well, I’m “aware.”  I’m not dreading it.  I’m “anticipating” it.  Not eagerly mind you, as some might interpret that word.  But with realistic expectation.  And acceptance.  And, yes, some heavy sighing even as I type.

I know there will be a lot of food temptation.  Landmine after landmine.  I know that in the past I have struggled time and time again with similar challenges.  Oh, wait, I’m supposed to call them “opportunities!”

Social eating continues to be one of the hardest things for me to master on my journey to healthy living.  Finding the balance between partaking of off-plan food in moderation and not feeling overwhelmed with a sense of deprivation.  Deprivation is a strong emotion.  Emotions can lead to eating.  You know the cycle, I’m sure.  On the plus side, I seem to have conquered my past pattern of pre-cheating.  So an incident of social eating is now typical contained to just that – one incident.  But this weekend brings three.  Three days of relentless food onslaught.  Maybe I need to retitle this post The Hunger Games!

As for road trips, what can I say.  My last little jaunt in the car morphed into a food overload of binge eating as I gave in once more to my all-or-nothing thinking – that once I stray the least bit off plan, I might as well eat everything and anything until I get back home and on track.  Sigh.  And what is it about being in the car for hours on end that makes me want to eat!?

I don’t want to go there again.  (“There” being the mental state, as opposed to the state of Pennsylvania.)  I don’t want to be that person.  I don’t want to feel the sense of eating and eating yet finding no satisfaction.  I don’t want to feel the remorse.  The regret.  I don’t want “the morning after.”  Or the self-recrimination.

I want to go and enjoy myself and not really think about the food.  Not think about what I’m NOT eating.  Not think about what I’d regret eating.  Not think about what I wish I was eating.  Instead, I want to think “I can do this.”  And then I want to think “I did this.”  Or maybe, what I really want is to think nothing at all, to shut off my over-thinking reforming yo-yo dieter brain.

So that gives me the beginning of a plan.  The Little Engine that Could Plan.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.  Moderation, moderation, moderation.  I think I can.  I’m going to channel that thinking into a self-fulfilling prophecy of doing.  Words into action.  (Okay, I admit it, my fingers are crossed behind my back.)

What’s coming your way in April?

Photo credit [hellojenuine]



Filed under cheating/overeating, dieting, influence of others, restaurant/social eating, vacation

33 responses to “April Showers Bring Willpowers

  1. I like the focus on awareness rather than deprivation. I’m going away next week and I’m a bit the same… thinking that I will probably eat things I might not normally eat (staying in a hotel and eating out), but I’ll be walking about more during the day etc so am not too worried.

    Unlike you, social eating isn’t a huge problem – I actually eat a lot better ‘around’ others than I do in secret.

    It sounds like your Little Engine That Could plan is perfect.

  2. Miz

    nineteen years into my healthy living life and I STILL STRUGGLE with car trips.
    for some reason they equate to me snacks and lolling about doing eating reading and listening to stuff ID NEVER do at home.

    • That snack thing. Sigh. It’s the inactivity, I think. Tied up with boredom. And not much drinking since I don’t want to constantly stop:(

  3. I have the same issue! It used to be that I couldn’t go on road trips without a bag or two of potato chips tagging along. Now I try to only keep fruit or granola bars. If it’s something I desire on the trip then it’s the mini Quaker rice things (forget what they are called), in the mini bags, limiting myself to one or two during the whole trip. Do have a couple of trips coming up toward the end of April and lots of dinners, etc.

  4. I struggle with social eating too. I don’t know why that is especially in large settings. I literally have to be both physically and mentally prepared sometimes for events. I am a bit better now but I still wish I had it under control.

    Good luck with it. It seems like anticipating works for me so hopefully it works for you!

    April is pretty event-less for me 😉

    • The thing for me with social eating is less the “social” part and more that the food isn’t on plan. Or that there are so many temptations offered.

  5. Ewa

    Good luck.
    Repeat after me: I am strong, I will make right choices, I can overcome temptations, I will inspire those around me with the choices I make!
    Don’t think that you can. KNOW that you can. Feel the power you have!
    And enjoy your travel week. 🙂

    • I am strong, I will make right choices, I can overcome temptations, I will inspire those around me with the choices I make! – Got it, thanks:)

  6. Ah, moderation! That’s the word, the solution, the road to a normal, stress-free relationship with food. It’s a rough road at times, but all journeys worth taking have their ups and downs, their rough patches that toss us backward a little or a lot, their obstacles that make us think there’s no way we can traverse this path. The Little Engine that Could keeps going…

    April brings many challenges to me. I haven’t exercised routinely since December but am participating in a 10k the first weekend of May. I’m going to a three-day conference followed by vacation with my family. And before any of that, I’ll be facing either celebratory eating or devastation eating. Either way, I imagine it’s going to happen. I might be able to mitigate by planning… sorbet instead of Ben and Jerry… little things to minimize the detrimental effect. I realized, however, this week that the thing that’s had me stalled is sugar. I gave up caffeine, and now it’s time to tackle sugar.

    • Well, darn. My reply got deleted when I deleted the wrong one of you multiple comments:( I said something about myself doing much better with emotional eating. Not sure why but I’m glad for the progress.

  7. April isn’t really that much of a challenge for me personally. I don’t celebrate Easter in any way, and with the better weather I go out to explore the world. It’s my 2nd favorite month, only beaten by May 😀

  8. You’ll do great! Stick to fruits and veggies on Easter and skip the carbs and treats. As for the road trip, pack tons of healthy snacks. I’m with you though, social eating is my downfall too.

    • On Sunday we are bringing two healthy, tasty side dishes so my plan is to eat a lot of those. Knowing my in-laws, there will be an excess of treats. Sigh.

  9. YES YOU CAN!!!! I agree Karen, road trips can be tough. Sometimes I don’t eat enough cause I want to eat what I want to eat & when I stray, I often end up feeling like crap cause the food does not agree with me.

    I know you can do it! Plan it out & brings some portion control baggies with you so that way you are not tempted to eat the whole bag of something. If you portion them out into baggies before hand, you know what you are eating! 😉

  10. I think you made significant strides on that long RT to Cal. You can apply those lessons learned with your usual elan! One of many great things about you – you can(and are willing to) – readily identify what is going wrong and actually work on fixing it or rooting it out or coming up with plan B. it separates you from the non maintainers and shortens the string on your YoYo.

    Go get em!

    • Aaack! That road trip was a disaster:( But I’m going with the idea that I learned from the experience and that in this instance history will NOT repeat itself. Love how you say the same thing but so much better!

  11. Once past Easter Sunday dinner at MIL’s, I’ll be fine for the rest of the month. Summer Trip 2012 commences on May 6 and I’m so focused on being near or at goal by that date, I’m not certain anything could derail me now. And thankfully, I’m one of those weird souls who does BETTER when traveling than when at home, so my plan is be near goal when we leave and be solidly AT goal when we return ready to work just as hard on finding the maintenance balance.

    • I do know that about you and aspire to have travel be my friend:) I actually took one vacation about 2 years ago, when I was at goal weight and really cruising along, thinking I had this thing licked, when I actually lost a couple more pounds, more than I typically can lose in a “good” week of dieting!

  12. Social eating is very tricky. I find that I mindlessly eat in those settings, and then later realize what happened. I usually try to go hungry because I know my pattern of eating a ton when with friends.

    • And this Sunday will be a long day of sitting around with food in my face. Sigh. Lots of food that I normally don’t have anywhere near me!

  13. You will do great. I know exactly how you feel Karen. It is a never ending struggle because food is always around. It’s how we as humans celebrate every life event, from birth to death.

    But you have been doing this long enough to stay strong and committed!

  14. Every second of every day tells me that awareness is the key to freaking everything…

    • True. But I would also like to find away to NOT be aware. And by that I mean that I could just face a weekend like this not even thinking about the meals coming up and not needing to psych myself up or have a plan. Just to go through and live it and have done it with no regrets and no pre-thinking.

  15. Happy Passover, Karen. Hope tonight’s dinner and the upcoming social occasions this weekend all go smoothly. I have a few hurdles, too, but I’m adopting your Little Engine that Could mantra. I think, I can . . .I KNOW I can. We CAN do this!

    • Thanks, Tish. Last night we ate a new restaurant with some in-laws and it was one I’d had my eye on for a while. I had a chicken salad made with low-fat yogurt over a bed of greens. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the scale didn’t go up as a result, since it seems to me that restaurant meals, no matter how close to plan, usually result in an uptick.

  16. My business trip to San Diego which will end with seeing my family for a few days. They’ve already picked out THREE places for us to eat out!

    I keep telling myself (like I did with the chocolate cake) I’ve had this before, I know what it is, I don’t need to eat tons of it.

    Stick to your guns girl! 🙂

  17. By now a load of that social eating is behind you. I am hoping you emerged from it all happy with your choices.

    This weekend was my big landmine, too. Chocolate, candy and really good food. Hard. Hard. I did partake more than I should have, but, I am okay with that. Because for the first time EVER, I never had a BITE, not one BITE of any chocolate, candy or any other treats before this weekend. I never even opened a package until we were filling baskets. That feels really good. Plus, I rode an extra 900 calories off on my bike to make up for some of my digressions…

  18. “Hunger Games”… LOL!
    Something is occuring to me as I read this and think of how many times I’ve read about your social eating dilemna/issue/anxiety….
    Really, social eating is not the problem, right? Because you will only eat so much on that one evening or whatever… for you, the problem is that once off the wagon you are completely off for a while. Is that it?
    If that’s it, then maybe you could find a technique to quickly regain balance instead of constantly being in that deprivation.
    You are not in weight loss mode, you’re maintaining, so if you could figure out a way, you could still indulge socially.
    I get that it might not be worth it, but it’s just a thought. I’m thinking a LOT about this particular technique myself right now.
    Today worked for me. I went outside and stayed outside. Now I jsut have to solve those few hours at the end of the day.
    Just thinking aloud.
    Hey, have you ever tried hypnosis? I can’t imagine it working, but I do wonder sometimes.

I love comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s