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Eating Food Just to Be Rid of It

What to Do with the Leftovers?

Okay, tell me if you've ever done this: It's Monday late afternoon. You decided yesterday that starting today you were going to 1) eat right, and 2) start to get regular exercise, and 3) give up all your bad habits. So, you're picking things up around the house and starting to notice all the little bits and pieces of leftovers from the past weekend. Namely, cookies here, and small bits of candy there. In my house today I noticed I had three large shortbread cookies (I'm overly fond of shortbread cookies with icing), several bags of the candy that resemble real rocks which I keep saying I want to put in a jar, but I haven't found just the right jar (for display, you know), and the leftovers from the latest summer picnic, which in my case is about five pounds of fruit salad - not bad in itself, but I can only eat so much fruit salad.

And Then There's the Wine

Of course, I had to buy some wine at a tasting on Saturday (I always buy it, don't know why I think those wine tasting's are such a great deal - they always entice me to buy), and now there's an open bottle waiting.

So, my thoughts are, "Do I eat this, or not?" "Do I throw it away and WASTE it?" "Oh, my, dear no. That's not a good idea," I think. Oh, I just remembered there is also an entire plate of large cinnamon rolls (Cinnabon style) I made Friday night. They'll be stale soon. That's not good. It'd be such a shame to throw them all away, and I only ate one.

And so it goes. Do I talk myself into eating up the last remnants of the weekend, thus going into Tuesday and possibly Wednesday with the taste of weekend indulgence still on my lips, or do I decide, really decide, I've had enough? It's time to eat better, like I just said, last night. Remember last night? It seems so long ago now ...

What if We Just Start Tomorrow?

It's interesting how easily we talk ourselves right out of what we had decided yesterday was such a good idea. So what's wrong with just starting tomorrow? What's wrong is that tomorrow never comes. It's always today, right now. You'll never reach that elusive tomorrow. Yes, the date on the calendar changes, but you, standing where you are, right here, right now, are still here, in the present. You can't live in the past, nor can you live in the future. You can only live in the moment.

Decide Right Now: What Do you Want?

So if you want to decide, then decide right now. What do you want, really want for yourself? Do you want to continue to indulge yourself at every turn, or do you want to exercise just a bit more discipline and see if you can get into better shape? It's not about what you'll miss out on, it's about what you will gain. Better health, more energy, endurance. You'll feel better, you'll look better. It's all about what you'll gain, but in the immediate moment, it's so easy to think only of right now. Yes, but right now this would taste so good, wouldn't it, and there's always tomorrow.

I've found that when I make a mental shift, a real shift, not just a decision but a true change in my thinking, then I follow through, and not until then. All the times I try to talk myself into doing things that I don't really want to do, are not successful. Probably they're not successful because I don't really want to do them.

How do you get yourself motivated and stay that way? I start with a list. List all the reasons you want to lose some weight. Think in terms of a mini goal of five or 10 pounds. Make it a one month goal, not a lifetime goal. It's fine to have long-term goals, but if you really want to learn to change for good, then you need to make it something you can live with. Incorporate real change into your lifestyle and you can indulge at a holiday party without it making any difference; without it throwing you off the deep end. When you go on vacation you'll come back maybe a couple pounds heavier, but it won't matter. You'll have eaten what you wanted, you'll have had a wonderful time, and not stressed yourself over whether you're gaining weight.

Why I want to lose Weight

  • What's my first mini-goal? (1 week to 1 month)
  • What's my longer-term goal? (1 month to 1 year)
  • How strict must I be for this to work? (Pre-planned or legalized deviations works very well for many people)

Sometimes, especially if you use a plan that incorporates "legalized cheating" then you'll end up with some leftover food. Get used to getting rid of it. Give it away, throw it away, it really doesn't matter. You're not doing yourself any favor by eating all the leftovers. So what if the cinnamon rolls go stale? I ate one didn't I? I enjoyed it totally too. Others also ate some cinnamon rolls, and even if no one had any, did I make them to eat them all, or did I make them because I was in the mood to make cinnamon rolls? Does eating them all myself make any sense at all?

Sometimes I feel a little guilty making goodies and then giving them away because I think I'm not making it any easier for others to stick to their plans, but then I remember what I do in that situation, and I have to assume others are adult about how they decide to take care of themselves too. If I decide I'm going to eat in a more healthful manner, and someone brings something unexpected, it's not difficult in most all circumstances to simply say, "No, thanks. I already ate," or take some on a plate for later.

Since I don't go on "restrictive" diets, then I can incorporate pretty much anything into my day's food plan. I just eat it, when I'm hungry. I find it so much easier to base my eating on whether I'm hungry, than on whether something is there. Just because unexpected people show up, doesn't mean you use them, does it? Honestly, do you think anyone is upset when you leave a bit more for them? I don't think so.

The Case of the Missing Wedding Cake

When I was a teenager my mother remarried and I offered to buy the wedding cake. I had an ulterior motive though. My favorite bakery, Beaverton Bakery, was where I intended to get the cake, and I knew by ordering far more than would be necessary there'd be lots and lots of leftovers for me to gorge myself silly on after the festivities. Ha.

What happened instead is a blur. I don't know really what happened to the cake but I do know I not only didn't get any leftovers, I never even had a piece at the wedding. I tend to get caught up in the people and don't usually eat at parties, so I paid it no attention, and much to my dismay someone else had bundled it up before I got there to do so. Alas, I was never to taste that cake at all. Such a disappointment - it must have been, I still remember it now and that's been more than 24 years ago now! LOL.

Food memories stick with me for a very long time. That day is my prime example of how I would not have minded one little bit if more people had said, "No thanks, I just ate," and passed on the cake. I just wish I'd been a little more alert in setting aside a hunk for later.

Kathryn Martyn, Master NLP Practitioner, EFT counselor, author of Changing Beliefs, Your First Step to Permanent Weight Loss, and owner of OneMoreBite-Weightloss.com

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