Now let’s talk about the other world: the world of reality. In the world of reality, you often change your mind about what to eat. You go out to dinner with your friends on a few nights you didn’t plan, and on two of those nights you eat pizza, a lot of pizza. You eat a banana split one night because everyone eats one, and you don’t want to stand out. On three occasions you buy and eat three candy bars within 20 minutes for no apparent reason. You eat three huge meals that your Italian mom cooked because you know how happy she is when you have to loosen your belt to breathe after her meals. Nothing ever goes as planned. That is the main message. Conditions will usually change and you will be forced to adjust your original plan. I had to learn to deal with these situations.
Let’s say you want to eat 8 ounces of skinless chicken with vegetables for Wednesday’s dinner, but you’ve just been invited to a barbecue (hot dogs, burgers). Don’t torture yourself and stay at home unless you don’t like that group of people. Have fun, but try to limit yourself. You will likely consume more calories at the barbecue than at your original dinner, but you may be able to adjust your weekly menu. Making adjustments to your eating habits is an art form that takes a little practice. Try to use logic and not your emotions when making these types of adjustments.
Try to eat slowly at the barbecue as they will throw meat at you if you are left empty handed. It’s easy to just panic and ditch some greasy burgers while you’re not paying attention. I’ve done that too many times. Try to look busy and always have something to eat in your hand, but don’t take bites. Tell the hosts you’ve already eaten three burgers, when you’re actually on the first.
Another way to look at these two different worlds in a diet is to notice the difference between logical thinking (planning) and emotional execution (reality). You can make a lot of sense in creating your plan because you probably haven’t even started your diet yet. You count the correct number of calories per day, hit all the different food groups, and can still eat a piece of a bar every day. That’s great – until the diet starts. Once you are on the inside of the fishbowl instead of the outside, everything seems to change. The rules now seem unfair. “Why do I have to eat this shit every day?” “I have cravings (pizza, enchiladas, chow fun).” “I feel like I’m in prison.” We often forget that we volunteered for this diet. And we can become so emotional that implementing our diet, just following the plan, becomes completely impossible.
That’s how we got overweight. The types of food and the amount we ate became too important to us. We’re trying to give up, but some of us are still having a great fight. It is part of us now unless we can change.
I have a friend named Jeff. I’ve known him for about nine years. He’s just like you and me, except he really doesn’t like food. I know it’s hard to imagine. Jeff told me one day that he wishes he could just take all of his nutrients in pill form. That’s right. Just throw them away with water. That way, he wouldn’t waste time chewing anything. The reason I introduced you to Jeff is to show you that there are other ways to be. There’s Jeff, us and everyone in between. You can step into that “in between”. If your emotions are tied to a hogweed, think how much better you would look if you lost an inch somewhere. Losing weight should be more important than a one night stand with some chocolate kisses.
If you want to stop eating certain foods (such as cookies or pies), it’s best to start at home. Take a look around the house, especially in your fridge and freezer. Do you see something that will seduce you enormously? In general, I have to keep all types of fatty foods and desserts completely out of my house because knowing they are there will eventually get them right into my mouth. I don’t mean to do it. I may be a victim of my own genes. So instead, if I absolutely have to do something