“I’m a cookie monster”
First off, keep in mind that slips, those times when you just break free of healthy eating, are a normal part of lifestyle change. More than 99% of people who are shedding pounds and becoming more physically active have slips.
When we start anything new, from learning to ski to ordering healthfully in restaurants, we’re going to stumble.
“But keep in mind that slips don’t necessarily hurt your progress. Even the biggest cookie binge is not the end of the world. What really hurts your progress is how you react to slips. Are you wallowing in chocolate cookies day after day? Or are you back on your feet again, dusting off the cookie crumbs, and heading in a healthy direction?”
5 tips for going from “I’m a cookie monster” to “I’m in control”
Answer negative thoughts with positive ones.
Next, ask yourself: What happened?
Mary Jo D is obviously not going to stop visiting her mother, but it’s possible she can work her way around the situation so that those gorgeous cookies are not in her face every day.
First of all, does she have to enter her mother assisted living home through the main door? Is there a side or back entrance that doesn’t force her to see (and smell) those cookies?
Another strategy: Is there a different time of day that she can visit her mother? Mary Jo is walking into the foyer at the worst time of day, right after the cookies are out of the oven and right when they’re sitting all plump and pretty on their platter. Just an hour or two later, and the “scene of the crime” might be very different. The aroma’s gone. The platter’s empty. The cookies have disappeared. And so has the awful, nagging temptation.
People tend to slip for different reasons. Which of the following might be the Achilles heel behind your cookie binge?
Social occasions – holidays, birthdays, vacations.
You’re happy, you’re feeling good, and your family mantra at celebrations has always been, “Oh, to heck with the diet. Have some fun.”
You’re home alone, fiddling around online or watching T.V. On the screen flashes a big juicy cheeseburger, and you find yourself wandering into the kitchen, snooping around for a little snack.
You’re home with family, and someone starts ranting – and frankly, you’ve heard it all too many times before. You want out. So you stomp out of the house for a cookie run to Mrs. Field’s.
You’re behind on a project at work, and everyone’s on top of you to get it done. A co-worker passes by with a box of Godivas. Three chocolates are in your mouth before you know it.
If you can identify your weak moments, you can plan a strategy for handling the situation better the next time.
Can you avoid it (as we recommended with Mary Jo)?
Example: Don’t keep cookies in the pantry. Stock your kitchen with healthy snacks like popcorn and fresh fruit instead. Or, can you manage it in a better way? For instance, at the next holiday party, position yourself far, far away from the buffet table.
Regain control as soon as you can.
Don’t wait till the following day. Start now. Make your very next meal a healthy one.
Talk to someone supportive.
Know who your coaches are, and use them. A golfer whose stroke periodically slips returns immediately to the pro – his coach.
At the Pritikin Longevity Center, there are particularly outstanding coaches in healthy lifestyle change – physicians, dietitians, exercise trainers, and behavioral-change experts. “Many Pritikin alumni know how to use us,” smiles Dr. Danine Fruge, MD, ABFP, Medical Director at Pritikin. “As soon as they detect a breakdown, they’re back at Pritikin, deepening their understanding and motivation for healthy living.”
Finally, focus on all the positive changes you have made.
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall.”