Two successes, one failure and a lesson

My newest reminder card

Travel is tough on my dieting, but, I've learned recently, so are the events I go to. I had weighed 153 when we left for our trip to Texas where friends hosted dinners, fed us well, too well. I returned at 157 pounds, four over what I now consider my upper limit. I know that I re-started my diet at 177 in May of 2009 and so I'm considerably slimmer, but 157 annoyed me.

So I was concerned; we had Thanksgiving dinner, a series of parties, a Thank the Donors event for the capital campaign I've been running and then would come some holiday events. What could I do to not only lose the four pounds at least, (my real goal weight is 149-150), but to also avoid gaining more. I needed a gimmick.

One of the background books I've been reading is on "mindless eating," the kind of frenzy of ingestion I recognized well. I used to get into this pattern frequently, forty years ago in when I weighed 218.

What I needed was another STOP sign. I already had my red 1/3 cup measure sitting on my kitchen island. Now I needed something for events and occasions. And, when I thought about it, one of those is my weekly writers' critique group. Most of us bring something edible to share and sometimes I get hooked on cookies or something else I wouldn't normally eat.

So I took two three by five inch cards and wrote "Don't Snack!" on one of them and "Don't Eat or Overeat" on the other.

my other card

One card leans up against my popcorn holder which itself is surmounted by the red measuring cup. Eating at home hadn't usually been a problem, but it wouldn't hurt to have an extra reminder.

The other I put into the cup holder of my car. I'd look at it just before going into a house where we were joining an ongoing party or before entering, twice this week alone, the local country club, where we were attending a luncheon for symphony donors and, later in the week, the Thank the Donors event.

Oh, and there was one more event, a baby shower I wouldn't normally have attended. In this case it was for the wife of a young relative. We hadn't seen him since his high school graduation and I felt it was important to go to his spouse's shower.

So here's my score card and the lesson I learned. I looked at the card in my Prius just prior to entering the country club for the luncheon. I ate three fourths of my salad and half my entree and said, "No thanks" to the dessert. I did even better at the donor event. I pre-ate a bowel of cereal and a piece of fruit. At the event itself I ate nothing and drank one third of a glass of Merlot.

But the shower, held at a pizza parlor, was another matter entirely. I didn't remember to look at the card hat evening, shared an appetizer with my nephew and his fiancee and had three large slices of pizza, even eating the dry crusts.

Actually the donor event was last night and today I'm down in my safe zone again. I'm going to lunch with friends at our favorite Thai restaurant, but before I leave my car I'll look at the card.

Lesson learned. I'll bring the "Don't Snack" card to my writers' group next week and look at it just before I leave my car.

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