I think the best thing you can have on a diet is a boring schedule. Sure it makes life far less exciting, but it makes dieting easy. Here is your breakfast, here is your lunch, here is your snack, here is your dinner. Day in, day out. Routine, routine, routine.
I find strength in my routine for several reasons. Thinking about food is all I do sometimes. What will I eat for lunch? How many calories is that? What if I go overboard? If I eat light can I squeeze in a cupcake from that cupcake shop around the corner If I have my routine and I know what I am eating, then I think about what I am supposed to eat, what I planned to eat, and I usually know where that falls within my diet.
Breakfast before work, yogurt.
Lunch around noon, wrap and crackers.
Possible coffee in late afternoon, but only if I need it.
Snack around 3, fruit or pudding on my more indulgent days.
Dinner after work, something light and small.
Dessert a few hours later, pudding or an ice cream sandwich.
No thinking, no stressing. Easy. Piece of cake. No wait, that is a bad choice of phrase, now I want cake….
Is the unexpected schedule that now strikes fear into my heart. What do I do when I go out with friends, go to a conference, spend the day on set? Today is one of those days; I am spending my day working with Mark W. Travis at the Story Expo. The day started strange anyway, my usual 8am alarm was kicked back to 5am, meaning I was awake before the sun, and I am NOT a morning person in any way. After a slightly bleary walk through my normal routine I finally made my way to the kitchen with just enough time to grab a snack for the road; I can’t eat yogurt and drive, so I opt for rice cakes. A win for Diet Girl.
A thought occurs to me in the car. I have an hour drive ahead of me, and I need coffee. I make the decision to opt for canned coffee from the gas station. I choose the light. A win for Diet Girl.
Then….dun, dun, dun…a few hours later my stomach rumbles. Genuine hunger, still even on my diet, is a rarity for me and I still have little willpower to cope with it. Because it’s so rare for me, I’m convinced I am like a bear in hibernation, living off my fat stores. This is a good thing, right? At break time a colleague suggests coffee. YES! More fuel and a chance to grab a nosh!
The coffee cart has three types of food. To my right is a beautiful and delicious pile of fruit, mostly apples, my favorite. In the center is a basket of protein bars, granola bars, all look yummy. And to the left is a small glass case full of muffins, bagels and pastries. Diet Girl says “Grab an apple! You love apples! And look at how amazing they look, bright greens and bright reds, piled high.” Like the proverbial angel and devil on ones shoulders, The World strikes up, “Yes but look at that cinnamon roll,” and I look. Suddenly my vision dims, all I now see is that cinnamon rolls, shining in a golden halo of light. It looks light, airy, sweet, sticky. All I want is that cinnamon roll. I don’t even want coffee. The World wins. I buy the cinnamon roll. It’s delicious.
Now I feel bad. How do I make this up? What will I have to order for lunch? At this point I am wondering if I am going to have to eat lettuce, no dressing. The unpredictable nature of the day has won, I must regain control.
You may have won this battle World, but Diet Girl will win the day!
UPDATE: I ate salad for lunch. But it was probably one of those salads that had a zillion calories. Let’s call that one a tie…? Then I had yogurt and an apple for dinner. Diet Girl wins the meal and the day!