If you lead a Chris to candy, you don’t have to make him eat.
And if you’re like me, you’ll have a crapload of leftover candy tomorrow. And that crapload is the start of the fall and winter salute to sugar. Think of it–first you have the leftover Halloween candy. Then, boom, it’s Thanksgiving, which means pie. Then it’s Christmas party after Christmas party, followed by Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Then there’s football parties, Girl Scout cookies, and St. Patrick’s Day, and finally Easter.
It’ll be May again before the glacier of bad food (well, good-tasting bad food) melts away.
What’s a guy or gal to do?
Here are some strategies for coping:
- Get rid of the leftovers. If you have individually wrapped candy, take them to work, or church, or to an assisted-living facility. Find someone you know with discipline, who won’t blow through them in the next 15 minutes. Or throw them out, even.
- Find an article of clothing you want to get into and magnet it to the fridge. Granted, there are drawbacks here. I’m a tall guy so those pants? They’ll look stupid hanging from the fridge. And sometimes the clothing is something that would show off your new, toned body in ways that aren’t appropriate for that particular room. So maybe post a picture of you in the skinny jeans. Or a picture of them from a website or catalog.
- Stock healthy alternatives. This might work for you, but I struggle with it. I have healthy alternatives, but if there’s cake on the counter and broccoli in the fridge–well, you know what wins. Maybe you will do better than me. I challenge you.
- Find someone to keep you honest. In Alcoholic Anonymous, you have a sponsor, someone you can turn to when the pressure gets too much. Find someone to fill that role, someone who can help you get past those moments of weakness.
- Plan your moments of weakness. If you allow yourself, say, Thanksgiving Day to have whatever you want, it might help you get past the urge to go nuts the rest of the time. You can enjoy the food with everyone else, then get right back on board the next day.
- Eat before you leave. If you’re going to a party where you know there will be good-tasting food that you’ll lose your discipline over, eat before you leave. That can help you regulate the amount you eat when you get there.
- Be kind to yourself, but firm. If you stumble, if you fall off the wagon, it’s not the end of the world. Forgive yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. A day, or even a few days of cheating doesn’t undo a longer period of time of not cheating. But find a way to get back on the wagon and follow through. Use your accountability partner to help.
If you’ve successfully run this gauntlet before, what’s worked for you?