My friend Cordelia (65) commented to me that she was frustrated. She kept making non-nutritive food choices and as a result, her weight wasn’t where she wanted it to be. I sympathized with her. I reminded her I have maintained a 35-lb. weight loss for over 30 years. I know how hard it can be to continue to choose self-loving foods and amounts meal after meal … day after day, year after year. Just as I have learned to do with my teenager, I asked whether she just wanted me to listen, or if she wanted suggestions. She wanted suggestions. I asked her for an example of what she is frustrated about. And she shared, “Yesterday I went out to breakfast with friends and I chose a waffle. I felt terrible both physically and mentally as I walked from the restaurant. And my non-nutritious choices at breakfast set the tone for my food choices for the rest of my day.”
I really relate to her example. I’ve come to learn to ask friends for help on these types of food-centered social occasions. When I encounter this situa-tion, I use a tool called bookending. Years ago, a wise woman taught me to call someone before a situation to bookend—or be accountable—with my food commitment. Afterward, I call back with the second bookend about whether I kept my commitment. If I don’t keep the commitment I made, it isn’t a reason to beat myself up. It means I made my commitment too difficult to keep and to make it easier or less stringent next time.
Additionally, and especially during the holiday season, I can make a commitment to myself and another understanding person that I will make one new huge nutritious, veggie-laden recipe once every two weeks. An added bonus: I can freeze the extra for future use.
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