Dr Hope – 6th appointment

January 4, 2008

I saw Dr Hope again yesterday. I got kind of nervous beforehand, actually, because I haven’t been keeping my food diary, have barely paid attention to the new food rules, and have eaten “Holiday Fun Style” more days than not these past 2 weeks.

Luckily, I didn’t listen to the little voice in my head telling me to cancel, and luckily Dr Hope is really nice and understanding. Her first words, after “best wishes for a happy new year” were “well, it’s that season…”.

So it has been. The season of Overindulgence. The season of Overeating. The season of dropping some of my good food habits. The season of very little exercise. The season of the clothes getting tighter, the face looking puffier.

I decided that yesterday was back to totally normal (although Wednesday wasn’t so bad). I started with a check-in on the scale, up one pound from when I last weighed in a month ago, which isn’t so bad considering what I’ve been eating, and I’m still in Onderland (but barely!). As I mentioned recently, the scale will now be my helper, coming to check on me every 2 weeks or so. I don’t want to get into letting the scale rule my life, so it’s staying in the closet to prevent daily (and more) check-ins. But it’s not hard to take it out, and I’ll do that periodically.

I started eating a lot better Wednesday, (dinner excluded) and Thursday was downright good. I have listened to my hunger and eaten at odd times of the day, helped by my schedule which was remarkably flexible today. I made muesli again, and I am yet once again reminded how much better I do when I start with an oatmeal or muesli breakfast. Anything else seems to open too many doors to temptation, whereas the oatmeal or muesli are delicious and Satisfying.
I am away next week for work again. I discussed the challenge of next week w Dr Hope. It’s a big national meeting of my company, with about 1500 people crammed into some hotel. Almost the whole time is spoken for, from breakfast meetings at 7:30 am to “disco nights” until 2 am. Don’t worry, I need my sleep and won’t be drinking and dancing, but I’ll need to do some socializing until at least 11pm every night and just the thought of that makes me grumpy. I think we have one or two 2-hour free sessions during the week. I am not a big fan of this kind of meeting personally, although I recognize it’s importance for the teams to help them get motivated for the year, so I put on my best “team player” smile and go at it.

The food challenges will be considerable – there are not so many ways to give great and healthy food to that many people who eat at once, so the meals will probably be almost all buffets and filled with starch and oil. Alcohol is the social lubricant of choice for these events, and I’ve decided that apart from an occasional glass of champagne in my hand, I will not drink (and I never drink very much of cheap champagne, so the glass will be mainly decorative).

I also don’t know if I’ll be able to blog (there is apparently very little internet access), and I’m sure I won’t be able to read others’ blogs. I’ll at least write while I’m there, even if it’s only to post it upon my return.

Dr Hope & I discussed this coming week, and the plan is three-fold.

1) Keep the food diary every day (the document contains where I ate, hunger level, what I ate, did I leave anything left over, pleasure rating and relaxation level). I know this will help me. Some structure usually does.

2) Drink at least 2 liters of water a day. Should be do-able, and it will give me something to do at coffee breaks besides eat the snacks, since I’ll be in line for the bathrooms… I agreed to this step quickly, because I know hotel air and travel is dehydrating, and I’m a big water drinker anyway.

3) Leave something uneaten at every opportunity. Breakfast. Coffee breaks. A square of chocolate served w coffee. At meals, at the appetizer, the main dish, AND the dessert.

We talked a lot about the difficulty I was having with this ‘leaving something’ uneaten bit and this was her suggestion. Out of habit, out of comfort, without thinking, I eat what I am served. It is ENORMOUSLY hard for me not to do that. Its even harder when I serve myself. I need to be able to FORGO some of “my” food in order to be able to move to a place where I can judge which portions will satisfy me. But until I can stop myself from cleaning my plate mechanically, I can’t get to that next step.

So I’m taking a step backwards to concentrate on just this. I’m not going to worry about pausing in the middle of my meals and evaluating hunger again for now.

I will be packing my walking shoes, and a new audiobook. Not sure how much opportunity I’ll have, but certainly more than if I leave the shoes at home! I’ve been pushing myself to get back into my mild exercise, and have walked 3 times this week and hope to post a “walking to Bilbao” update soon after my trip.

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