Trim the Fat: Temptation comes calling

Maria Hoover, SBJ Features EditorThere are certain truths in life.

If you want rain, wash your car.

If you want your car to stop making a funny noise, take it to a mechanic, he won’t hear a thing.

And here’s another one: If you want to be tempted by all kinds of fattening goodies, commit to starting eating more healthy foods in pursuit of weight loss.
On the very day that I launched this blog series, our upstairs neighbors started the morning off by bringing in two big boxes of large, sugary doughnuts, including my personal favorite: the gargantuan, deep-fried, sugar coated apple fritter. In the past, I’ve joked that the apple fritter counts as both a fruit and a carbohydrate entry on the food pyramid. (I can be sneaky about justifying my food choices!)

I’m proud to say that I walked past the offending pastries and managed to give them a pass, settling instead for a banana and half of a honey wheat bagel for my breakfast.

But then, after lunch (a frozen entrée worth seven Weight Watchers points and a fat-free peach yogurt), a friendly co-worker came around offering chocolaty Pepperidge Farm cookies. Sugar – and especially chocolate – is a sticky area for me. Some people might own up to having a sweet tooth, but I think I’ve got a whole mouthful. Again, I said no, even though I didn’t really want to.

I caught myself a couple of times trying to rationalize a way to fit the goodies into my daily caloric intake, but I managed to stave off giving in – this time.
It’s not that I’m swearing off desserts for the rest of my life, though. That would be totally unrealistic, and unrealistic expectations are part of what has pushed me off the healthy-eating wagon time and time again.

It’s about choices. Saying no to junk food yesterday and planning my menu carefully today means that tonight, when we celebrate my son Connor’s birthday, it’s OK for me to have a small cupcake with him. Had I blown it yesterday, I might have just used that as an excuse to blow off today, too, and come weigh-in at the end of the week, I’d be sorry.

The lesson here, for me, is that fighting temptation is a learned skill. And because people in workplaces often enjoy sharing food, it’s something I’m going to have to practice at, probably for the long haul. Will there be times when I wimp out and eat the junk, anyway? Yes. But if I can train myself to look at the big picture, I think walking away will get easier.

I’m interested to know how other people in my situation fight temptation. Oh, I know, there’s no magic fix. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some useful ideas out there. Send them along!

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