In tonight’s class we talked about the effect of our environment on the success of our weight loss efforts. Over spring break I experienced this first hand. I walked in the door to find a smorgasbord of Mexican food in the kitchen, including white cheese dip. Being a “good boy,” I decided to prepare some meal replacement chips and have some salsa. By the time the first chip was ready, I wasstarving.
While taking the chips off the tray, I decided to give into my desires and have a little bit of cheese dip. While I love cheese dip, and I have eaten my weight in it several times over in the past, there is nothing about cheese dip that would make me leave the house to go buy or make it while on this program. It was the presence of the cheese dip, the aroma of the associated other foods, and the fact that it was right there that got the best of me. I took a single teaspoon of dip, placed it on a meal replacement chip, and I consumed it.
Margaret, one of the program’s nutritionists, introduced us to the idea of mindful eating during one of our classes. I smelled the dip. I looked at its white, creamy, glossiness. I felt its viscosity as I transferred it to my mouth. I experienced the mingling of the textures and flavors as the chip started to dissolve and was consumed by the dip. I spent several moments enjoying the spiciness of the dip before I swallowed.
After I appreciated each and every calorie of the cheese dip, I switched to salsa and finished my meal. What would my nutritionist think? On one hand, I hadcheated. I am prescribed meal replacements, fruits, and vegetables. On the other hand, I had practiced portion control, eating only a reasonable amount of a “sometimes food.” Would I pay for it next week? Only the scale would know.
As it turns out, I lost an average of 4 pounds a week over spring break. I confessed all of this to both of the nutritionists who were in the waiting room, and I lived to tell the tale. In fact, they were both very supportive of me. They wanted me to understand that I can’t have cheese dip every week and expect to lose weight, but that having only a small amount was a better decision than having the whole bowl. I wonder what excuse I can come up with to have a bite of cheesecake?