What a thoroughly enjoyable experience it was to meet up with an old work colleague recently for a proper catch up. The only sticking point was her choice of venue: Slattery’s – famous for its chocolate and uniquely designed cakes! Nothing wrong with that necessarily, except we were both on a health kick and wanting to lose weight.
My partner in crime had already announced on Face book that she’d be breaking her diet, even though she was due for her weigh-in the next day. I myself had questioned the wisdom of meeting in a place where we would be surrounded by temptation.
Then it occurred to me, why are we both assuming that being in that environment will derail us? Surely two grown women can make a better choice. I asked my friend how she’d feel about sharing a piece of cake with our coffee. That way, I suggested, we could savour the taste and still feel satisfied without feeling like we’d blown it. She thought that was a great compromise and so that’s what we did. It really was the best of all outcomes and I can’t tell you how immensely proud I was of our achievement. Instead of feeling deflated by the ‘inevitability’ of eating cake, we actively managed our calorie intake and maximised our enjoyment of the experience.
For anyone who has had to manage their consumption of food, alcohol or cigarettes (and that’s most people at one time or another in my experience), you will know how easy it is to find people who will collude with your bad habits. It alleviates the guilt when a friend eggs you on with the pretext that one more won’t harm you. Has it occurred to you that they may be equally willing to support you in making better choices? For that to happen, someone needs to take the initiative and suggest a new behaviour. Will it be you?