The answer? Everything. Those of us with a weight problem tend to have a disordered relationship with food. If we ate only for sustenance, we’d all be eating some bland nutrient paste. I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in a nutrient paste. Food is good. We use food to celebrate, socialize, and even to mourn. When we allow the food to control us, we have a problem.

Focus on what is most important. When we’re at a family gathering, our family is most important, not the food. When we’re socializing with friends, our friends are most important, not the food. When we’re at a child’s birthday party, the child is most important, not the cake. When we are able to shift our attention from the food onto the family and friends we care about, social gatherings aren’t so threatening.

It isn’t the last cake. It’s important to remember the cake we decide to forego isn’t the last cake. There will always be more cake. Saying no today doesn’t mean never having cake again. It is okay to say no. Often telling ourselves no for now helps us to begin to reshape our relationship with problem foods. This way of thinking helps us to have more good days, and more good days translates into a lower weight over time.

Choose to be strong. Strength and weakness are both states of mind. Choose strength. Don’t be resentful of choosing to eat healthier instead of indulging yourself. We don’t have an inherent right to eat whatever we want whenever we want and to be the weight that we want. Feel strong for saying no to a dessert you want, not resentful you ‘couldn’t eat it’. It’s your decision either way.

Avoid all or nothing. If you decide to indulge in a treat, make it a choice. When we think of our decisions as choices, not imperatives, it is easier to get back on track. Whatever decision you make, make it and move on. Don’t waste your hours or days feeling guilty about a momentary dietary indiscretion. You only control the moments in the present. Control the present and the future is yours.

H. Allen Chapman, PA-C
Physician Assistant – Certified
Alaska Premier Health