A Neverending Story

December 7, 2008

This weekend kicked off a month of holiday gatherings for me. On Friday night, I joined a few friends for dinner at NYC’s famous Tick Tock diner. Then last night, I went to my friend Marcie’s place in Brooklyn for another part.

I can’t say I “dieted” on either day.

Instead, I tried to same tactic I used for Thanksgiving. I ate what I wanted, but tried not to go overboard. Though I didn’t eat perfectly by any means, I was happy with how I did. I didn’t go crazy. I bascally ate like a “normal” person.

Take last evening, for example. I’m sure I had one too many mini knishes and slices of garlic bread. But I stopped when I was full. By the time dessert was set out — a whole table full of cakes and cookies — I was pretty full, so I ended up having only a couple of small things. I didn’t shove every bit of pastry into my mouth, just because they were there in front of me. And I declined to take a goody bag home when Marcie offered one to me.

I’m still working on the whole “party behavior:” thing when it comes to food. I know that next time I might be better off nibbling on fruits and veggies, and that perhaps I could bring a healthy item like low-fat popcorn. But at the same time, I need to live. I want to be able to continue to see my friends and attend parties; I just need to learn how to have my cake and eat it, too, so to speak.

This morning, I was discussing the situation with my best friend, Lani. She and I have literally known each other since we were babies, and she’s more like a sister to me than a friend. That said, she’s see me through every stage of my changing sizes, and in many cases, her own weight history mirrors mine. We both became incredibly thin when were in high school, and then we both gained a lot of weight after college.

The difference is, she’s managed to lose most of her weight. She walks and goes to the gym and changed her eating habits. I’ll admit that sometimes I get jealous that she found the strength to help herself. I remember at one of my birthday parties, she arrived looking fabulous, while I looked like a frump. Everyone kept complimenting her and I wanted to throw her out onto the street. But most of the time, I’m proud of her accomplishment and wish I could be more like her when it comes to my own weight problems.

I know it isn’t easy for her, though. She works two jobs and admitted that she’s put back on some weight because she hasn’t had as much time to go to the gym. Her trick, though, she says, is that she hasn’t forsaken any parties or treats. She just eats goodies in moderation. If she knows she’s going out to dinner, she’ll eat a small lunch and then enjoy herself; then the next day, she’ll return to healthy eating.

“I know this is a cliche, but it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change,” she explained to me this morning. “This is something I’m going to have to do forever, and there’s just no way that I’m not going to enjoy myself at parties. So I go out and have fun, and then make up for it the next day. This way, I can live my life, but stay healthy, too.”

I know I have a lot of work to do, but I’m slowly learning how to do this. Perhaps a time will even come when I no longer find chocolate cake enticing. Though the odds of that are very slim — I think that no matter how healthy I get, chocolate will always claim a place in my heart!