Well, the scale is going the wrong way again, but I am not terribly concerned about it, since I have still been doing what I said I would do, which is drinking a lot of water (and no soda), eating modest meals, not snacking except on fruitsandvegetablesandothergoodthings, and, generally, not acting on my compulsions.
But I am about to face the first big test of my resolve. Next week, I am going to be travelling, first to Utah to do some archival research and then to Illinois to participate in a symposium. I will be alone, in the car, with nothing to do but listen to audiobooks (I love listening to audiobooks when I travel) and snack on bad carbohydrates (I REALLY love snacking when I drive).
So, even though I don't leave for a few more days, I have already begun to strategize for the trip. For me, travelling is the absolutely worst time to try to eat right. My anxiety always spikes when I travel, and both the opportunities for food, and the ability to do anything else, plummets to almost zero.
What I have to do is pretend that Current-Me is a general trying to outwit Future-Me. This is hard enough, since Future-Me is clever and armed with credit cards. But also, Future-Me will know all of my plans and will have strategies in place to frustrate them. So the only possible response is to split Future-Me into Good-Future-Me (who will be trying to maintain control), and Bad-Future-Me (who will be looking for any excuse to step into a quick shop and grab a dozen donuts, six candy bars, and a few slices of pizza in each town I pass).
Good-Future-Me is my ally, and I have to do everything I can to help him vanquish Bad-Future-Me. It's like a chess game with two other versions of myself. The intent is to gang up on the bad guy.
So here is the plan.
- Keep an ice chest of water, carrots, protein drinks, fruit, trail mix, and other things that are edible, moderately healthy, and don't start with "donut."
- Get plenty of sleep so that Future-Me can't pull the "you-have-to-get-some-Dr.-Pepper to stay awake" routine, which, I must admit, is one of my best bits.
- Eat only in sit-down restaurants on the road. No fast food. No eating in the car unless it comes from the cooler. AND NO BUFFETS.
- Stay out of convenience stores. Buy bottled water and healthy snacks at a grocery store and pay at the pump.
- Whenever possible, eat with other people who know I am trying to be good. Create social pressures in strong moments to keep myself honest in weak moments.
- Before eating anything, count to 1,000. Include Mississippis.