Tonight I am going out for Indian to one of our favourite places. I have been in a serious butter chicken craving zone for weeks and I am really looking forward to it. But of course, I have some concerns about eating so much that I feel sick, blowing my diet, and finding the balance between enjoying food and not being upset with myself for eating something 'diet unfriendly'.
I have some strategies for getting through an all you can eat Indian dinner - or an all you can eat dinner of any kind, really, but ultimately it boils down to two things: how badly do I want butter chicken vs. how badly do I want to be thinner, and remembering that it's just food.
I am lucky enough that I can afford to eat pretty much whatever I want, when I want it. I don't know starvation and famine, frankly, even in times of unemployment and low cash flow, I've always had enough to eat. I will eat butter chicken again in my lifetime. There is not an international butter chicken shortage, this is not the last time I will ever get to eat butter chicken, and if I really, really want more butter chicken, I can have it again tomorrow.
I find that I often justify treating myself to something because it's 'special'. Some foods really are special - like Grandma D's perogies, or once-every-four-years retes, anniversary dinner prime rib, real schnitzel in Germany or my mom's sugar cookies. These things roll around once a year or less, and so they are a treat. The fear of scarcity is legitimate - but even then, enjoying them in moderation is key. Butter chicken, on the other hand? Cheesecake? Baklava from the coffee shop? Ice cream? Ripple chips? These are things I can have anytime, if I really want them. They're just not that special. They're just food.
Trying to remember that has really been helpful. Office birthday cake? Nah, not really that good. I'd rather save my splurge for english toffee cheesecake from the Teahouse in my hometown. McDonalds burger? No, thanks. This weekend we're making our own at home and I'm going to really enjoy that. Oreos? Are you kidding? Why would I waste a good treat on something so boring?
So tonight I'm going to try to remember that. I can, and will, enjoy my butter chicken and naan. I'll have a few spoonfulls of potatoes, maybe try a new curry dish. But I'm not going to go overboard just because - after all, we can have Indian again tomorrow, if we really want to. I'm working on my self-talk, on cheering myself on.
But in the back of my mind lurks the little voice saying that tomorrow is my weigh in day, and after a heavy dinner like that, I'll definitely be up, so why not just go all out and eat whatever I want?
And here's where that first point comes in...do I want a second plate of butter chicken, or do I want to hit my 10% goal and go on my $100 shopping spree? Which means mroe to me? It's just food, but food matters. Make decisions wisely, weigh the options, make a choice, and own it. And then get over it.
Because it's just food.