I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m in dieting
hell um, mode. I have been for the last well, four weeks today. I’m counting calories and all that mess, but I’ve made a deal with myself. I’ll be good all week, but at least once a week I’m going to enjoy a good, non-healthy meal.
So when my sister and I started talking about how long it’s been since we’ve been to Olive Garden, we made plans to hit the restaurant on Friday night. I searched the menu online to see what meals have the better calorie value because I was going to be bad on Saturday instead. I had my whole meal planned out, but when I got to the restaurant, I decided to make Friday night my “bad” meal. With my sister, aunt, cousin, brother, and sister-in-law around the table, it was easy to decide to simply enjoy myself.
Oh sure, I did the shrimp Primavera which is within my calorie range, but then I had to have the breadsticks…and that cheese fondu stuff…and end my meal with the triple chocolate strata. I didn’t finish my entrée, saving it for lunch the following day, but that chocolate cake had my name all over it. And I enjoyed it more than should be legal.
I’m not the most disciplined person when it comes to food. Hello? I live in south Louisiana. Our food is…well, it’s just downright addictive, but giving myself that one day to break away from my diet keeps me on the straight and narrow. Since I’ve started the diet, I’ve lost about 12 pounds and that’s without working out. Which I began today. Meh. But hey, it’s for a good cause.
Anyway, I started pondering how treating yourself to something decadent can strengthen your willpower. I don’t just mean in dieting, but also in writing. We spend so much time worrying about word count, editing, revising, and the whole submission process, it can sometimes take the fun out of writing. And that’s what writing is supposed to be: fun. So why not apply the “decadent rule” to writing as well as dieting, exercising, etc.?
Pick one day, or night, a week and just put the manuscript aside. Watch a good movie, or a bad one to mock. Read three books, or one. Go out to dinner and laugh with your friends and family. The manuscript will be there when you get back just like my diet was waiting for me on Saturday morning. It wasn’t easy to get in the swing of things again, but it was the memory of that chocolate cake that kept me on an even keel. Decadence can be good sometimes.
How about you? Do you treat yourself when you’re on a strict regimen? Does it help to reward yourself once in a while with something you really want?