Treat Yourself

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?

12 Comments

Filed under Writing

12 responses to “Treat Yourself

  1. Great post. Just what I needed to hear. I’m not good on the stepping back from writing at all. I’m editing or writing every single day. Seven days a week!! Even if it’s only for an hour because my day slipped away due to work or family obligations, I still get an hour or two of writing/editing in.

    It helps me with my creative flow, but you’re right, rest does, too. Just like with exercise. Can’t do it every single day or you’re gonna pull a muscle. Rest is part of strengthening….You got me thinking on this Monday morning…before I’ve had my second cup of caffeine, too! *smile*

    Have a great day!!

  2. I treated myself to Harry Potter yesterday and wasn’t going to write at all but ended up writng 747 words before bed. Just couldn’t not write- but to me that’s a treat, too.

  3. Last year-while on my life changing diet-I took one meal a week and just made a fool of myself. This helped keep me motivated. Also, I’m realizing that I do need a down day every couple of weeks. The MS can draw you into its crazy world and if you don’t get out, your family and friends will grow to loathe you. Working on the balance one day at a time. Good luck with the diet.

    • Yes, exactly, Rachel! You need that little burst out of the mold to keep yourself sane…and to keep other people from thinking you’re just strange (even if you are) 😉

  4. For me the best way to “diet” is to do a low carb diet every other day then allow myself to eat (within reason) on the alternate days. Gets the metabolism rest and I find I lose weight quickly and am able to keep it off even when I slip off the diet wagon (as I have lately). Good luck!

  5. I lost 38 pounds in the past two years on weight watchers and been a lifetime member one of those two years. I did not let myself have a ‘free’ day or stray from the diet. Once I was able to say ‘only this once,’ did I make the decision to stray. Now I’m able to have a dessert and none for a long time after. Good luck!

  6. Congratulations on your weight loss. 12 pounds is a lot.

    I don’t think I have any strict regimen, except for when I had a deadline to finish editing my book. It was exhausting work and I gave myself a day off when I finally finished. I tell you, that day off felt like a week! But the break was definitely needed.

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