From a former Cookie Monster

March 2006

(Note: The news of my friend Turley’s death makes this topic trivial and even a bit ironic to me, and I wasn’t going to post this, but I wrote it in advance and thought I’d share.)

By now, every women’s magazine we’ve ever read has schooled us in the do’s and don’ts of holiday eating. We all know to use a small plate; to focus on people, not the food; to eat before we go; and moderation, moderation, moderation.

These are all in the back of my mind today, as my company’s annual holiday luncheon and young professionals’ holiday party and bottle exchange have fallen on the same day. Everywhere I look today, there will be food! Delicious, free food!

I know the tips and tricks by heart. I will attempt to squeeze in an early morning workout. I will bring my protein-packed Greek yogurt to eat before the luncheon. I’ll take a small sample of everything, try not to sit near the dessert table and limit myself to one lite beer at the party.

In the back of my mind, though,  will be the best self-control advice I was ever given: This is more than likely not your last meal. So don’t eat like it is.

There will be other brownies, cookies, hor d’ouevres, etc. I’m going to enjoy my luncheon at work, but I will be mindful of the appetizers awaiting me at the young professionals’ party. I need to save some room in my diet so I can enjoy those, too!

This advice has also been really handy for me because I love to bargain shop. I’m so much more likely to buy something if it’s on sale — even if I wouldn’t have given it a second glance full price. Now, I stop and tell myself, “This is not the best deal you are ever going to find. Put it back, and you’ll have the money to buy something you truly love when it crosses your path.”

What’s the best self-control advice you can offer?