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Is It Really Free?

Normally, when someone posts a comment on a blog post, I simply respond with another comment, but I received one the other day that I felt warranted more than a quick note.

The question pertained to the idea of whether or not I ever employed a strategy that I allowed myself to take a day to really enjoy all my favorite foods. First of all, let me say that I do not even pretend to have all the answers as it relates to weight loss and maintenance. I can only share what works for me and give my perspective on the idea. I truly believe that the one true plan is the one that works for the individual – long term.

Admittedly, I have employed the “free day” technique on occasion, and I am actually coming off one of those periods, about four pounds heavier than I need to be. Need I say more?

It starts innocently enough. I tell myself that I’m just going to splurge on one meal or special treat once a week that I let myself enjoy without being truly accountable. Let me tell you, that meal turned into a free day, and then the next thing I knew I was playing clean up after a 3-day holiday with about 40 loads of laundry piled up and only four days to do it. I can scramble for a bit to get everything back into a neat and tidy box, but eventually time catches up with me.

When is the last time you got something for free? If that idiom doesn’t resonate, how about the one that begins with, if it sounds too good to be true….

The society in which I live mandates a 7-day week. Why do I think I can pretend one day doesn’t exist? If I truly held the ability to warp time like that, I think I would use the power to decrease the number of dimples on my ass.

Bottom line, I experience the most success when I’m accountable every day of the week. I know this to my core, but I still try to throw the dice on occasion because I hear others make this technique work. For me, if I play around with it for long, I begin to abuse food, which sets a whole other set of scenarios loose, one of which is that I start looking at food and behavior as either good or bad.

I fought too hard to develop a positive attitude toward food and eliminate the all or nothing thinking. I pay a big price for my free days, and my recent behavior reminded me, that I can’t afford it.

It is not to say that I don’t enjoy my favorite foods, but I find the best practice involves moderation and planning. I try to eat my favorite foods in a controlled environment, meaning I either make indulgent meals when I can share them with a lot of people or I enjoy them while dining out. Either way, it ensures there are not 20 extra portions calling my name at 2 a.m. when the house is quiet and the cat serves as the sole witness.

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