(Written after lunch)

As predicted, my day is turning into a dieting worst-case scenario. Sometimes it’s impossible to plan for every alternative.

Plan A: Find out the catered meal in advance and plan what foods I’m going to eat.

First, there was no catered meal. Then there was, but too late for me to find out what it would be.

Plan B: Go get my own salad.

Conversations with coworkers were continuing during the lunch period, and I didn’t have time before my next meeting to go get the salad.

Plan C: Take whatever South Beach Diet-friendly foods I can find from the catered meal.

The catered meal is pizza and salad. No protein.

My goal was to do the best I could with what’s available, and I felt good and in control. The pizza was good quality. I got a slice of the veggie and ate the toppings off it. I took some salad and added Greek yogurt and walnuts from my snack stash. I stopped with a little salad left on my plate because I knew I was getting full. I thought about taking the toppings off another slice of pizza, but I knew it was just a desire and not hunger, so I didn’t do it. The idea of continuing to eat faded quickly from my mind.

I’m still on my diet, and I don’t feel in any danger. But it would still be safer for me to have a written plan. And the only way to really stick to that kind of plan to the letter would be to bring my own food with me everywhere. That’s definitely an alternative, at least most of the time. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to be able to improvise.

(Written Before Dinner)

Time to strategize. I’m tired. Tonight’s restaurant with my coworkers is Italian, of all things. It would be so easy for me to order “whatever.” I would rather go home than face this. I won’t eat at home. I will feel socially shy and will want to eat and drink to blunt those feelings. That’s my previous way of handling situations like this…eat my way through them. I want to do it differently this time. It’s going to be tough.

I will:

• Read my Advantages

• Know that I am not the only person there watching what I eat. At least 2 of the other people there also work out frequently and are very careful about what they eat.

• Think of how disgusting I’ll feel tomorrow morning if I overeat tonight.

• Remember how hard I’ve been working in the gym and how I don’t want to undo all my hard work.

• Have a protein snack before we go.

(After Dinner)

Things went pretty darn well, considering we went to a fancy Italian restaurant and my fatigue was weakening my resolve. I planned to allow a light starter, since I needed to take the edge off my appetite, and I had eaten lighter than usual at breakfast and lunch. In the car on the way to the restaurant, I told my coworkers I was trying to avoid wheat, which both made me accountable and engendered my coworkers support of my not eating bread or pasta.

My light starter was sliced fresh mozzarella and tomato slices (perfect on South Beach!), which I shared with someone. Another coworker offered me a slice of grilled eggplant stuffed with ricotta and other cheeses…something I could not resist! I love eggplant. That was my big indulgence for the night.

I had planned to order swordfish and veggies for dinner, but after the rich eggplant roll, I was too full for an entree. I ordered a side salad with grilled shrimp on it as my main course. I ate half of it and took 1/2 the shrimp in a doggie bag to throw on today’s salad. (But when I got home at 11 PM I decided the shrimp had been at room temp too long and tossed them.)

The restaurant served gorgeous looking Italian bread with flavored butter and olive oil. I asked for the basket to be moved away from me. My coworkers ate slice after slice, but as long as it wasn’t near me, I wasn’t tempted. Then they asked for a 2nd basket, which did end up being near me, but by that time  was full. Some of us ordered dessert…I just tried one bite of some ice cream on someone’s plate that looked interesting. It turned out to be hazelnut! I also sipped on 3 small pours of red wine. I started out refusing, but succumbed to peer pressure to taste it. But I didn’t get drunk.

All in all, I’m happy with how I did. I spent my calories on things I really wanted to spend it on. I resisted all kinds of temptations, like fried ravioli and fried squid that were being passed around.

Still, I’ll feel much safer having a written plan for the foreseeable future.