Gifts of Food

Beautiful gifts of plated cookies, candy, or sweet breads, all wrapped up in clear plastic wrap and tied with a bow. Gifts from neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family. The plate enters your home, you unwrap it for a quick taste, and then it begins...

You start with one cookie. Then another and another and another. Or, as Shirley puts it: a sliver leads to a slice, a slice leads to a slab, and a slab leads to a slob. That innocent plate of cookies is the gift that keeps on giving with an inability to control food and weight gain. How should you deal with these gifts of food when you're trying to make healthier choices?

First, quit drooling after the sugary treat. Try to separate the food from the person. It's really not about the gift or the food itself. It's about the giving. A special person presented you a gift; they are showing you that they care about you, that you're special to them, or even that they love you. Take joy from the fact that someone cares enough about you to give you a gift. Bask in that warm feeling; your "warm fuzzy." The cookies, bread, or candy are just an aside.

Once you're properly focused, make a decision. Are you going to try a serving or would you prefer not to? If you decide you'd better not start with that treat, simply focus on the enjoyment you felt being given the gift. If you do want to eat it, make it a special event. Put a small serving on a nice small plate. Pour yourself a cup of low fat milk, ice water with citrus slices, coffee, or tea. Then, sit down and eat mindfully. Use your senses. Eat slowly. Be full-filled by the enjoyment of the entire process of gifting...