What I am about to tell you will seem trivial in the extreme so it will be necessary to explain why a tiny moment of forgetfulness is important.
Dinner was served at seven-thirty, and after Debbie and I had finished our little ritual ending with – “Eat just the right amount!” which implies just the right amount to get us to our next meal in just the right state of nutrition – I took a bite of muffin. She had prepared some super special kind of muffins with all sorts of goodies blended in, and I had just added a tiny bit of butter and some Rothschild’s pineapple habanero sauce. I have had these before and they are fabulous, so I took a bite. Big mistake!!! Why the fuss?
I hadn’t drunk the half cup of water set right beside the dinner plate, and Debbie was looking at me. I had just broken our February diet plan. This is as easy as a diet plan can get, but I had failed. We had decided at the end of January that for the month of February we would drink a glass of water before eating our sit-down meals. It has been reported in the “diet-press” that drinking a glass of water before a meal will make it easier to stop eating when one nears the end of a meal. We have been doing this for the last two weeks and it does make me fuller near the end of the meal and thus I am willing to quit eating sooner. It makes it easy to eat a smaller dessert or skip it all together. So, why the fuss? Just drink the water and move on. But NO! … It’s more complicated.
I was chewing the muffin but hadn’t swallowed the bite when it became apparent that I was making a mistake because Debbie was staring at me. Then I realized … I forgot the water. So, instead of swallowing the bite of muffin I pushed it over into my cheeks and drank the water. Okay. I was in compliance with our diet plan but just barely, and worst of all I hadn’t remembered to do it myself and would have swallowed if she hadn’t looked at me.
I had come as close to failing as I could without having to suffer a punishment. In this case, the punishment would be that I couldn’t eat for ten minutes after our next normal eating time of twelve noon sharp. That wouldn’t be too harsh unless the meal was served promptly at noon and I had to sit there for ten minutes staring at my cooling hot lunch and watch Debbie eating. It was a close call, and that is a benefit of cultivating new habits with another person – you can remind one another just before a needed action. It takes a while to develop a new habit until it becomes automatic. The problem is –
How can you trust yourself, if you can’t keep a promise to yourself?