"The trouble with our times is that
the future is not what it used to be."
— Paul Valery
Laura Ruffner is 29 years old and holds a B.A. in Communications from Newberry College. She's also
a dedicated low carber (since September 2000.) Laura began working on ways to keep carbs, temptation, and sabotage at bay some time ago. And now, she shares them with us...
A wonderful time of year is fast approaching. A time for football games, tailgate parties,
turning leaves and cool breezes. All too soon it will be the holidays again.
This time of year is always particularly difficult for me to remain steadfast on my diet plan and
it always seems to start around Labor Day. It would seem that summer would be more difficult, but
for me, and I am sure many others, this just isn't the case. During the fall season more time is
spent with friends and family, going to dinner, gathering at home around the fire, going to
football games... All these things equal a tough time staying "on plan".
No matter how hard I try to be prepared, inevitably, I end up having more food than I should or
maybe a few more Michelob Ultras than I should. Someone will almost always have brought some
decadent and sinful desert that looks too good not to "just taste" and in one fell swoop of my
hand to my mouth, I have managed to blow a week's worth of dieting.
It's easy for someone to say that "nothing tastes as good as being thin feels." I have nothing
but respect for those that can avoid the temptation and never sucumb to it. However for many of
us, no matter how hard we try, we just can't seem to make it work. I hear about it all the time.
"Why am I sabotaging myself when I was doing so well?" If the answer was easy and a quick fix,
no one would have the problem. Or would they? People are creatures of habit. Making a life
long change in the way you eat is a daunting task. It can be wonderful and frustrating all at once.
For many of us, we are battling a lifetime of bad habits and yo-yo diets. We've been told time
and again that fat makes you fat. We can read Dr. Atkins' book or Protein Power and say
"yeah, that makes so much sense!" and then set out on our way, but were we ready? No one wants to
be overweight and uncomfortable in their own body. For most, that is the reason we set out on this
path to begin with.
I think that perhaps one of the biggest problems we have is an inability to deal with infinite
concepts. The chief concept here being forever. Things that we grew up with, things that we sought confort and familiarity in are difficult to give up forever. We tell ourselves we'll never eat
"it" again without having the complete internal resolve to do so. We tell ourselves that those
carby things give us a headache, make us sick... they are poison! In reality this is often true,
but internally we don't really believe it. Until you internalize it as a way of life and own it,
it will be a desperate struggle between you and years of social training and biological addiction.
I myself do not own it... I struggle with it every day.
I believe our succeptability depends on our personality type. Some are most vulnerable when in
social groups where everyone is eating whatever they want. Others find it most difficult when
under mental strain or depression. I would have to say I am more the former. I typically manage to
get through it though with a few exceptions.
One situation I find most difficult is when I am with a particular set of friends. I have a couple of
sets of friends like this... they themselves are overweight, and while I have tried to extol the
virtues of a low-carb lifestyle, they continue to happily eat whatever the heck they want.
The difficulty here is that I find myself in this social situation; the problem only then compounded
with people larger than I that are completely accepting of anything I could possibly want to eat or drink. There is no fear of judgement from those that would rather look like me than themselves, and
therefore an alleviation of pressure to look like I am trying to get thin. It's almost like "They
won't judge me... I am with my own kind". To them I already look good. No other situation is more
dangerous for me. It would be interesting to know how many of you have also experienced this.
My friends, I wish I had a solution for you. I would be disingenuous if I told you I had all
the answers for you or I never slip in this, the most difficult of situations. I get through
most of them, but not all. I am not perfect. So as this time of year approaches with the tree-tops splaying their earthy hues, the smell of burning wood filling the evening air and friends and
family gatherings are aplenty, just remember that there are many others going through
the most specific of your situations right there with you.
Copyright © September 2003 Laura P. Ruffner and Low Carb Luxury