My client, Lori, and I only meet once a month, because she’s been doing very well over the last six months. When we met today, I asked Lori to start off by telling me some things from the last few weeks that she deserves credit for. Lori told me that two nights ago she had a big work dinner and she was still feeling proud of how well she stuck to her plan. It was at a Mediterranean restaurant, and like all her work dinners, it included a lot of food. Lori told me that she skipped the bread (she knew from past experience that it wasn’t her favorite type of bread), limited herself to just two bites of appetizers (she decided in advance that she’d rather save her calories for dessert), had just salmon and sides for dinner (when she could have had salmon, chicken, and steak), one glass of wine, and ate half her dessert.

While this still amounted to more calories than she would normally have for dinner at home, Lori had accounted for it all earlier in the day and made sure it made sense for her day as a whole. I asked Lori how she felt when she left dinner, and she said, “I felt really satisfied because the food was delicious, and I made sure to eat it very slowly and mindfully. I also felt proud of myself because there was so much food and it seemed like everyone else was eating a lot more than I was. But that’s okay, I ate the right amount for me.”

I asked Lori to think about how this work dinner compared to ones she attended a year ago, before we started working together. Lori said it was totally Plates of food on restaurant tabledifferent. In the past, she would have eaten almost everything that was offered to her (bread, appetizers, main courses, sides, alcohol, and dessert). She would definitely have eaten more than two bites of appetizers, she would have had some bread (not realizing that it didn’t even taste that good to her), and she would have chosen at least two proteins at dinner – not because she needed the extra food, but because she enjoyed it and it was there. She would have washed it all down with at least two glasses of wine and finished the night with a full dessert. I asked Lori how she felt after work dinners like that, and although she didn’t remember feeling all that bad psychologically, she said she knew for a fact that she used to suffer physically from eating too much. “My stomach would be so full it would be painful, and I would have a lot of trouble sleeping when I felt that way.”

Compare this to how she felt after this latest work dinner. Although Lori ate only a fraction of what she used to, she didn’t leave feeling at all unsatisfied (in part because she made sure to eat slowly and mindfully). She felt pleasantly full, but not overstuffed, had no pain in her stomach, and she had enormous psychological benefits because she felt so proud of her ability to stick to her plan and stay in control. Lori and I discussed how much this proves that she’s changed, and she told me that she’s grateful to be where she is today. It took time and work, but Lori knows one-hundred percent that it was worth it.

1 reply
  1. Shirley
    Shirley says:

    Thank you for your story.
    Last evening I was faced with a similar situation except I was with family. We went to a great restaurant and I chose to be mindful about what and how I ate.
    I wasn’t stuffed but I was satisfied and most importantly I was proud that I took care of myself!


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