How to Avoid Junk Food Temptation

  • In the recent past, I was confronted with a difficult temptation.  It might not be a big deal for others, but for me it was the first time since making the commitment to eat better and lose weight that I had access to unlimited supplies of tasty sweet foods.

    Each spring, my horn students perform in the annual Solo & Ensemble Festival, an event at which I accompany others too.  During the festival, which occurs all day on a Saturday, I am able to hang out in the ‘Directors and Judges’ lounge where food stuffs are available.  The host school of the event will feed the judges breakfast at the beginning of the day and later feed lunch to the judges and directors (and a few piano players).

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    After my first performance at 8:24am, I had 30 minutes to relax so I went to the lounge.  There it was - a platter full of mini cinnamon rolls sitting next to two other platters of baked goods.  I fixed myself a coffee and ate one roll.  Then I had a 2nd roll. 

    It was later that I looked up the nutritional value of two mini rolls.  242 calories, 11g fat, 32g carbs, 4g protein.  Geesh, that wasn’t worth it.  I felt guilty, although they did taste good.

    At lunch, there were platters of two types of deli sandwiches, a variety of potato chips, mini brownies, chocolate chip cookies, but no vegetables.  I chose two small sandwiches (which together really made up one full size sandwich) and a small brownie. 

    After eating those, I grabbed a large Granny Smith apple from the snack table.  Eating the apple finally helped to fill up my tummy and satisfy my need to crunch and chew.  However I did grab a chocolate chip cookie before returning to the performance schedule.

    This was just one day I was presented with some of my favorite “junk” foods.  Fortunately, I managed to come out of it without doing too much harm to my commitment and only exceeded my daily calorie goal by about 300 calories.

    Traveling and Menus

    Later this week I will be doing some traveling.  I am flying to Switzerland for a long weekend and business meeting on Monday.  On the flight over, I have been placed in Business Class (very cool) which I imagine will not leave me hungry.

    While in Switzerland, I have to eat (of course).  But how will I know the nutritional values of my food?  At home, I read labels.  At restaurants, I look up the menu online (when the restaurant is forward-thinking enough to provide nutritional details for their menu items).

    I’m going to be without those resources... and I will miss my weekly weight and blood pressure check.  I know that it will take a great deal of self control and determination to be reasonable with my eating.  It will be much too tempting to sample ALL the wonderously different cuisines available in a foreign country.  When I get back, I will let you know how it went.

    Spring Studio Recital

    As if the above temptations were not enough, there is a really BIG one coming up.  Each year on Mother’s Day, my piano and horn students perform in an annual studio recital.  It has become a Mother’s Day tradition and one which the families enjoy.

  • Following each recital (we will have two on that afternoon), there will be a reception.  I always order a large sheet cake from the local bakery and the students provide the beverages.  A simple reception, really, but there is one catch.  There is ALWAYS left over cake. 

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    As I have pared down my studio to a smaller number of students (and thus a smaller crowd for each recital), I have pared down the amount of cake which is provided.  Previously I would order two full sheet cakes!!  Now I get just one to serve both receptions. 

    Still there will be extra cake and very tasty chocolate cake at that.  I have tried freezing some of the cake in previous years, but I would always get into it in short time.  The aftermath of the recital has always involved = ME + chocolate cake + lots of eating.

    This year will need to be different.  Certainly I can enjoy a small piece, but I can’t justify allowing myself to have several pieces of cake over the course of a week or so.

    This will take tremendous self-control.  Did I say that already?  Well, I mean it.  But perhaps by telling you about these challenges, I will be able to stick to my commitment and new way of eating and weight-watching.

    Last week Kara talked about Dietary and Lifestyle Transitions:

      “The decision to end our old relationship to food, eating patterns and lifestyle choices can be a major and challenging one that can often times leave us questioning whether things were easier the way they were before we decided to make a change. However, transitions are and will always be an important part of life in which endings must occur in order to make room for new beginnings.”

    Perhaps with these temptations and food-related habits of the past, I’m closer to the beginning of this transition than I realized. Or perhaps, acknowledging that those triggers may be a challenge before they present themselves is empowering.

    What do you think? If you’ve got any similar stories to tell regarding temptations or pigging-out traditions, please share them with me!!  I honestly need all the encouragement you have to offer. 


    April 18, 2010
    Weight: 251.5 lbs
    BP: 128/76
    Pulse: 63

    April 25, 2010
    Weight: 250.0 lbs
    BP: 124/74
    Pulse: 68


    Lisa Emrich is author of the blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers.

Published On: April 28, 2010