Here are some more observations from my weekend where I visited old friends.
1) I have been concerned the last few years that my friendship with these people would be jeopardized by my eating style. These friends are "foodies". A lot of their free-time activities center around "good" food and drink. What if we have nothing in common anymore? In our favor, we have been friends for a long time and we are all pretty tolerant of odd behaviors. We had great conversations this weekend and I had a blast working with Jon on a work project. So I'm hopeful our friendship will survive after all.
2) The final test of the weekend's effect (saying no to all the food and drink I used to enjoy with them) on my behavior was after I returned home. In the past, I have been known to misbehave when I get home from a trip where I behaved the whole time. Then I had to release something or felt I had to get paid back for something, or who knows what. So I got home today, and immediately went grocery shopping to beat rush hour. I did behave. I thought, I could go for some fruit and nuts and manna bread and cherries and and and, but it wouldn't solve anything or make me feel better. I think I've done this enough in the past to know it just doesn't solve anything. This worked for me today. That's good.
3) I'm thinking that willpower does not work so well with me. There have been articles recently in the New York Times and other places about how we only have so much in will power reserves, and we can use it all up by the end of the day. I think I don't have any willpower in reserves! It is more like a loan. It demands payback. If I use willpower to be good, it seems to demand I be bad later on. So I'm trying to avoid willpower altogether. I'm just making choices. I'm doing what I want.
4) I am trying out the idea of not looking at food or food producers or advertisers as the enemy. They could even be my friends. The billboards I saw along the highway today seemed to promise comfort and enjoyment. It's a good feeling. It doesn't mean I have to eat it, but I can enjoy the feeling they are presenting. In a way, I'm stealing from them: they are trying to rope me in with their good feelings, and I'm just taking the good feelings and not the food.