While dining at a restaurant the other day, I was initially delighted when a large portion of tiramisù was placed before me.
However, I soon realised that this rich dessert was likely to test my commitment to avoiding and minimising waste.
Should I admit defeat at the hands of an overly generous waiter or could I draw upon reserves of determination from deep within my bowels to finish
ed what I had begun?
Fortunately I’ve read enough personal development books about success principles to know that backing down was not an option. So I set my goal, put my plan into action, and cleared the plate.
Walking (waddling) home with a very full stomach and slightly guilty conscience, my mind was momentarily distracted by the memory of comedian Rita Davenport talking about an incident when she ate half a box of chocolates.
Her husband apparently made a disparaging remark about her lack of self discipline – whereas Rita felt he should have been impressed that she hadn’t eaten the lot.
All of a sudden I found myself in a quandary. Was it more noble to achieve one’s goals (no matter how indulgent) or to resist temptation (and draw satisfaction from one’s martyrdom and sacrifice)?
The next morning, like manna from cyberspace, the answer to my dilemma miraculously appeared in my inbox in the form of a very civilised compromise!
In this week’s newsletter (here), dietician Susie Burrell explained that we need to get used to having food treats around and train ourselves not to binge on them.
Susie calls this the ‘Tim Tam test’. Her mantra is as follows: 1 is a treat, 2 is for a bad day, and 3 is for a really bad day. After that, she says, we are just being greedy.
Great advice – but why not extend this basic test beyond a packet of chocolate biscuits?
As you know, winners never quit. And becoming good at anything takes practice.
I propose, therefore, that anyone who suffers from lapses of nutritional self control should go out and buy lots of their favourite tempting (unhealthy) foods.
Their mission (should they choose to accept it) will be to resist the urge to eat all of the treats in one go.
Anyone who gobbles down their treats straight away need not feel bad.
They should simply buy themselves some more treats and repeat this process over and over until they manage to leave a few treats in the cupboard or fridge for more than 24 hours.
(Note: It is probably best not to buy pastries for this test as everyone knows that they are no good the next day.)
As each participant accomplishes what they set out to, they should reward themselves with something that they enjoy – such as the rest of the treats.
I plan to go back to the restaurant soon and conduct a ‘tiramisù test’.
But instead of leaving half on the plate to prove that I am not greedy, I think I will invite a friend along to share it with.