Traveling through life with a timer and sneakers

Posts tagged “socializing

Hitting the social circuit while on the HMR Diet (and a recipe for Chocolate Fudge cookies)

One of the most important practices for weight management is Environmental Control. Numerous studies have been introduced in my HMR Program classes that demonstrate how a controlled environment can lead to successful weight loss and maintenance.

The easiest way to control my environment has been avoidance. Our house is arranged to support weight management, with my husband having his own cupboard and shelf in the fridge where his favorite foods go that are less supportive of my weight management needs. So he eats what he wants, but I can avoid exposure to it. And my classroom is set up to be supportive as well.

But what happens when I want to go to a social event? There are dozens of strategies that can be utilized in this less controlled environment but avoidance is a lot more difficult. However one of the ways I have found to be supportive is to not only pack my own food and beverages, but to have a special in-the-box food I get to enjoy during these social occasions that I might not otherwise get to enjoy.

When this weekend packed a double-slam Social Saturday with both a work retreat and a girl’s night, I knew I would have to pull out all the punches. I had proportioned fruits and veggies that could be noshed on whenever needed, both of my insulated drink carriers loaded with shakes, a couple of flavored sparkling waters, an entree loaded in my HotLogic Mini (btw they are having a sale the next couple days if you want to go in with a friend!), and these Chocolate Fudge cookies portioned out into smaller servings to be pulled out if and when I needed a special snack. They were perfect with a cup of coffee when my coworkers were eating fancy catered desserts, and also excellent paired with a sparkling water when my friends were drinking champagne. Note that I tried to pair them with beverages to help with the fact they are a low-volume food. It made the cookies last longer between sips of a drink, but also helped keep me full longer.

I would love to hear from you. What tips do you find most useful when hitting a social event while trying to stay in your weight management box?

Chocolate Fudge HMR Diet Cookies

  • HMR Oatmeal
  • HMR 70 Chocolate Shake
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tbsp fat-free chocolate fudge pudding powder (the instant mix powder!)
  • 4 to 6 ounces of water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix first four ingredients together until blended.
  3. Pour water in slowly, mixing, until a desired cookie dough texture is obtained. I found 5 ounces to be about right, but the thickness of the batter with vary the texture of the cookies as well as baking time, so the choice is personal.
  4. Spoon tablespoonish size portions of dough onto a silicone baking mat on a cookie sheet and bake 8 to 12 minutes (depending on the thickness of your dough) until cooked.
  5. Let cool and then portion out. It makes between 10 and 14 cookies.

Creating Community to Stay Supported

Sometimes when I am home alone, I have an urge to eat. I might not even be hungry but I want something to fill a void. This is a conscious battle I have fought for a long time, and during my Phase One Decision Free experience, I found success in avoiding boredom eating by hitting the HMR Diet online message boards. Talking with other people, reading about their success and struggles, and reading through recipes they had tried was all very motivating and kept me out of the kitchen.

When I transitioned to Phase Two, I found other supportive venues, both online and in the real world. However I have discovered when going back into a Phase One box, how they aren’t as successful in helping me because the suggestions and recipes aren’t supportive of the behaviors I am trying to practice.

I recently discovered the format of the HMR Program “boards” has changed more to discussion threads, and a sense of community has been lost for me. It’s still an awesome resource for referencing, but it lacks some of the back and forth chatter I remember.

There are a couple of unofficial groups I have found on Facebook for HMR, but when people of all stages from Decision Free to Phase Two are hanging out together, the suggestions and advice and photos don’t always support my Phase One behaviors either.

So after talking with a couple of other people who felt the same way, I created two unofficial HMR groups on Facebook and I wanted to share them here in case anyone else is looking for support and trying to practice Environmental Control.

These groups are closed – which means you can find them in searches but the posts are only visible to group members. You are invited to join one or both if you are interested, just please be respectful of the spaces being created. There are also other fabulous mixed program groups on Facebook if you are looking for support in other stages or variations of HMR’s programs!

Unofficial HMR Diet Program – Decision Free Community (Please note that this group practices *strict* environmental control – no pictures of food other than HMR products are allowed – fruit and veggie posts are totally welcome in the Healthy Solutions community)

Unofficial HMR Diet Program – Healthy Solutions Community (This group welcomes fruit and veggie posts! However we still ask that you refrain from posting food outside the Healthy Solutions box – so just keep it to the produce, HMR products, and approved condiments)

While I openly recognize that eventually we will all have to transition to Phase Two and be exposed to the outside world, I also support having safe spaces where we can seek support and not worry about those temptations and decisions. I want to be able to open the Facebook Groups app, and just open my HMR support group and not be overwhelmed with GAP foods.

Final note – since these are supposed to be communities, I’d love some admin or moderator help. I started them after chatting with a few folks who also expressed needs for these groups, but I don’t want to run the show 🙂 So if you join a group and like the vibe and want to help, all hands are welcome to build these safe spaces!


Juggling Jealousy – Dealing with those who can’t deal

“I need to eat now. I’m starving and all I have had is a coffee and banana today,” she said.

“Let’s wait until we get back to the hotel and have our picnic & chill by the pool time as planned,” I responded.

“I haven’t gotten to eat recently. I’m starving. You wouldn’t understand because you ate one of your meal things and had a shake,” she snapped back. “I want pizza now!”

“Your fancy coffee and banana had more calories than everything I consumed today. I know you are hungry, as am I, but the pizza will take awhile to make, time we could have spent getting back to the hotel so let’s all be happy and have what we planned.” I replied, my nerves near breaking point.

Everyone has at least one. The friend who can’t handle their own appetite and food choices and thus probably also can’t handle when you are finally in control of your health. Whether it’s ignorance or jealousy that inspires their actions, one may never know. However on my ninth week of the HMR Diet, I have been tested to extreme levels. And now I let it all out in hopes it helps someone else relate.

“I’m on a special diet. I’m gluten-free,” she tells the waiter. Then asks him twenty questions. Then once he leaves proceeds to tell me everything I already knew.

“I know. I have known you for many years. I have lived with people who have an even stricter allergy. I understand,” I assure her.

I do understand. And having had serious food reactions over the years, I can relate to the anxiety when ordering. However, once you explain you understand and you sympathize, you expect this will be the end of the conversation. Yet for her it continues. It manifests her every conversation. Did you know she couldn’t have gluten? Did you know other people don’t know what gluten is? 

I wonder if I was like this. If I annoyed people to no end talking about my food allergies and intolerances? I would hope it didn’t consume my life the way it had obviously consumed hers. 

Now that I am on HMR, I don’t talk about my food unless asked. I realize that there isn’t a reason to remind people I can’t have what they are having. I don’t need to make someone else feel guilty for the choices I am making to be healthy. What others choose to eat should not make me angry at the world. And I recognize that for her, it does. She is angry. She wants people to know she is special. She needs the attention that comes with the special need. And I resent her for it because in the constant nasal whine about her special needs, she has forgotten those who are with her may also have their own struggles.

Rather than assert myself at first, I let her make jokes at my expense:

“You can watch me eat and drool over it all,” she grins.

“I’ll drink and you can watch,” she reminds me.

“I’m so hungry I could eat just about anything on this menu,” she pronounces at lunch. “Too bad you can’t.”

Roles reversed and she would never let her audience hear the end of it. She has special needs and how dare you remind her she can’t have something. However, she sees nothing wrong with taunting me.

Why is it okay for her to do it?

It’s not. And eventually, I can’t take it anymore. In my head I talk openly how cruel it is that people would taunt people with things they cannot have. But in reality, I just use logic to prevail. We don’t end up at a pizza joint this time, however I suspect she will push again. And indeed the next day the passive aggressiveness begins:

“Well I guess pizza is out since someone here can’t handle being around it,” she huffs.

If the crust wasn’t gluten-free, the pot would meet the kettle. Instead I firmly assert myself. Saying that I wouldn’t go, suggesting alternatives to the sweet smelling pizza parlor, and finally suggesting she could go alone and the rest of us could go else where. With an eye roll and heavy sigh, she accepts one of the many alternatives proposed.

I am told by others that her behaviors reek of jealousy. And perhaps they do. She doesn’t have someone to be gluttonous with. To stuff face until our stomaches spill over our shorts. Instead she has someone who is working against those habits. Who is fighting for her own health rather than focusing all of the attention on the special one’s needs.

Her diet may define her. Mine does not define me. Food is not longer my whole life. And while I will continue to defend my needs, I will not defend to the point of it consuming my life. There is so much in the world besides food. And I am determined to experience it.