The Perils of Faulty Planning

So, not exactly the best day:


So, Tuesday was not exactly the best day.  In fact, I think it is probably the highest point day I’ve had.  92 SmartPoints used, putting me at negative 119 for the week!  And, that is with my points set at maintenance level!

How did this happen?  I usually do well in the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  I am usually very vigilant because I know this is a dangerous time of the year foodwise and often do well because of my vigilance.  And, actually, I was doing well right up until Christmas.

And, then it unraveled.  Christmas itself was a high point day, but that was really OK.  If things had stopped there.  But, then I overate Monday and then Tuesday was the worst of all.  So what went wrong?


Cookies, too many cookies.  As regular readers know, I find it difficult to manage moderation where cookies are concerned.  So, I have a clear rule with only a couple of exceptions:  Don’t bring cookies home.  I do have a single cookie exception.  That is, I can get a cookie at Subway or Which Wich and bring it home.  That is fine.  I eat the cookie, count the points and calories, and all is fine.  But, a package of cookies is dangerous.  I end up eating more than I planned.  The other exception is the holiday exception.  I can buy cookies or make them at a holiday if I will have guests who will help eat the cookies so that I only have a reasonable amount of cookies.

Christmas falls within the holiday exception.  With house guests present who like cookies, I knew I could safely have cookies.  But, my wishful thinking overcame my common sense. My first thought was to buy cookie dough and make a package of chocolate chip cookies.  That would have been fine.  Had I simply made that package of cookies, not too much damage would have been done.

But, then I had to buy oatmeal raisin cookies for my husband (he loves them).  And, then my attention was diverted by a couple of other flavors.  I couldn’t decide between them, so my husband suggested getting all of them.  I did briefly protest.  He said, “It’s Christmas.  Just once a year.”  Now, honestly, he knows better.  He is also lifetime at goal.  Still, I can’t really blame him for my mistake.  I wanted to rationalize buying different kinds of cookies and did, never mind the fact that we also bought 2 pies and had plenty of other snacks.

Too Many Different Things

This year we made some new foods at Christmas and we had lots of different things.  Ham!  Duck breast!  Corn on the cob!  Garlic Bread!  Cookies!  Pie! Candy! Garlic Roasted Potatoes! And, so on.  I didn’t really have large servings of everything other than the cookies.  But, even small servings add up when spread across 10 different foods or more.  In retrospect, I should have spent more time prioritizing the things I really wanted. And, if I wanted to eat 10 different things then the portions needed to be even smaller than usual.  I failed to account for that.

Failing to Plan Ahead

I actually did think about Christmas and mostly planned for that.  Well, I didn’t plan for 3 different cookies, but I did plan out the meal.  And, on our sides, I managed to suggest that we not make huge servings.  I didn’t want to have a week’s worth of leftovers to just keep eating.  And, I mostly did well on that.  Except for the cookies.  We didn’t finish eating the cookies until Wednesday.  We still have pie left…

But, the big thing I didn’t plan for was Tuesday.  I mean if you had asked me I knew what I was going to do on Tuesday.  I would have said that we were going on a day trip to visit family a couple of hours away from where we live.  I knew we would be driving there Tuesday morning and then would be visiting (eating) in the afternoon.  And, we would drive back in the evening and would probably be hungry.  So, I knew this.  But, in planning my week, I failed to account for this at all.  Which has something to do with the several chocolate chip cookies I had that afternoon (yes, other people make cookies as well).  And, I didn’t plan for being hungry on the way home and stopping at Subway.  The result?  A 92 SmartPoints day!  (And I had a 6″ sandwich and no cookie — but I did have chips).

The thing is that I knew we were going to be away from home that day and knew it was a situation where there would be food and I didn’t think about it.  I didn’t plan for it at all.

The Way Forward

For me it is important to look at when I make food mistakes and try to figure out what happened.  I can see that I had a combination of two things.  First, wishful thinking in which I rationalized buying too many cookies and having too much food overall.  Second, I didn’t really plan out my full week.  Going over a little on my points for this week isn’t the end of the world.  But, I could have done so much better had I realistically planned for the whole week.  Let’s say I had simply made 12 chocolate chip cookies (I made 24) and not bought the other cookies at all.  Bought maybe 1 pie.  And, served myself smaller portions of most of the other foods.  And, then, only had a couple of cookies on Tuesday.  And, skipped the chips at dinner.  It wouldn’t have taken much and I would be in a much better position now.

I did do one good thing.  I ate well on Wednesday and got myself more into a normal eating track.  Today is a higher point day (although nothing like Tuesday!), but is within the realm of a “normal” higher point day.  And, tomorrow should be a good day.



  1. says

    I think I would ask… ‘were you hungry when you ate cookies?’ I’m usually not… Do you think by making an exception at Christmas your mind is subconsciously telling you to eat as many as possible because you wont be able to next week? That’s how my mind works – I don’t know the meaning of moderation and it’s only recently that I adopted a more tough stance – I can’t make cookies or sweets, or take them home even for my kids or husband… (they don’t need them either). Then again, you are at goal and I am experiencing a regain… Next week we’re all starting fresh and back on track!!!!

    • says

      I think this is a good point. Normally I don’t bring a lot of cookies into the house and I don’t face the choice. They aren’t there so I don’t think about it. By having cookies there, I can impulsively eat a couple. I do think I got to a point of thinking of the time after Christmas as being a time that was out of the ordinary. I don’t think it will do many any significant damage although I may tick up slightly on my next weigh in (I’ll still be within goal range). The cookies are gone now and won’t come back, but what I really got from this was the need to plan better. Next year, I will remember this and just won’t buy them — Christmas or not.

  2. pat says

    I baked cookies—chocolate chip cookies, and oatmeal chip cookies, and snickerdoodles, and grandma’s famous Christmas cookies (150 of them!!) and some chocolate-covered pretzels. I thought I could eat them with reason and mindfully. Nope—they called to me at every opportunity. I did enjoy them but I’m not enjoying being up 2 lbs. Will have to figure out a different strategy next year. (Baking IS my thing and my hubby and grandkids expect it and I do enjoy it!!)

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