The Cruise Mentality

You might wonder why the topic of a cruise comes up right now when the temperatures have barely dipped below freezing. Shouldn’t we wait to dream of going on a cruise until the dead of winter, when the mercury falls below zero and goes into a holding pattern? The thought of a cruise comes to mind because of the upcoming season of food. Let me explain.

About three years ago, I was preparing to go on a cruise—my one and only excursion on an ocean liner. I heard words of caution from nearly everyone. The advice was not about being sure to use enough sunscreen, nor was it a tried and true cure for motion sickness.

The main thing on everyone’s mind was the FOOD. There’s so much of it and it is all so GOOD! And it was true—there were gourmet restaurants serving six-course dinners every evening, round-the-clock buffets, sandwich shops by the pool, and even a sushi bar.

After that trip, I coined the term “the cruise mentality” to refer to a way of thinking when you find yourself in the midst of an abundance of food. This is a great time of year to adopt this mindset. From the stashes of Halloween candy (okay, maybe that’s not really delicious but there usually is a lot of it), to the Thanksgiving feast and leftovers, to just about every day in December, good food—familiar and delicious—abounds.

Why would an abundance of food ever be a problem? The trouble is not with too much good food but from the rules about what and how much to eat. Categories of good foods and bad foods; portions in easy-to-remember dimensions (size of a deck of cards; size of your palm–wait, does that include my fingers?; no bigger than a tennis ball; etc); warnings about harmful food combinations–all these rules lead to eating anxiety.

Be assured, it is possible to be calm around food, even when it’s plentiful and scrumptious. Here’s how:

  1. Begin by giving yourself permission to eat anything you want.
  2. Select the foods that are most appealing. Take plenty—it’s important for your plate to look pleasing and generous.
  3. Savor every bite until you have had enough.
  4. Stop eating knowing there is plenty of deliciousness whenever you are hungry again.

 “The cruise mentality” assures you that you know what and how much to eat in all situations, even when there is an abundance of appetizing food. Trust yourself and, by all means, enjoy!


2 comments so far

  1. Clio on

    I had not connected the “cruise mentality” to holiday eating, but it certainly does apply. My husband and I joked that the cruise ship we were on for our honeymoon should have been renamed the “Disinhibition.” We were not tempted however, as our particular ship had abundance but we found the quality to be mediocre. We appreciated having someone else cook for us, but we actually ended up pretty structured with our eating times which worked well for us.

    I like the idea of making sure my plate looks appetizing and I appreciate the reminder to give permission during the busy and bountiful holiday season.

  2. Obstawianie Ruletki on

    Damn, that sound’s so easy if you think about it.

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