By Alanna Campbell
Updated September 04, 2001

Chocolate, in general, is one of my greatest weaknesses. So is bargain shopping. When you live in Manhattan, heading out to the suburbs to hit the discount retailers—stores that sell mass quantities of things like chocolate—is like letting Lindsay Lohan out of rehab: You can only occasionally control yourself.

So last weekend, I ended up buying way, way, way too many M&Ms all at once, and worse than that, they disappeared way, way, way too quickly. I met with Marissa, our dietician, last week, and was properly scolded. Id completely blown an otherwise perfect day of eating with a ridiculous amount of candy that I shamefully ate while nobody else was around.

Why? Couldnt tell you, other than its what Ive always done in the past. I think my issue is two-fold: Im still getting a hold on my emotional eating triggers, and I have to make the conscious decision earlier on to not be my own worst enemy and buy things like mass quantities of M&Ms.

I know this is a process, and Im not going to become a sensible-all-the-time, non-emotional eater overnight, or even in six weeks, as Ive clearly displayed. But between last weekend and this weekend, a considerable step in the right direction took place.

I went to visit a friend who lives about an hour away and crashed with her for the evening. We had a sensible meal at Panera Bread (mmmm, Fuji Apple Chicken Salad), and for the first time in my adult social life, I became one of those people who accepted a drink at a party (I didnt want to be rude to the friend who insisted I have a drink) and then ditched it after about three sips (sorry. Nicky!!) because I didnt feel like actually drinking and adding to my fill of food/calories that day. I dont plan on making this a habit, but I also know people who have done this thousands of times.

The most important part of the weekend, though, happened the next day when I came back to the city. Id wanted to be home earlier in the afternoon so I could relax a bit before I went to Spin class at 4:30 PM and yoga class at 5:30 PM. I got a little behind running errands on my way back, got stuck in traffic. and didnt end up getting home until 4:05 PM. In the past, I wouldve blown off working out because I was tired or lazy, or wouldve told myself that walking repeatedly up my five flights of stairs for the rest of the day would be enough of a workout. Instead, I ran upstairs, changed into clothes in lightning fast time, and ran—not walked, but RAN—to Spin class and got there by about 4:35 PM.

This was the clearest indication to me that Im actually incorporating AND prioritizing fitness into my regular, albeit ridiculously busy, schedule. Id missed working out two days earlier in the week and really wanted to make them up on the weekend.

Im about to start traveling for work every weekend, so I know now is the most crucial time for me to really focus on continuing to put myself first. After this weekend, I felt fantastic. Now I just have to keep it up.