eat, move, think, feel


food choices

Reality Check AGAIN

I went away for the weekend and did a lot of activity – 2 days of running, one day on the hotel elliptical. I was feeling quite virtuous! But I was not quite as careful/aware as usual of my food intake. Today when I was back on my home scale I discovered I had gained a few pounds.  But I had done such a good job of my exercise!

My food, not so much. I decided to go to the Weight Watchers Online site and track my points from yesterday, retrospectively.  HOLY TOLEDO. I was… er….. about 24 points OVER my daily limit! AEEEEEEEEEYAHHHHH!! And I was thinking I had not done “all that bad.” WRONG.

This is one of the helpful things about points. It’s a reality check. If I had been aware of how many points I was eating, I would not have made those choices. I assumed that they were much lower than they really were. YIKES. I mean YIKES.

I’m lucky the damage was only “a few” pounds.

I’ve been reading that weight loss is a LOT more linked to food than activity level, and that sure was true for me. So even if you run miles and miles, if you’re not conscious of your food intake, you can still do a lot of damage, weight wise.

(Sigh) Tomorrow is my WW leader interview. I’m not feeling very stellar or confident right now, but I guess I will demonstrate how one can get back on a horse after falling off.

And tonight was supposed to be my IOU Mother’s Day dinner (also for my mother) since we were traveling all weekend. I wish I could avoid going to a nice restaurant, but it is her favorite choice. I’m just going to have to make some good choices even though we are at a good place.

WOW. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief over the # of points I ate this weekend. Kind of amazing.

Give Up, or Step it Up

I decided, in the interest of honesty, to adjust my weight-loss meter downward to reflect reality. It wasn’t just a temporary bump, apparently. This two pound leap has lasted more than a week so I have to call it real. However, the one pound bump from yesterday is gone. 🙂

Yesterday was a real turning point for me. I have been at this point so many times before, and so often I take it as a cue to sigh heavily, (no pun intended), throw in the towel and say, “I just can’t lose weight.” It actually sort of astounds me now to think that I believed it would magically melt away with a minimum of effort. But then again, there are countless promises out there that this is exacty what will happen.

So yesterday I had the choice to either wring my hands and give up, which would lead to me gaining all the weight back, OR I could step it up. I decided to step it up. Today I went to the gym and did 45 minutes on the elliptical, including one nice hard sprint, followed by 2000 meters on the erg machine just for extra. I was GOING to go to a yoga class after that but instead decided I’d be better off going to the shoe store.

I have super flat, painful arches in my feet. The first 15-20 minutes of any workout, even plain walking or using the elliptical, is excruciating for my feet. My running shoes, which were once lovely, are now three years old and basically I might as well strap a couple of pancakes on my feet. They’re worthless, and yesterday my trainer told me very sternly that I am doing damage to myself by working out in these shoes. I got some new ones. They feel amazing. I can’t wait to work out tomorrow!

After getting my shoes, I realized I had not eaten much anything yet. I decided to take myself out to breakfast. This place across from the shoe store advertised breakfast for $6, including eggs and something mysterious called mamounia, or “middle eastern cereal.” I ordered steamed eggs with mushrooms. It came with a bagel (which I did not touch), and a little bowl of this lovely looking brown hot cereal. I thought, if it’s brown it must be healthy. (OK, are you laughing at me yet?) I gingerly took a spoonful. It was sooooooo good! Mmm, I love mamounia! Whatever it is! Finally I asked the waitress, “What is in this?” and she said, “Cream of wheat, cottage cheese, butter and brown sugar!” Ohhh. So that’s why it was so delicious. Thankfully I only had 3 spoonfuls, which was actualy quite satisfying. Saved by mindful eating. I murmured a little prayer of appreciation to the mamounia and then did not touch it again.  I noticed I was not totally wild about the eggs, but ate them anyway because they were the only thing on my plate I could eat. I ate about half. I hate throwing away money (and I was already throwing away the bagel and the mamounia) and I knew if I didn’t eat it, I would be really hungry pretty soon. So I ate half. What would mindful eaters do in this situation? Somebody tell me.

Overdoing It?

Last night I went out to dinner with a co-worker (actually my boss) and two guest speakers who are in town for this conference today. We went to a really nice place that I’ve been to a few times with my husband. There were so many good looking things on the menu and I got kind of overwhelmed; so I ordered a grilled asparagus appetizer (ie 4 stalks of asparagus grilled with lemon and about half an ounce of Manchego cheese) and for my entree, a big salad (a huge amount of lettuce, very lightly dressed with about 1/4 apple, a tablespoon of blue cheese crumbles, and maybe 4 walnuts). Was it virtuous, eating “right” or just over the top?

Everyone else had “regular” salads or appetizers and entrees. I don’t want to be that conspicuous ‘dieting person’ when going out with a group. All of my food tasted really delicious but it wasn’t totally satisfying in the end. I had eaten VERY lightly all day in anticipation of the dinner out, so I had “banked” my points so I could eat semi-normally. But when I got there I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I think there has to be a balance – between figuring out what I want, and not eating too much or the wrong things. I think I ultimately did not trust myself last night, so only ordered a vegetable and salad.

Today I am going to be at this conference all day with very few choices of what to eat. I better run down and make my own breakfast b/c when I get there it will be coffee and pastries, and if I’m hungry, adrenalized and stressed, that’s not what I want to eat.

Trying to figure out the restaurant thing. I’ll probably have another chance to “practice” tonight at the post-conference dinner. Hmm….

PS. And another thing. After my 2 hour workout and my paltry dinner last night, I’m still stuck at that darned 13 lb mark. Booo.

The Company We Keep

I was thinking about the fact that I ate more than I should/wanted to when I was on that boat, and my husband was not around.  When he is with me I worry about what he’s thinking and end up eating less, or more healthfully. To impress him? That’s not good.

On the other hand, when I am with my mom I tend to give myself permission to eat everything in sight and to make the worst choices, because that is what she does.  She definitely played a large role in my habit of eating to squelch emotion, eating to celebrate, eating when sad or bored or tired or depressed or angry. I’m not blaming her, I’m just saying… this is where it started, and how I learned to pass it on to my poor unwitting next generation as well. Even now (or maybe especially now) she will always choose the richest, meatiest, chocolatiest, thing on the menu. Maybe because she is in her 80s and she thinks, why deprive now? She has never been on a diet as far as I can remember, except right after her open heart surgery when her cardiologist made her go on a diet. My father pretty much administered it and she was very angry and resentful about the stuff she couldn’t eat.  After a few years she just kind of ignored it and I think ate even more as a bounce-back.

Anyway. We will all eat with all kinds of people with their own food issues, all the time. And the thing that is important is to keep grounded in our own plan, our own commitment to what we are going to eat or not eat.  In the past, I’ve been with people who ate like birds, and it made me nervous and panicky, and want to eat even more. Or else I would get in some stupid, silent “I can eat just as little as you!” competition.  That then backfired as soon as I was out of their sight.

I’ve been lucky that nobody has really tried to push food on me since I’ve started this. A friend came over for dinner and brought a beautiful looking pound cake but I wasn’t tempted and she was also really sweet and apologetic, and the people who could eat the cake enjoyed it. (guess who? Mom!) I think it’s a lot easier to say you are on a diet for medical reasons than for vanity reasons because if you just say you want to be thinner, people say, Oh you look just fine!

I am almost relieved that I have this medical “excuse” to fall back on. But really, we all do. We all need to be healthier and more conscious.

How do the people around you affect your eating habits? And how do you deal with it? (if at all) Foodie wants to know!

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