eat, move, think, feel


food plan

Ignorance is Not Necessarily Bliss

First of all, I want to thank EVERYone for the wonderful words of support in my time of distress earlier this week. I can’t tell you how supported I felt, and how very moved. Thank you. Newsflash from the offspring is that the fever has broken, and doctor has cleared her to return to classes. Which is a great relief. Yay!

I went to my awesome trainer this morning and was flooded with beautiful lifesaving endorphins. It felt so so good. I’m back, people!!!

I wanted to write a bit about food logs, tracking etc. I heard someone say this week that they do not keep food diaries because it would make them too “obsessive.” I hear that. I think that some people could get carried away. I am not one of those kind of people. I am the kind of person who is more likely to say, “Oh, it’s fine! It’s not that much! It’s healthy!” and think I am doing JUST FINE and then be all baffled because I am not losing weight. Or gaining, in fact. My natural state is to be the Queen of Denial.

A few eye opening things this week. One, I was teaching late. There happens to be a California Pizza Kitchen right next to the building where I teach. I got out of class around 9:45 and was hungry. I just wanted something “small.” I was wavering between a salad and a cup of soup. Well, guess what? This incredible CPK has their nutritional info in a little bound book, right next to their wine list! Which is kinda of shocking because really, if people KNEW, would they eat anything at all?!? Well, I took a browse though that and my eyes just about popped out of my head.

MOST of the salads were well over 1,000 calories. Each. Now I know, or I’ve heard, that these restaurant salads are often 10x worse than many entrees, but still: I was like, WHOA. Are you serious?? Grilled Vegetable Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast: 1044 calories. (doesn’t that sound HEALTHY?!?) BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad: 1257 calories. Cobb Salad: 1070 calories. Caesar Salad with chicken breast: 787. “Thai Crunch Salad” : 1155. (beware the crunch!)  Miso Salad: 1146.

I got a cup of “creamless” asparagus soup: 106 calories. Very very good!! And it was excellent. And very filling. I threw on a bunch of buttered croutons (what the hey!) for another couple hundred cals, probably. Living it up! It was the perfect late-night dinnersnack.

And to think I’d been believing that a salad or a soup would be sorta equivalent. Um. Not. I think that soup is almost always the better option. The largest-serving (bowl) of the highest calorie soup (Chicken Tortilla soup) is only 541 calories, which is miles less than any salad on the menu. And the pizza.

The thing is, most of the pizzas are between 1200-1500 calories. But I often don’t eat a whole pizza at CPK. I might eat a slice or two, which would be 300-400 cals. Which is not bad. In the past, though, I might choose the Caesar Chicken SANDWICH because in some universe, a “sandwich” is better than “pizza.” But that SANDWICH is 1051 calories! And you can bet I’d eat the whole thing.

Just sayin’. It is a good thing to be aware of what one is eating. Not to be obsessive, but to be aware.

In my WW meetings we have a little tradition called the Group Tracker. It is a 3-month food journal that is being passed around the meeting. Members volunteer to take it for a week, track their food and then report back and pass it to someone else. We’ve been doing it for a month now at two different meetings. Which is 8 people. And guess what? Every single person has lost between 2.5-3.5 lbs WITHOUT FAIL the week they have the tracker. Is that amazing? We call it the Magic Tracker. But that is what being Aware, and accountable, can do.

I’ll be honest. I do not write down every single morsel, every single day. But I do try my best to be honest (with myself) and aware of what I am putting in my mouth. And when I bother to really check it out, and get a reality check, I am often very, very surprised.

To Plan or Not to Plan

I know that many people plan out their meals days or hours ahead of time. I can certainly see the benefit of that, but I also feel like it contradicts the idea that one should enjoy one’s food and only eat what one wants in a certain moment.

I was caught in indecision this morning, and it really has set me up for a funky day. I didn’t  have a lot of time for breakfast. I was plannning on making an eggwhite omelet with veggies, but when I got up, I was SO not in the mood for eggs. I couldn’t think of what else, and I was in a hurry. I ended up with a cup of coffee and a handful of Antioxidant Trail Mix. (basically, nuts and dried fruit) It wasn’t enough. I was cranky. I was in a hurry. I wanted a grilled cheese sandwich in the worst way. Then I started having a mini internal tantrum about lack of food choices. The internal chorus was chanting about grilled cheese.

So I ended up with no breakfast. I had a cup of tea while at a work meeting. Now it’s lunchtime. My mother (who volunteers in my office one day a week) wants to go to the ice cream parlor place for lunch. She’s going to have a chili dog. What can I have that is acceptable yet satisfying? A veggie burger?

Yeah. I can live with a veggie burger.

I’m also frustrated bc I’m stuck at a weight plateau again but I know why. Last week I had FOUR social dinners (2 dinners out and 2 potlucks, AGH) and I had a particularly stressful weekend. I have to get back on track.

I’m starving. Veggie burger, here I come.

Is it a “Special Day” or is it Cheating?

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. He asked for a special birthday dinner, and made his specific requests for the menu: crab cakes, cauliflower au gratin, asparagus, Prosecco, chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream.

It was HIS birthday so I was happy to grant all of his requests. As I was shopping at Whole Foods I thought about what and how much of this dinner I would eat.  I thought about the chocolate cake especially, since I haven’t eaten any sugar since the day I began this blog in January.

I ate very lightly all day (in WW speak, one would call this “banking” one’s points). I divided the (pretty large) crab cakes in half to make smaller ones.  I roasted the asparagus in the oven with garlic and lemon. When it came time for dinner, I ate one of the (half sized) crab cakes. Six or seven asparagii. A fairly generous helping of the cauliflower – it was soo good. When hubby popped the Prosecco he asked if I wanted a glass. (I also haven’t had alcohol since January) I said yes. It was sooo delicous. I enjoyed every drop.

Then it was cake time. I asked for 1/3 of an already small slice, probably about 3-4 forkfuls. I added about two tablespoons of extra-light ice cream. I sat and looked at it for several minutes.  The Beck book has an exercise where one is encouraged to visualize how one will feel AFTER eating a certain food, and if it feels bad (guilt, remorse, self-hatred etc) then there’s your answer. I decided I was not going to flog myself or feel bad if I ate that small amount of dessert.

I savored it. I savored every bite. It was so delicious. I also noticed that the first two bites were the best and I could’ve stopped there (and will if this comes up in the future). But the thing that was different from the past is that I didn’t let it be the “gateway” to, say, eating half the cake. I didn’t beat myself up over it, in fact it made me feel really happy.

Some food plans allow for occasional forays into eating foods that one would not eat on a normal basis. They believe that these occasional releases of pressure allow you to continue forward without a feeling of deprivation. Other programs believe that you can never stray from your prescribed program because it’s just a slippery slope to hell, or falling off the wagon completely. I am sure that this is true for many people – that one taste of something and BOOM, they’re done for.

Of course the danger is that “every day can be a special day” mentality can creep in and before you know it, you’re eating chocolate cake 24/7.

I don’t feel like I need chocolate cake again for a very long time. Maybe I’ll look back on this day as the Beginning of the End. I hope not.

The whole day was very interesting for me. I didn’t struggle. I didn’t feel bad. I thought about the choices long and hard, and in the end, I was happy.

Now, I’m going for a big long walk and a row on the machine.

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