the Social life challenge
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
On my own, I do great with keeping to my food and fitness goals. The real problem occurs when I want to be social.
Lunch with the girls: ~600+ calories and endless fat.
Happy hour: when I can manage to not eat any of the amazingly delicious happy hour foods that everyone else is ordering and eating, even though it's dinner time and I'm starving, I still get probably 1-2 drinks = 200-400 calories. If I cave because I'm SO hungry and the food is SO good and everyone else around me is eating garbage, we're looking at a 600-800 calorie evening, minimum.
Foofy coffee break: Let's face it. Sometimes work sucks a lot and we get angry and have to go get some coffee. Oh and by the way, we might be starving because we were overly optimistic about our level of hunger, and thus neglected to pack enough food for lunch, and ran out of granola bars or almonds from our desk stash. Sigh. And that Frappuccino with whipped cream that the other girls buy looks so freakin good and we're so hungry and tired. Sometimes, I manage to be strong and go with the iced skim latte or the iced skim mocha, both not so bad. But sometimes...I just want the whipped cream, dammit. Even the small is pretty bad....
Out with the boys: They eat at least twice what you do and dont' seem to care a hint about the nutritional content of the food they eat. When I order a salad, they look at me and say "Seriously? That's all you're eating? Don't even think about stealing a french fry if you're going to order so little." Or they say "That's not enough, you need more than that. If I ordered that little, I'd be starving in like 5 minutes". OK, so maybe they're right, but restaurant salad + beer = at least 500 calories, which is all I should be eating. Why can't I just get a plain chicken breast without sauces or being fried or something as an appetizer? Why are there only wings or chicken fingers?
Date night: Dinner out or dinner in. Dinner in, you better eat the lovely food he's spent lots of time agonizing over and preparing for you. And that special cocktail or beer he made/got just for you... you turn that down and you lose points. You can eat less of it, but then he has dessert for you too because he knows you LOVE chocolate and he wants to impress you with things you like. Sigh. Dinner out: you could order the salad and get the dirty "you're such a girl" look, and skip drinks because you know they're high in calories, thus forcing him to drink alone or avoid the social aspect of the drink. Or you could order the bbq, because that's what you really want, and love every second of it and not think twice. And order the beer you love, because it's delicious and brings you pleasure. Perhaps eat half the bbq and eat all the veggies first, allowing him to taste your bbq, or have leftovers. That works mostly, but do you count it? How do you even estimate the calorie content and portion size there? You can guessimate and wish for the best (aka the scale not telling you that you're 2 lbs heavier the next day).
So what's the solution? I participate in about 1- 2 of these health-breaking activities a week. If I cut that back, I'd be super sad because I'd be lonely and missing out. I'd love to do an active event, but that's an afternoon thing, not an evening thing. Plus my friends would veto it anyway, since they don't want to be bothered with such things (and are much less physically active, coincidentally) - and food generally results afterward anyway. I could try to follow the little healthful tips that annoy the hell out of my friends or make me slightly unhappy because then I am generally starving afterwards. My social life breaks the calorie bank, even if I do keep on track with my meals and snacks on my own, and follow all the fitness stuff religiously. It's a touch choice to make.