Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Whooeee, was the past week a blur of binge eating and bad choices, or what? I am actually ashamed of the way I ate, and doubly dour about my lack of exercise. I have a pretty barrel full of excuses, but the bottom line is that I was not as strong as I thought I was when it came to making the right choices. The wrong ones still come so easily. Things I thought had been ingrained as new habits, like choosing water over soda- phht! Gone! Turns out Diet Dr Pepper and Fresca are still more tasty and comforting. I am going to examine some of the problems that came up so I can work to avoid them next holiday trip.
First issue: ROAD TRIP. I am lucky, being married to a swell fella with American citizenship, we celebrate two Thanksgivings. This is great news for the pie lover in me, less cheerful for the part of me working hard to lose weight and gain a healthy lifestyle. But honestly, the big meal was not the deal breaker here. I did have a nice serving of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, yams, brussels sprouts and pumpkin pie, but the overeating at a single meal did not compare to the damage done by four days of driving and four days of houseguesting. That is a lot of time to not be the one in charge of the choices. On the road driving solo with a two year old and a four year old, fast food quickly became the norm. Also, can I complain about the choices at hotel breakfasts? Even the yogurt was full fat. And the entire fruit plate consisted of two antique bananas. Everything else had frosting. For Breakfast!
Discovery: I really, really, really, really, really, REALLY hate salad.
At home I eat a lot of vegetables. Okay, I eat a lot of broccoli. And some green beans, with occasional forays into zucchini, spinach and carrot-ville. But I always cook them, steamed mostly. I do not now nor have I ever in all my years on this planet enjoy vegetables raw. The only lettuce I like (on sandwiches) is boston. Despite this, my oh-so-clever plan for the road food was that I would just be super diligent and order the salad. The SEVEN DOLLAR plastic container of wilted iceberg lettuce with some shaved carrots and assorted sadface veggies. I managed this for the first day on the road, and was so hungry afterwards I ended up getting junk food at the next gas stop. I think the lesson here is that when I REALLY hate something, it will not work as a primary food choice. I would have been better off with a grilled chicken thing, and not eaten the whole bun.
Hello trigger food: PIZZA. I hadn't had any in months. I tried to be good. I almost succeeded. But there is nothing that feels as good as eating pizza, even though I feel sick afterwards.
We are so grateful to be invited to share the holiday with family friends in West Virginia, so my failure to eat well as a houseguest cannot be placed at their feet. The food on offer was so good, I simply did not have the willpower to restrain myself. From Montreal Style bagels. From leftover turkey sandwiches with cranberry and gravy. From sodas in the fridge and pies on the porch. So much delicious food. Such a difference from the cucumber and tuna pita I normally eat for lunch. I really felt unable to go out of my way to find healthier or more accurately more calorically restricted choices. It was not my kitchen. I know now have not the courage of my convictions to avoid delicious food, so it is necessary for me to stick to my own little kitchen where things like bagels and full fat cheeses are banned.
Second Issue: LAZY BONES
I brought my workout clothes but managed to avoid any sort of redeeming exercise. From passing out from exhaustion after a day of driving and looking after the kiddos, to being spooked by the gunshots in the West Virginia woods (planned to go for walks, but forgot about hunting season. I get nervous around firearms) I just seemed to be constantly coming up with reasons why I could not get moving. I didn't even get my usual walks in. Instead, I visited, went to Target (we don't have that chain up north yet), tried to write (failed at that too) and looked after the kiddos. I didn't make the effort and I didn't make it happen.
Well, it is all behind me now. I sit here four pounds heavier than when I left last Monday, and I am back on my program. Back to tracking every morsel. Back to walking my daughter to kindergarten. Back to my own fridge stocked with green vegetables waiting to be steamed up, lean small portions of meat, fruits and nuts, and calorie controlled tortillas. I will return to my way of eating. But I have a long way to go before this stops being a diet and starts being a real lifestyle choice. I'm kind of glad I am so far from the maintenance phase, I am not ready for it.
I am concerned because there is another road trip coming up for Christmas. The next one is a trip to Ottawa. Less travel time, but same thing : houseguest with family and friends, no control over the meal planning and struggling to make better choices. Hopefully I will have better strategies in place by then.