Friday, May 10, 2013
Even before I joined SparkPeople, I knew what my biggest food challenges were: Boredom eating, stress eating, and social eating. There are subcategories to each of these. A year and a half into the drill of recording everything, the stress and boredom eating are controlled. I still eat from stress and boredom, but it will be healthy food, it will be recorded, and I will make it fit into the daily ranges.
Social eating is another animal. I've mostly avoided it, and had mixed results with my self-control when I didn't avoid it. This week, there are two social eating events.
The first was Tuesday, at the annual party for the local VITA organization. There is always a wonderful spread of delicious hors d'oeuvres that are no doubt high in fat and calories, and there is always a great selection of baked sweets. This year, I left some room in my calorie count while filling my minimum protein before going. I filled one small plate of hors d'oeuvres and had two small cookies. I counted everything, but had to approximate the hors d'oeuvres because they didn't correspond to anything the SparkPeople app was finding on search. I probably over-counted protein and under-counted calories, and even by my count ended up high in my range for the day.
It's probably not a coincidence that my weight was up on Wednesday and Thursday. I thought about cutting back my range, but kept in constant. Today, my weight was back to where it had been Tuesday morning. Yes, I ate more calories on Tuesday. Yes, I probably ate more than I estimated. But it's likely that the weight blip was mostly due to excess salt in the prepared foods.
I can cope with this. One day does not break maintenance. But there's another day this week. Tomorrow I have committed to a social dinner as part of a church program. The idea is for 6 to 10 members to have dinner together and get to know each other better. I know about how people in this church fix food for social occasions, and it was a no-brainer that I just not sign on any of the sign-up sheets. But it's hard to say no when someone personally invites me, as happened last Sunday.
Attendees are supposed to bring part of the meal. First line of defense, ask what I'm supposed to bring. Oh, just bring dinner rolls. Yeah, right. That's what every single guy wants to hear, bring something that isn't any work. It also shows no thought. Or just bring yourself, we'll have plenty. While probably accurate, that doesn't feel right either. So I opened my mouth and volunteered to bring a pie. I can bake apple, pumpkin, or pecan. (I can also bake custard, but didn't think to volunteer that.) Another attendee became enthusiastic. "Oh, please do. You make the best pecan pies!"
For the record, my pecan pies are not anything special. The recipe comes straight out of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. The only thing that distinguishes my pecan pies is that I actually take the time to prepare them. Okay, maybe I put in more pecans than the recipe calls for; but it's still a standard item. It's so standard, when I used the SP recipe calculator to do the nutrition I came within 10 calories per slice of what the SP nutrition tracker thinks a serving of generic pecan pie is worth.
Those of you who ave done the quizzes on SP may remember that pecan pie is the highest-calorie pie on the quiz and matching trivia question, at just over 500 calories per slice. I can't make one pecan pie; I have to make two at a time to get things to come out even.
So, there's a challenge. I know I can bake a pair of pecan pies and not eat them, because I do that to donate pies to the Old Fashioned Church Supper each year. I know I can haul the pies with me, and that they travel well. I know that I can recover from a day when I have a slice of pecan pie.
I don't know for sure how I'll deal with leftovers. With luck, I'll be able to send them home with other people. For sure I'll use disposable aluminum pie plates to facilitate this possibility. If leftover pie comes home with me, I'll have to either ration it out over several days, or consider just pitching it.
It's hard to pitch good pie.
Meanwhile, I need to be prepared mentally. First, it's only one meal. Even if it's a disaster of overeating, I can recover. Second, keep it in perspective. Control serving size and estimate everything, even if it can't be accurately measured. Third, bear in mind that food isn't the point. Social interaction is the point, so keep the culinary stuff in the background.
Anyway, that's the plan. I have to chuckle at how much thought I put into this, compared to how much I would have put in pre-Spark. I don't know how people who have an active social eating life manage maintenance without knowing what they're going to eat for the last meal of the day; but I'm going to need to figure it out, at least for one day.