250,000-299,999 SparkPoints 290,407

Bonus Blog: Food Attitudes

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I don't blog much about the eating side of things, because that mostly goes routinely for me. The tricky part is adjusting the calorie range appropriately, and I've managed to do that well enough to make the weight move sideways for the past year:

Edited to add: The graph has shrunk enough to be hard to read, but the weight scale on the left runs from 156 to 164 pounds. The actual high weight during this period was 163.4, and the low was 158.8. The dates range from May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013. The goal is to stay in the 160-163 range, which I mostly did.

My first year on SP, my eating habits changed dramatically. Calorie dense foods got squeezed out, I learned to deal with fresh produce, and I ate a lot more healthfully. The changes haven't been as dramatic lately as in the first year, but they haven't stopped. What I've noticed is, the attitudes have changed more than the behaviors.

This week I've noticed a change in attitude toward free food. Free food has been one of my weaknesses. I've told myself many times that free food can be too expensive, but I always had to be aware of the dangers and think about it.

This week, I'm still aware of it; but the correct decision is more natural than it was a few months ago. Example: There was free pizza after the 5K on Sunday. I saw it, and told myself to ignore it. When I showed my daughter where the food was, I told her I needed to ignore the pizza. And I did, and I didn't feel tempted in the least to see if I could fit a slice of pizza into the day's food plan. Further, I was content with a half bagel, Greek yogurt, and a smallish banana . . . which is exactly what I had planned to eat after the race.

Today there was a Taco Bell incident. I have a serious Taco Bell habit, but I eat the same thing there every time: A gordita supreme, a fresco chicken soft taco, and a diet Pepsi (no refill). It's not the best 460 calories in the world, but it fits in the food plan.

Today my fresco soft taco came as beef. If I were in a hurry, I'd eat it anyway and record it. I wasn't in a hurry, so I got the staff to get me a fresco chicken soft taco. Their custom is to let customers keep the mistakes for free.

Now, it happens that today I adjusted my calorie range upward in honor of being below my desired range and the forward looking prognosis of being able to run more. I had 200 calories unallocated for the day. I went so far as to look up the fresco beef soft taco; it's 180 calories. I gave that free taco all of 15 seconds consideration, and decided that wasn't what I wanted to spend my spare calories on. It went into the trash, and it wasn't particularly hard to put it there. I'm happier with an apple and a banana in the evening that wouldn't have fit if I had eaten that taco.

I still need to be vigilant about recording food and watching portion sizes, and I still need to eat to target ranges. But some of the small decisions to accomplish this are easier than they used to be, to the point that the default decision is to be healthy, and sometimes in a way (such as pitching free food) that would have been unimaginable two years ago.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • NWFL59
    Excellent food choice management! I still struggle not just with free food but also substituting my planned choices with not so healthy choices. Recently I've been on a kick to consume Lance' Whole Grain cracker with peanut butter. They only satisfy a short while and then I want more.
    Well congratulations on your maintenance plan success. Like you new photo too.
    1815 days ago
    Way to go keeping your weight stable..that takes a lot of self discipline. So does turning down free food. emoticon
    1815 days ago
    I think your habit of having a plan, i.e. "what I'm going to eat after the race" or "what I always eat when I go to Taco Bell", is such a powerful tool. It makes it easier to work your way through unexpected situations. All you did was compare what was actually available to what you had planned for, and made good choices from that information. I admire that ability and strive to practice it myself!
    1815 days ago
    I used to wonder who could turn down free food but I found that I could and I do. Just taking the time to ponder IF I really want it is enough time to decide I don't.
    Good strategy. Thanks for sharing!
    1817 days ago
    My two biggest banes seem to be free food and eating while traveling. It sounds like you are on your way to breaking the free food habit! Keep up the great job!
    1817 days ago
    Hm... how come I never get offered free food? : )
    But a dangerous equivalent is food left over by my son, usually pizza slices or ham-bacon-cheese toast, and unfortunately I haven't learned to say no yet.

    The positive change in your attitude is an inspiration.
    And congrats to maintaining such a stable weight!
    1817 days ago
  • DALID414
    Free food is definitely the most expensive!
    1817 days ago
    Good for you. Sounds like your eating habits have moved to the better health side.
    Usually after a long run I will splurge and eat half of the calories I've just burned on my run. This seems to be enough to carry me through the week when I really try to stay in my calorie range.
    1817 days ago
    emoticon Some days this kind of decision is easier than others. That, for me, defines the grace of abstinence from eating compulsively, but for a more "normal" eater like you, it may be showing up in a gentler way of "changing attitudes". Well done, and good for BOTH of us!
    1817 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.