A lot has been said lately on this blog about Katie from Runs For Cookies, just like back in the day when I just got rolling. I learned from her that it is pretty important to only make changes that I’m willing to change. If I want to eat ice cream for the rest of my life, and oh sweet my goodness, I am not giving up ice cream, then I need to figure out how to integrate that into my diet in a reasonable way.
I make sure to leave room at the end of my day for a treat. While, really, I shouldn’t have to integrate sugar and crappy foods into my life, there’s an obsessive part of me that needs to know its available. It’s the food addicted part of me. The part I have to pay special attention to and care for, nurture, otherwise this very careful self I’m rebuilding can crumble easily. So I allow my inner fat girl to have her treats. Without her, I wouldn’t be who I am today, as cheesy as that is. There have been times when I have done the clean sweep of my kitchen, but I literally panic and have anxiety, walking through the world feeling the oppression of self denial. It feels like I’ve taken the rainbows away when I remove all of that. Silly, I know, but it’s my reality. I’ve learned that moderation and strategy are what help me, and part of the moderation is letting myself cut loose on a treat once a day. And when I say treat, I mean treat. No zero calorie jello here. I want something even a non-dieting person might enjoy, just like I will have to learn to do when I am maintaining.*
Ice cream has been hit and miss with me this year. For a while, I tried to buy a big container and just take serving sizes, but my serving sizes would rapidly grow and, before I knew it, I would have a double or triple scoop in my bowl with toppings, nuts and a few spoon licks in for good measure. The quart would seem to melt away as I swiped a spoonful here and a taste there. You get the idea. My solution was to buy my ice cream in serving sizes. I realized that the more exotic treats actually worked out to be fewer calories than the quart because I had to stick with the serving sizes. I regularly buy the mini containers of ice cream (even Ben and Jerry’s sometimes), ice cream bars (even the regular ones dipped in chocolate) and fudgesicles. They all hit my sweet spot, satisfy me, and stick to a manageable serving side that’s difficult to exceed.
Chips have kind of been the same. We realized that we would buy a bag of Doritos to go with burgers for a night, and, while the bag would state that it had way more than four servings, we would pretty much eat the whole bag as a family. Or almost the whole bag. We realized that it made both fiscal and caloric sense to buy the individual sized bags at Costco. Not only do we eat fewer chips now at a sitting, those little bags seem more expensive with less in them, but because we don’t buy big bags very often the cost balances out and actually has become cheaper! The other part is that if you go for a second bag of chips you KNOW you’re eating more than you should!
When I have the super munchies, my go-to treat is popcorn. It’s pretty low fat, but you can even add butter and salt to it and it still isn’t that horrible- as long as you don’t go nuts and make the allowance for the extra fat/carb action! I will also let myself eat as much fruit as I want, in those situations. While fruit is more calorically dense than veggies, it is high in fiber and settles my sweet tooth a lot better.
Funny things happen though when you alter your diet a bunch. Then it’s the weird foods that start to sound good for odd reasons. Take Brussels sprouts. Unlike many people, I’ve never been offended by them. But I luuuurve them now. They never haunted my plate as a kid, sitting all bitter and cold on the edge of my plate. The one or two times I had them as a child I thought they were sweet and delicious, but they just never made a regular appearance!
Bradley loves the Brussels. He buys them all the time and recently, I have fallen in love with them because I assume that the sprouts are grown in hermetically sealed environments where nary a larvae has ever wandered. Just to make sure though, I clean them by slicing off the bottoms and picking off any leaf that may have ever touched any hand except mine. I inspect each one, before dropping it into a saucepan with about a half inch of water, a pat of butter and a little salt. Steam/boil. Add a twist of pepper at the end… Sweet, sweet yummy Brussels. And the cool thing about Brussels sprouts is that you can pretty much eat as many as you want, but you won’t be able to because they are so dense and filling. A few Brussels sprouts go a loooong way, and that is just the way I like it. When I’m at a weak moment and am having craving issues, Brussels sprouts actually are a good go-to food for me.
The other thing I love anymore is dried fruit with nuts. Oh my goodness. I about pre-emptively turned over in my grave the first time I craved my ‘just cranberries, almonds and cashews’ mix from Trader Joe’s as my evening treat! A fruit and nut mix, sans chocolate? Cha. Well, cha Ching, now, I suppose because I’m way into it. Bizarre.
Yesterday Bradley and I took the kids on a really long walk. Our son was about bouncing off the walls with all the cold winter weather, so we thought it was a great opportunity to take them on our 5K run, so they know where to find one or the other of us if we we ever need to be found. 0_______0
It turned out to be a looooong loooooooooooong walk for our kiddos! We ended up closer to 4.5 miles after we played choose your own adventure in the woods (in a well-known area you just let your kid pick any which way they want to go on the trail and it makes them go a little longer, they love the autonomy) in addition to the distance to and from our house! We talked extensively about the existence of Bigfoot and about the Seahawks playing in the Super Bowl. We are not football fans here at Lj House, a fact that is inconceivable to those around us and we have not been swept up in the blue and green tide with the rest of Washington. However… My son wants to be a football fan in the worst way, but, of course he wants to swim upstream and is supporting the Broncos. He had a lot of questions about why the Broncos were better. But sometimes he was a steelers fan. And other times a 49ers fan. It’s hard to keep straight when you’re five! But really, what he wasn’t, was a fan of the Seahawks!
Clearly, this is one of the weirdest most disconnected posts I’ve ever written. Sometimes it’s strange to sit down and consider writing to, what has turned out to be, a substantial audience. I now have analytics! I’m excited to notice the patterns, to see what articles people look at (Bikini is the número uno top hit, you curious people) and seeing who responds to me. I get tickled pink when I see a comment and really thrill at watching the numbers of people marching through and reading about my weightloss project.
If I’m honest I’m coming to the end of diet bet and I’m freaking out, just a touch. I have three days and my weight keeps jumping back and forth over my goal weight. One day I weigh in at 212 and sigh a deep sigh of relief, feel chill and happy, and then the very next morning, after sleeping all night, I weigh 215! What is uuuup with that? Srsly. SERIOUSLY. So frustrating! And I’m still at the end of my cold so I’m stuffy and I have PMS so I am all water weighty and I want to eat everything so then I rebel and I eat nothing except dry chex and diet coke… Top that with being tired and fussy and not wanting to work out. Wah! Yeah, a wacky, crazy day. A wacky, crazy couple of days.
Can you tell it’s report card season?
Maybe that’s why my brain is such a frazzle.
I know it’s not “Brussels” sprouts. That’s autocorrect and I’m just too lazy tonight to fix it.
(I’m sorry. I think this is hilarious and I put it up in my classroom sometimes when my kids need a little levity. It makes me laugh more often than I’d like to admit. Out loud. Srsly.)