Sunday, December 6, 2009

There is nothing wrong with having nice friends

Following my tumultuous Thanksgiving eating weekend, I boldly (maybe even cockily?) proclaimed that I would get back on track.  And I did!  Gosh I'm awesome!

I may be awesome for other reasons (it would be great if someone could please affirm this), but getting back on plan hardly constitutes one of them.  I certainly feel good about getting the old tracker out (in this case, my iPhone), but it is hardly worthy of an outpouring of accolades and laud.  In truth, it really was not very hard, and I really did not have to sacrifice anything.  I just fell back into the familiar patterns of the foods and activities that have begun to constitute the way I live these days.

I do not mean to diminish the difficult of getting back on track after four days of Nero-esque eating.  There have certainly been times in my life that this lapse would have resulted into a six week deep dive into semi-gluttonous indulgence.  I think this would have particularly been the case if I was in the midst of first losing my weight when my now familiar healthier habits would have been far from formed.

What feels different now is the simple recognition I have that I do not feel that I live a life a deprivation and monk-like lifestyle.  This past week, I hovered around 30 to 35 POINTS per day of food intake and maybe 6-8 activity POINTS as buffer on the other side of the ledger (for my size and being at maintenance, this kind of math works more than adequately for me).  Most importantly, I did not spend the week feeling hungry, miserable and/or stressed.  I now have an armory of meal choices that keep my own hungry monster(s) at bay.  Even better, I like the way my new meals taste, and I have not had to relinquish my love of eating.

Thinking about this has led me to question the craziness of unbridled indulgence vs. healthy eating.  In both states, the food tastes good, but I cannot say that the indulgent foods really taste that much better (either that or I have developed a taste for the healthier foods).  Truth be told, I like a nice piece of grilled fish as much as any steak I have ever eaten.  While nasty calorie bomb meals might look more appealing prior to mouth insertion, they almost always make me feel worse afterwards, physically and mentally.  If this is true, why do I categorize a massive hamburger and fries meal as a "treat" and a healthier meal as part of a "regimen"?  Why do I put ice cream up on a pedestal, and relegate fruit to the ranks of infantry?  Are my old weakness foods really such great friends or are they really a small army of Eddie Haskell's?  

I suppose the answers are enormously more complex than I seem to be suggesting here.  If I were to gather a stable of psychotherapists and neuroscientists, I suspect that they could offer me a wide variety of seemingly plausible and likely complicated explanations.  For personal and professional reasons, I find this subject personally fascinating and worthy of future exploration.  For right now, I think I can safely say that the the ultimate answer is that my supposed love of hamburgers and ice cream is all in my head.

I will try to remember this as I continue to steer into Christmas festivities.  I will try to remember that my new food friends are true (and fun/smart/attractive) friends, while my old food friends were kind of delinquents.  They were fun to hang out with at the time, but it really is time for me to move on.


  1. I lost 3.8 pounds (more than I usually lose in one week) last week even though I was able to enjoy Thanksgiving.

    I filled my plate and took a picture of it to further examine it later. And what I found is what I've already begun to realize. I eat what I want, but what I want has begun to change.

    Like you said, the foods all taste good. Fried chicken would still be satisfying entering my mouth, but I didn't realize how miserable I felt after the fried chicken was consumed.

    I'm sure there will be days in which I prefer something unhealthy, but if my head can continue to grasp the fact that unhealthy food does not necessarily taste better then I'll continue to feel satisfied and see positive results.

  2. It's still always important to indulge at times. My major issue was always that a week or two before a trip or holiday, I would say "Well, I'm going to be off-plan soon anyway" so it would end up being like 2-3 weeks of bad eating. I've gotten much better about that now. Feels so good!!

  3. Interesting post...I think this week I'm going to try to look at my fruits and veggies as "treats" instead of regime, as you've talked about here. How much more success would I see if I changed my mindset? Hmmm.....