Thursday, February 19, 2015

Being Okay with a Small!

This past weekend we traveled out of town for the baby dedication/blessing of my niece’s first child. Even though it was a couple days out of my own environment and what I call “norm,” I was very dialed in to making good choices and continuing my exercise regimen (yep, 5 miles on the rickety hotel treadmill was interesting, yet successful). 
Usually when I travel, even though I’m not preparing and making my own food, I try to always pick good choices for ME. I try to avoid any dangerous areas. In other words, areas that tend to cause a problem yet still budget in things I’m going to want. Usually, when you travel or are away from your normal environment it’s for a reason. Sometimes that reason can be a party, a vacation, a weekend away, or even just lunch or dinner out. To know those things are coming and to mentally plan for them, has helped me to be successful in maintaining my weight loss. 
One of my favorite things to eat is frozen yogurt. I have no idea why I have this faddish but I do. In fact, to be able to go to a self-serve outfit where I can load on all the toppings I want is like the jackpot! SOO good!  And no, I don’t think I adopted this craving because it’s called “frozen yogurt” and I felt like it had to be healthier than ice cream. I got hooked because it’s just too good and creamy and full of naughtiness! 
Anyway, this weekend while we were away we spotted a Nielsen’s Frozen Custard Shop. They have one of these in another town about 5 hours from us and we’ve been before. H-E-A-V-A-N! Have you ever tried frozen custard? It’s SOOO creamy and rich and has everything I love about a frozen yogurt, only better because it’s frozen custard. By the time we drove by it that first day, they were closed, but I knew right then that it would have to be a stop before we headed out of town the next day. 
The two main flavors of custard they normally have are chocolate and vanilla. They then have a slew of mix-ins to choose from. When we arrived the next day, they had the normal chocolate and vanilla, as well as a specialty flavor of the day - Carmel Cashew. (Two things I love!) I decided I was going to go with the caramel cashew.  In the past, I’ve gotten a large or even a medium serving, but this time I decided that the small looked like just the perfect size. (They had clear cups on the counter to show the sizing options) We went and sat down to wait for them to bring out our order. A few minutes later, they walked over with what I thought was a mistake. A little tiny pink cup no bigger than the parameter of a silver dollar. It was like a mini. I then realized that was what the single serving came in, not the single serving with toppings cup I thought I was agreeing to that was displayed on the counter. Was I disappointed? Ah, YES! In fact, my kids thought it was too funny - my cute little cup of custard. I didn’t say anything and was just so thankful for the moment and my little treat that sat in front of me. I ate it very slowly as I wanted it to last forever. When I was done I realized something. It was perfect. Everything about it.  The taste, the texture, and most of all the size! I didn’t need anything bigger in order to get my “fix” in that moment. I walked out of Nielsen’s feeling happy, satisfied, and like I was on top of the world because I had been in control of the situation and turned something into a positive, when for so long in my life, it was a negative. I told myself several times on the 4 hour drive home…I’m okay with a small! 

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Focusing on Your Food....

Lately I have been making a conscious effort to track my food so diligently and avoid things that don’t fuel my body. Sometimes this can be hard, especially when the idea of something REALLY yummy that I haven’t eaten in a while wanders into my brain. One of the things I’ve been working on is when and where I choose to eat my meals/snacks. 
I know some of you are probably saying, "Does it really matter?" I believe it does, and for me, I’ve been tracking how this has been working in my day to day life.
 Most of the time in the mornings, for instance, I tend to make a protein shake to drink on the way to work, or if I choose to make some sort of a breakfast burrito with egg whites and veggies, I eat it in the car on the drive to work. It’s not long after I’ve gotten to work and I’m telling myself I’m hungry. The same scenario usually occurs when I eat my morning snack at my desk and sometimes even my lunch, depending on my day and what I need to get done. My afternoon snack is then usually a protein bar on the way to the gym and I find that the only real guaranteed sit-down meal I am having is at the dinner table every night. And even then, there are those times from time to time, where that is even eaten on the go. From looking at my day and really evaluating the quality time I spent eating, it really wasn’t happening. It was just when I could fit it in or I did it because it was time to eat. 
Just making a conscious effort to stop doing whatever it is I’m doing and really enjoy what I’m putting in my mouth has helped me to not think of food so much as an addiction but instead as fuel for my body. I think for so many years I would just eat to eat. It was what I knew how to do.  I had no recollection of really the good from the bad or calories/proteins/carbs/fats. I just ate.  Even when I had been educated about these things but still wasn’t focusing on the times and places when I was eating food, it all ended up feeling like a job, or like I said,  I just did it because I had too. 
For the past few weeks while trying to make a change and focus on quality eating time, I’m feeling fuller longer and not constantly thinking about the next time I get to eat – things that naturally come when you’re a person who has struggled with either weight loss or food issues.  By taking the time to break away from what I’m doing and sit at the table, try not to work and eat at the same time, and minimize the times I have to eat on the go, I feel like I’m headed in the right direction. It allows me to focus on each bite. It allows me to drink lots of water with whatever I’m eating. It allows me to feel like I’m in control, I’m a normal eater, and I can enjoy just about anything, as long as I do it in moderation. 
I know I’m not perfect at this by any means but just making an effort has been huge!  It plays a key role in making good choices and maintaining what I’ve worked so hard to become. 

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