I’m often struck by how an eating plan, like a game plan in sports, can utterly fail despite looking like sheer brilliance when it’s drawn up ahead of time. The question is, what do you do about it? There have been times when I’ve just given up on that particular day, resolving to do better next time. On Thanksgiving Day I fought through a rough period and came through at the end feeling like even though I “lost the game,” calorie-wise, I’d managed to regain my composure and make some progress on a couple of things I’d been working on.
The failed gameplan was eating a small meal early on and then “saving up” for the feast. Scooping a square of the breakfast casserole I’d made for the kids onto a whole wheat bagel before the annual Galloping Gobbler was hugely satisfying and I honestly thought it would hold me. I did manage to avoid the postrace cookies. So far, so good.
But around noon, as I was baking bread to take to my parents’ place, my stomach got pretty rumbly. Another dose of breakfast casserole to tide me over. And then, because it was a holiday and I wanted to be feeling more relaxed than I was, two glasses of red wine. That led to a generous spoonful of the deviled egg filling and “cleaning up” the pumpkin bread that had stuck to the bottom on the pan.
Munch mode followed me over to Mom and Dad’s, where I sampled more bread as I sliced up four loaves (wheat as well as pumpkin). Then it was a couple of strawberries and grapes off the fruit platter, a piece of cheese, three or four handfuls of cashews, a chocolate chip cookie, and a “taste” of fruit pizza.
So yeah, this “game” was not just lost, but turning into a buttkicking. I was already full and we hadn’t even had dinner yet! I can’t even tell you how many times in the past I’ve been in this exact same situation and continued to eat myself miserable, packing in as much of the worst choices as possible. Instead, when I went through the food line, I put some turkey, green beans, corn and salad on my plate.
And then … I was done. Which is huge. Because that means no visit to the dessert bar. And the cool thing was, I didn’t feel like I was “punishing” myself. Unless I’m in the grip of a feeding frenzy, I’m just less and less interested in anything that isn’t made from scratch, using “real” ingredients, and so that eliminated three or four choices right off the bat. That left the pumpkin and sugar cream pies. But since neither of those rank among my favorites, why bother?
So. A big loss in terms of the numbers game. It definitely would’ve been preferable if my game plan would’ve worked out so that I got to really enjoy the feast rather than gorging myself on mindless snacking. On the plus side, Gunnar’s smoked turkey really stole the show on my less-crowded-than-usual dinner plate. And I probably paid more attention to another rare treat, green beans with bacon, than I would have otherwise.
Well, that wraps up Day One of the Holiday Food Log. We’ll see where it goes from here.