Oranges 2 Oranges

Looking Back at 5K and Moving Forward…

Doing the Right Thing

After taking in my mom and sister’s dog to be put down last night, all of us being emotionally worn down from a week of waiting for the appointment, they, my hubby and I went out to eat. It had been planned ahead of time. Partly because none of us had eaten beforehand and partly because it was good to stay out and go somewhere, instead of taking my mom and sister back to an empty house right away. It would be the first hour without little Leroy.

It was a late dinner, about 9pm. Since I’m doing a weight loss program and only had a certain amount of food values left in my day, I wanted to keep it light, not dipping too far into my extra allowed values for the week. I’m not typically the person who orders a salad as the main course when I’m in a restaurant. If I’m going to have the chance to eat a beef burger or something I don’t normally make at home, I’m going to order it.

I didn’t do that this time. My thinking and eating habits have changed in the past 11 (now 12) days. I set my mind on getting to my goal (and beyond), and it includes being able to do more than I’d done in my past attempts. If I chose the wrong (for me) food right now, it would mentally set me back, and it would open a door for more wrong choices in the days to follow.

For one moment I had switched my dinner choice from what I originally thought was the lightest choice on the menu – the chef salad – to a burger with melted feta cheese (even going as far as practicing how to say feta). I was going to ask for a substitute for the fries – a side salad, if possible – and accept digging deep into my extra allowed food values I had saved up during the week. Then I thought, “why on Earth am I doing this? This is not how I am training myself to think anymore! This is throwing my hands up and saying that my effort isn’t worth a chef’s salad.”

So I changed my mind back as soon as I felt the fear that I’d mentally set myself back. I told hubby, “you know what, I’m going to get the chef’s salad afterall.” I felt good that I was able to say it, and I was still going to get a good meal (with some cheese, too!). Hubby was proud of me, and that helped.

The salad came, and it was enough for 4 people. I ate the whole thing, with my gravy boatload of balsamic vinaigrette at my side. I only used a tiny bit of it, too. I’m not a balsamic vinegar person, but the little bit of flavor was just enough to make the salad come alive, and I really stuffed my face, for a lot fewer calories than I would have had. Oh, and I only ate one slice of the bread before dinner, with a little bit of butter. I wanted more, but the fact that I didn’t eat more feels better than if I had.

The choices I made at just one meal prevented me from thinking badly about my progress so far and possibly setting me back. I can’t allow myself to make the wrong choices. Once I do, it snowballs. It’s not about whether I deprived myself of the burger (“Go ahead, have the burger! It’s only one meal! You can make it up later! Life is short…blah blah blah”), it’s about making the better choice that allows me to be more satisfied in the end…and that means walking away not hungry as well as knowing that I still enjoyed what I ate. And that feeling will last longer than any meal can. 

Shannan

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