Framily, Food and Fear
This weekend was the first after starting my 100 Days project, and I knew that it was going to be a bit chaotic (in both a good and bad way). This weekend was a "framily" birthday celebration and I knew we'd have a lot of folks over as well as a lot of amazing food! Theresa (with a little assist from me) even cooked a hand-made lasagna - that was just epic! Others were bringing Chinese food, Guatemalan food, a crazy-array of snack and goodies, plus we still had Swiss chocolate! I knew that I was going to eat this amazing food, multiple times in fact, and that was a serious concern for me; I was actually a little afraid of how this was going to impact me.
Over this first week, I felt that I was doing pretty well in the "food" area. I cooked meals three days, including utilizing leftovers (go tacos!) and we had dinner out, but those were social events that were planned way in advance that we knew were going to involve dining out - not just "screw it, let's go to McDonald's" things. I also knew that this weekend was going to be a big potluck feast and as such there would be lots of leftovers to see us through Sunday; the healthiness-factor was a bit to be desired.
As everyone arrived Saturday morning/afternoon, they each entered with a smile, a hug, and a giant pot of food! My fear level instantly went to "11" when the first guest walked in and had two full bags of Chinese food piping hot. My fear was this: I believed that I had two choices in what I could do. First, I could just throw all logic and thoughts on my health out the window and begin the 14 hour "grazing-fest" that would be the day and feel horrible about it afterwards. I would beat myself up about it for days later and try and "balance" it out by eating 11 pounds of celery for the next four days and exercising so much that I hurt my back. Second, I could attempt to avoid eating anything unhealthy and basically isolate myself from everyone (food is a big part of our social events, so to not eat while we are all socializing is a major faux pas). I could and try and only eat the veggies (many of which are not healthy as one would think - I'm talking to you Buttered Bourbon Baked Carrots!) and avoid all of the processed carbs and sugars.
I really wasn't happy with either of these two ideas. I remembered my 99 Words project and I though of which would I would add today - Balance. I decided I would eat the dishes, a little of each, balancing the good with the "bad" (tho, nothing was bad). Someone actually made my plate up for me, which took a major element of stress off of how big of a serving should I give myself of each thing? She was nice enough to just put a little of each dish on the plate. When asked if I wanted seconds, I declined - I knew I'd have to eat more later in the evening so I put off my "seconds" until the next meal, whereas in the past I would have had both.
I also focused more on fruits for desert than cake, but I didn't feel bad, nor did I berate myself for having a small piece during the main celebration.
I took from this experience, that while I still ate unhealthy, mentally I felt better about the process and I definitely feel that I did better than I've done in the past. This improvement gives me encouragement for the next event that I'll do even better.
If you know you are going to be in a similar situation, one thing that I forced myself to do was drink more water than I normally do. This helped me avoid sodas and other unhealthy drinks. It also helps to feel more full throughout the day, as well as helping you avoid dehydration. Lastly, it allowed me to vocalize (even if only a little bit) that I was trying to be a bit healthier: "No soda for me, I'm good with water! Thanks!"