This past weekend could have been a total disaster diet-wise but I managed to stay within my calorie budget even with a packed social schedule. For someone with a history of all or nothing habits, I’m proud of myself for learning to socialize and celebrate special occasions without using it as an excuse to binge.
In fact, I haven’t had a weekend binge since October, when I was at Josh’s nephew’s birthday party and, out of sheer boredom (it was a 2-year-old’s birthday party afterall), ate 2 slices of cake and 3 cake pops in less than 30 minutes. I think that was the point where I decided I needed to ditch my “diet during the week, eat anything I want on the weekend” approach to weight management. Who knew sugar comas could lead to moments of clarity?
Since then, I’ve been doing pretty well. Even during the Christmas holidays and my trip to Cuba, I didn’t go overboard but wasn’t strict with my diet either. I found a nice balance between indulgence and moderation and, with summer approaching, I’m hoping to continue that pattern and not slip back into old habits.
Here’s why – allowing myself to eat unlimited crap at social events was all well and good when I only had one social event planned in a week. But when I had a bunch of events clustered together or an unexpected event that I hadn’t “budgeted” for, it caused me a lot of anxiety to the point that I’d sometimes consider staying home just so I wouldn’t eat too much. Now that I’m slowly learning how to indulge in moderation, I feel like I can eat reasonably in most social contexts, which makes going out a lot less stressful. Take this weekend for example.
On Friday, I ate a ginormous pizza at my friend’s birthday dinner but passed on a cupcake for dessert. Breakfast, lunch and snacks were all normal portions of healthy food.
For lunch on Saturday, I ate some alarmingly oily (but oh so good) Filipino food that Josh’s dad cooked for us but didn’t use that as an excuse to eat like shit for the rest of the day. I ate reasonable sized portions of each dish (goat caldaraetta and pancit) and skipped on the white rice, which is just filler to me.
For dinner, I balanced out all of the oil and grease with some fresh sushi rolls. I had an avocado roll topped with torched seafood and a vegetable wrap with bean sprouts, carrots, asparagus, cucumber, walnuts and avocado wrapped in soy paper.
On Sunday, we took my mom out for Mother’s Day brunch. I started out healthy with an omelette, grilled vegetables and a tomato salad, then had my “indulgence” plate – eggs benedict (1 serving with no hollandaise sauce) and two small pastries for dessert. A little much for one sitting but nothing too crazy.
So while I do feel a tad more bloated than usual (sodium and refined carbs will do that to you), I don’t have an overwhelming sense of needing to get back on track. Which is great because we’re having a potluck at work today. My game plan is to try a little bit of everything that looks appetizing and limit myself to only one slice of cake (there will be multiple cakes there; I don’t do so well with multiple desserts, as the anecdote at the beginning of this post illustrates).
For future reference, here are some strategies I use to keep from going overboard (and by overboard, I mean eating to the point where I just feel gross afterwards instead of pleasantly stuffed – there’s a big difference):
Remind yourself that this isn’t your last meal ever. You will get to eat again at your next meal so chill the fuck out.
Stop eating at that point where your food stops tasting amazing. This sounds like a no-brainer but there have been many times where I just kept eating because it was my “cheat” meal and I wanted to get the most out of it but wasn’t actually enjoying the experience anymore.
When tempted to turn a treat meal into a binge, think of the last time you went overboard and how you felt physically afterwards. Having a tummy ache and feeling lethargic for hours isn’t fun.
Eat normally before you go out. By “saving” calories for later, you’re practically setting yourself up to binge.
Remember that you and only you are in control of what you eat, regardless of the social setting or context. People can offer you second helpings, insist you have a slice of cake or suggest ordering something unhealthy to share. But at the end of the day, unless your friends or relatives literally tie you down and force feed you junk, the decision about what to eat lies in your hands. If you decide to eat junk because you really feel like junk, that’s fine – junk food is awesome in reasonable quantities. But don’t let people pressure you into eating crap and then blame them for screwing up; this will just make you anxious about social situations in the future.
How do you avoid going overboard when faced with unlimited deliciousness?
To wrap things up, here’s a summary of last week’s workouts:
Sunday – RPM
Monday – Power Yoga
Tuesday – BodyAttack
Wednesday – BodyPump
Thursday – Yin Yoga
Friday – 6 km run
Saturday – BodyPump + Hatha Yoga
Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day!