Holidays have always been a double edged sword for me. On one hand, it's a reason to get together and celebrate with family and friends. I love spending time with loved ones! On the other hand, I come from a family that celebrates with the greatest food ever! This is a good thing, but not when you feel like food has control over you!! In holiday past, I would consume food in a grazing fashion and yes, at the end of the day, I usually felt like a big cow!! So for me, holidays have been bitter sweet.
This 4th was a beautiful day spent with family and I couldn't ask for better weather! I went into the day feeling really confident that I wouldn't have the same food experience as years prior. I am starting to feel like my new way of eating, is just my way of eating. (I do admit that there are times were I have anxiety wondering if it's all lasting--like I am waiting to fall off the wagon) But as time progresses, those moments are getting farther apart. :0) Anyway, we had the same, glorious fare as you would find at my Aunt and Uncle's 4th of July BBQ. Ribs and snacks for appetizers with virgin Pina Coladas; hamburgers, hot dogs and wonderful salads of green, fruit, pasta and jello varieties; and a dessert table of homemade cookies, ice cream and brownies.
I simply grazed now and then at the appetizers and I had one too many of the BBQ ribs, so by the time dinner game, I really wasn't hungry. But it's the 4th!! So this year, Ben and I decided to share a hamburger (We just had ribs after all) and I had small scoops of the salads. I decided that the appetizers would be my "lunch" so that the next meal would be "dinner". If I didn't change my view, I would just feel like I was eating all day and that is a downer when you are trying to be healthy. This mentality seemed to work because I didn't feel stuffed when I was finished eating.
When dessert came, that is when I knew I needed to be thoughtful. Typically, I would just pork on the dessert until my stomach hurt. So I scanned the spread and decided what my game plan was going to be prior to grabbing a plate. The ice cream looked great, there were waffle bowls there too. Brownies with ice cream and fudge is one of my favorites, but I focused on how I have felt prior after eating a bunch, that sick sugary feeling that you have with the rich residue left in your mouth at the end. So by the time I got to the table, I had already "felt" that I had a serving. So, I grabbed small part of a waffle bowl that broke for someone before me and put a tablespoon of ice cream on it. It was just enough to satisfy. I grabbed a brownie and a cookie and sat down. I have learned that if I imagine that I have eaten more than I am, I get "full" before I am even done with it. I try not to eat dessert absentmindedly, but with purpose and thought. Sometimes I tell myself I am not going to eat a whole one. Just a half. If you eat a half a cookie the 4 times you go up to get one, you really have only eaten 2 instead of the previous 4. That is a 50% reduction!! So this is my new game plan when I get to previously "tricky" situations with food. I try to reduce the behavior while reducing the amount. It seems crazy, but it's working so far and I feel in control. I have to admit, I did eat a couple of cookies more than I would have liked (My aunt did something different with her chocolate chip cookies and I had a hard time eating one) but I have learned that if you forgive yourself and make the next day better, getting back into focus, the cookie fumble won't hurt. I used to beat myself up and then continue the celebration for the rest of the week with left overs and THAT will put on the pounds. Forgiveness is a huge thing for me and my eating behaviors.