I don’t eat anything without thinking about the ramifications first. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to think about it as much. How many calories is in that cookie? Do I really want to waste calories on this mojito? Wait a minute…that has how many points?
Sometimes I wish I could just revert to the days in which my head was not a ‘food content calculator’ – when I sat on the sofa eating something just because it tasted sooooo good. When I looked forward to eating sesame chicken and fried rice with a soda or two (because who could enjoy Chinese food without a coke?)
Yesterday I was in the Bronx with my boyfriend’s mother. And she showed me around Arthur Ave. (Little Italy) where the old Italians serve up fresh sausage, prosciutto, bread and every other decadent thing you can imagine. We stopped at brick oven called Giovanni’s where she ate a slice of pie (pizza) and I ate a chicken roll – one of the first things I’ve eaten in ages without knowing precisely how to calculate the points. I took a good guess and enjoyed it, but I can’t really be sure about what I ate yesterday.
When I got home last night I was thinking about how much I wish I could turn off the ‘food content calculator’ once in a while. I wished I could have enjoyed our afternoon together before I changed my life – before the days I worried that I’d overeat if I ate a chocolate cashew cookie (which I also did for the record.) I thought of how much easier it would have been if I could just eat the fresh bread, many more cookies and pizza without worrying about the consequences.
The the truth hit me. It would not have been easier or more fun to do this before. It would have been awful. I would have been out of breath after all of the walking we did. I would have been worried I would fall on the wet floors because my balance wasn’t nearly as good as it is now – thank you core work. I would have eaten more at the pizzeria, but my stomach would have ached all the way home. I would have been hot and lethargic and miserable. How fun does that sound?
So after a few moments of thoughtful consideration I’ve decided that I’m happy that the ‘food content calculator’ in my brain works 24/7. Will I always take it’s advice? No, but I will most of the time, and that seems to work quite well.
The truth is that I can enjoy Chinese food without soda. I don’t eat sesame chicken much anymore, but I could if I wanted to. I’ve just found other healthier options that satisfy that craving most of the time. I eat cake and cookies and other treats that I enjoy too, but not all at once and not all the time. Most days I don’t feel deprived. 😉 In fact, I still enjoy eating food…I just try to make better choices than I did before I turned over a healthy leaf over a year ago.
Would I trade the weight I’ve lost to enjoy popcorn with butter on it? No way. In fact, I’d gladly give up popcorn with butter forever if it meant I could live a longer, happier and healthier life. But that much sacrifice isn’t necessary.
I just have to do my best most of the time by staying active and making healthy choices. And it seems like a fair trade considering the friends I’ve made and the activities I’ve been able to enjoy. It is possible to have my cake and eat it too so you won’t hear my complaining. I’ll just take a smaller piece of cake, write about it in my journal and be thankful for the opportunities I have to improve my life everyday.