Discipline Junk Food New York City

And Then I Remember

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.

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  • Reply
    May 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I feel exactly the same way as you. I wish that I can enjoy the same foods that I used to eat but not put on the weight. But then I realize that I am way better off not eating that food.I am bettering myself for the long haul.
    It's a hard battle that I face everyday.

  • Reply
    Deb Willbefree
    May 25, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Yes. There comes a point when we realize that eating those high-fat, high sugar, high calorie foods is NOT being good to ourselves–Instead eating healthy, wholesome food shows we matter to us. That orange with its sweet juice is the treat.

    When we really believe that, we've turned a corner! I'm heading around that corner, now. Obviously, so are you. 😀


  • Reply
    May 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I have the same thought as you — why do I have to count Points ALL the time??? The last few days I've been sick with a cold, and I didn't count points — I didn't count anything. I didn't feel much like eating, but when I did, I ate junk (no fruit or milk for days, even though it was available in the fridge). Last night, I ate a big dinner, and I was awake in the night with a stomachache. So, no wonder the scale shows a gain! This is why I count points – to feel better! When I eat right, I might not show a big loss on the scale, but I don't have stomachaches wake me up in the middle of the night!!! I don't walk around just feeling heavy and bloated!!! We are all in this together, and our calculators will keep us on track! Thanks again for reminding me that I am not alone!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Thank you. This is a great post and a reminder that doing this for the rest of our lives is worth it.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I love your positive spin on this. I too wish I did not think about food so much… what I am eating, or want to eat, or shouldn't be eating. But now I am going to focus on how much happier I am:)

  • Reply
    May 25, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Its so true that when we learn to be conscious of what we're putting in our mouths thats half the battle. We're all now equiped with the inner calculator and we can't unlearn whats wrong for us!

  • Reply
    Sean Anderson
    May 25, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Congratulations on hitting the 100 pound milestone!!!! You've so got this my friend. I sincerely appreciate your support—and just wanted to let you know how happy I am for your success. I bet that chicken roll was amazing!!!!!

    My best always

  • Reply
    Sean Anderson
    May 25, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Wow–you can sing too? Very well—wow Love "Thank You," great song—awesome voice!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Congrats on losing 100 pounds!

    I can relate about the food calculator. I think about that stuff all the time, but I think you are right, overall it's for the best. Keep up your hard work, it's so inspiring reading about the changes you are making!

  • Reply
    Genie @ Diet of 51
    May 26, 2010 at 1:05 am

    The contrast between now and 100 lbs. ago has to be so powerful for you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Like a short walk in your inspiring shoes.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Dude…I totally turned off my "food content calculator" today and had Chinese w/ my family. Doh! When am I going to learn that weigh day comes EVERY Friday without fail?? 🙂

  • Reply
    May 26, 2010 at 4:42 am

    I'd rather have that calculator, thank you very much! Where do I get one? 😉

  • Reply
    May 26, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Oh Kenz, what a great post. It was exactly what I needed to read right now. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I feel like that all the time! Ha! But the best part of the piece you wrote is what resonates with me most…when you talk about not feeling deprived – that's what I strive for. I find if I completely cut out 'popcorn' I will eventually binge on so much 'popcorn' that I will become one with the kernel! You have figured out an equation for yourself that is working! Awesomeness!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I'm in a funk. Not losing, but keeping on plan like a religious zombie. Hungry every day. How in god's name does anyone do this for the rest of her life? And I'm still not anywhere near goal. Whaaaaa. Sob. Whaaaa. Sniff. Whaaaaaaaaa!

    Thanks for the kind shoulder.

    Sometimes I depend on the kindness of strangers.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I like the way you think!! I too have noticed such a change in the way I feel, that sometimes, when I am eating something that is sooooo naughty . . . it doesn't even taste good (maybe except for that macadamia, marshmallow, pecan cookie I had yesterday – just one, and I counted it). I can be satisfied with a grilled chicken salad with lemon instead of dressing, and truly can't even stand to look at the greasy hamburgers on everyone's plates.

    For me, the hardest part is losing 26 pounds and nobody notices. My husband loses 10 and everyone comments!!! But, this is for ME, not the world! I still have a long way to go, and I'm willing to make the changes, and proud of his changes too. It's hard, but it's worth it!!

    Thanks for the boost Kenz!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Great post and so true! It's amazing how deceived we can be about food!!

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