Well...here I am...
...thinking about choices and consequences.
As we all (well...me) know, since our kids left home, my hubster's and my preference has been to eat out quite a bit. We work long hours, so if we can sleep a little late in the morning and stop to get breakfast or work later in the evening and then grab something to eat and unwind a little big, that's what we've preferred doing. Luckily, we can afford it.
I noticed quite early on that when we ate out, the scale remained fairly static with no downward trend at all. And sometimes, the scale would even show an increase. Even though I was eating properly, the scale wasn't moving. It took seeing my weight graph and then correlating events...okay, I realize it would be considered anecdotal, but still...to the numbers.
Well, let me tell you. It pissed me off. I mean - I was just relaxing, I wasn't going outside of my own self-set parameters, but the scale still wouldn't move. I think I was thinking to myself that I was being good, and I could mentally kick and stomp and scream and rant and rave, and force there to not be an increase on the scale the next morning. But ya know what? There always is. EVERY SINGLE TIME. There was this morning.
Emotionally, when I eat out and I behave...hell, even when I don't behave, I don't want to see a gain on the scale. But I do. And I have two choices. Accept it or change it. This is the hard part, the part that needs to be objective, but behaves emotionally. It can be a bear working through, recognizing, and separating the emotional part and seeing the objective part.
So, the first choice is to accept it. If I continued to eat out with the same regularity that we were, I would probably lose weight, but it would be at a rate that really was unacceptable to me. If I was willing to accept the consequences of this - well....all well and good.
Except for the fact that in reality I would be going against almost everything I was trying to do, trying to change, trying to learn. I was displaying the VERY SAME BEHAVIOR, but expecting a different outcome - not because of my efforts, but because I selfishly wanted it to be different without having to make a choice or a decision. Without making a change. How three-year-oldish can I be???
INTERMISSION: Can I just tell you that my cat just went over to my dog, who was sleeping and TOTALLY minding her own business, and swatted the living shit out of her? Maggie the Cat then just jumped off the bed and went on her merry way. Poor Penny.
The second choice is to change it. Once I got over (sometimes still 'getting over') not being able to eat out as much and still get the result I wanted, I realized I had to stop eating out so much. Hubby is totally on board with it. In addition to helping me lose weight at a little faster pace, there are a lot of other benefits, such as having control over how the food is prepared, more options as to what I can eat, and saving money. There's also the realization that I'm not losing weight super quickly and I don't want to slow it down for some stupid, emotional reason. So the consequence of not eating out will be that I won't show a gain on the scale because we ate out. It's weird, but if the scale is up tomorrow, I'll be okay. I know it will be for some reason outside of my control. It's just when the scale is up the day after eating out that gripes my ass.
I'm writing about this tonight because hubster and I didn't get home from work until after 7. It was so tempting to just stop and grab something, but we didn't. We had tilapia with pesto and green beans. Not fancy, but fast and nutritious - and it tasted good. After dinner was over and the dishes were done, I was proud of the choice I had made. Plus, it probably took us less time to prepare, eat, and clean up than it would have if we'd gone to a restaurant. So there me!
Now - does this mean that we're not going to eat out. Absolutely not. I'd made a pledge to only eat out once a week; but we're eating out about 2 times a week, so I can deal...mostly...with this without too much angst. On those evenings where we are eating out with friends or a new restaurant or whatever, I do my best to make good choices, but still enjoy the evening. I make the decision ahead of time whether or not I'm going to have wine or an appetizer or a dessert because I want to enjoy a treat without feeling guilty. I mean this IS the rest of my life. I have to learn to eat out as a treat and accept the consequences of a short-term gain without it derailing me or knocking me into a tailspin. I got to not make eating out some sort of weird emotional deal. I have to learn that eating at home is not a chore, but the best way to take care of me and my body.
And if this is for the rest of my life, it doesn't matter how long it takes as long as I'm doing it - making progress, going in a forward motion, making mistakes, learning from those same mistakes.
By the way, I came across a GREAT quote today: If you remember nothing else, remember this: the game is won – or
lost – not by the infrequent big changes, but by the frequent,
deliberate, and repeatable small ones. This is where grit comes in. ~Peter Attia (eatingacademy.com, Got Grit blog)