Saturday, October 13, 2007

Nobody's Perfect (Better Choices)

It's really all about making better choices, isn't it? I used to get so frustrated with trying to lose weight because I would "mess up" and my day was not perfect, so I would give up, eat junk, and "start over tomorrow." The problem is that if you always wait until tomorrow to start over, you will always be fat today. In order to get out of that mindset, I had to accept that I am not perfect. And I realized that as long as I am making better choices, I am going to be okay.

For example, if you are used to eating 6 slices of pizza and a bottle of Coke for dinner every Friday night, you might feel really deprived if you try to replace it with a baked chicken breast on a bed of lettuce with fat free dressing. Sure, you can do that sometimes. But other times, you might really want to go ahead and enjoy your pizza. If you do, how can you minimize the damage? Make better choices! Instead of 6 slices of pepperoni pizza, have one or two slices of veggie pizza, or plain cheese pizza. Blot the grease off the top with a napkin before you eat it. Maybe leave a few bites of crust on your plate. Add a side salad with lowfat dressing, and a lightly sweetened iced tea, and there you have a better choice that you can truly enjoy AND continue losing weight.

This is what has worked for me. I am sure it won't work for everyone, but I wanted to put it out there for those who have an all-or-nothing mindset like I used to have. Here are some more examples:

This week, I took my son out to his favorite spot for dinner. They specialize in burgers. Big ones, with lots of fatty toppings. Last year when I went there I had:
a half order of deep fried onions rings with a side of tartar sauce
a couple of fried cheese sticks
a big burger with bacon and cheese and mayo, and I ate every bite
a large plate of french fries dipped in a mixture of mayo and ketchup
2-3 glasses of Coke
a huge ice cream dessert

This week, I had:
a grilled turkey burger with lettuce, tomatoes, and chipotle mayo... I left 1/4 of the bun on my plate
a side salad of veggies only, and a dish of dressing on the side which I dipped my fork into. I used about 1.5 T.
2 glasses of unsweetened iced tea, with 1 tsp of sugar and a lemon added to each.
One bite of my son's milkshake
One apple slice from my son's apple crisp dessert

Do you see the huge improvement?? I enjoyed every single yummy bite! Did I beat myself up over the mayo, or a couple bites of dessert? NO! I rejoiced in the better choices I made which saved me thousands of calories. And I lost a pound.

Today I was in a McDonald's situation. I decided to just go with it. I ordered a Happy Meal for myself. I ate half the (small) fries and the entire cheeseburger. I drank a few sips of the diet Coke, but it was nasty so I switched to water. I made myself a serving of squash to go with it. It was yummy and no more calories than I usually have for dinner. A year ago I would have had a supersized Big Mac Meal with Coke, a large McFlurry, and a 3 pack of cookies. I have made incredible progress and I feel wonderful! I weighed in at 254 today. That's 24 pounds gone.

So be kind to yourself. Make better choices. And you should try to make the best choices you can! Of course there are better choices than McD's, but they were not available to me at that time. If you can have something very healthy, have it. If you can't, or really want something else, think about what you can do to make it a BETTER choice. Drink water at the restaurant. Cut your entree in half and take half home in a doggie bag. Ask for a side of fruit instead of fries. You can do this! We are going to make it.


Lauren said...

I really enjoy your blog, you are doing great.

alexis said...

gosh I havent had a burger in ages...

but like you, I've cultivated a taste for other things, mostly healthy sandwiches with whole wheat bread of my own concoctions. I also love mustard which helps because this means I never reach for the mayo.

great post!

Heather said...

I think you made some great choices. I was in that situation last night where I had something I normally wouldnt have had for dinner, and yet I commented to my BF that it was delicious and am glad I tried it as I wouldnt have if I was going for my usual binge foods. I think your message is important though, I think I try too hard to be perfect and usuall feel let down when things are not going my way and I am trying so hard.

Anonymous said...

well done, and REALLY well written. thanks!


Anonymous said...

forgot to say, i read this aloud to my husband. his reply?

'she's really wise'.



Goaledgirl said...

That is a great improvement for a year ago and I totally agree with you.

Today we went to Subway. The little one got a kid size whole wheat turkey breast with raisins and milk. I got 6 inch turkey breast loaded with veggies and baked chips. It is also nice that places are offering more healthy choices too.

Great post!

Teale said...

My favorite thing to get at McD's when I have to go there is a 4 piece nugget happy meal, then I get the apple dippers instead of fries, and a diet coke... Less than 300 cals for the whole thing!

Sybil said...

Good job, Lyn! I have suffered from 'all or nothing' syndrome before so I know how rewarding it feels to make better choices. I think the key for me (and it sounds like for you too) is to find a way of eating that works with my life. For example, it is not going to happen that I NEVER have a glass of wine with dinner but I can make the choice to only have wine with dinner once or twice a week.

Dee said...

I couldn't agree more! We shouldn't deprive ourselves completely, but simply try to replace the really bad foods, with better choices. Find things that give you that same feeling you used to get when you had your 6 slices of pizza, but find something much healthier. It is possible!

honib1 said...

oh my gosh those are excellent choices.. I was at Sonic this weekend.. I had a Jr. burger with just ketchup ( i should have had lettuce and tomato) but it worked... and tasted I bought some lean cuisines to keep at the office.. i tried a new one.. DONT LIKE IT.. so I threw it out and took the one I like.. in the past I would have eaten the one I did not like and then been unhappy.. and probably binged somewhere down the line... today I just said no.. lets change it... and I did.. it is all about change and choices... at work I will usually bring a couple frozen meals.. and then the rest of the week aside from packing snacks always I will bring left overs.. I like variety especially at lunch LOL.. loved your post

Chubby Chick said...

Congrats on the good choices! That's what this is all about... simply making better, healthier choices. It's a lifestyle change... not a diet.

You are such an inspiration! :)