Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!

What are you doing for the 4th of July? Eating a bunch of junk to celebrate Independence? (Do you see the irony in this?) I am guilty of it myself. A day full of summer treats and barbecues is a great time to indulge. It really is! Having special foods you don't normally get to eat is great. We just have to watch the portions.

But how funny (sad?) is it, that I used to go to barbecues and make SURE I got at least 2 burgers and 2 hot dogs, along with copious amounts of baked beans, potato salad, macaroni salad, and piles of chips? What makes it odd is, these were NOT special, once-in-awhile foods for me. I pretty much was eating everything I wanted, every day. So on any given day, if I wanted potato salad, I had it. If I wanted chips (and boy did I want chips), I ate them. Heck, I ate some kind of greasy chips every single day. I always had bags of Doritos, potato chips, Cheetos, etc. in my house and I ate them constantly. So why did I think I needed to ingest big plates of chips at every 4th of July picnic? I dunno. Compulsion. That's all it was.

There are lots of things you can enjoy at a barbecue that are not terrible for you. Sometimes there's chicken (take off the skin), and usually there are cut veggies or salad, and often a fruit salad. And there is nothing wrong with having a serving of something that is special for you. But don't just go and inhale food "because it's a holiday" or just because it's there. Don't let compulsion rule you. Think. Make a choice.

I am barbecuing here at home today. I am making burgers and hot dogs on the grill. I am also grilling some veggies. If you have never done this, you really should try it. My favorites are zucchini, yellow squash, sweet onions, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and asparagus. Just slice the veggies about 1/4" thick, (quarter the peppers), brush or spray with olive oil, salt and pepper them if desired, and grill til tender. Be sure and slice the squashes lengthwise so they are easier to keep from falling through the grates into the coals. These make a GREAT sandwich by themselves instead of a burger, or they can be a side dish. Leftovers are great in salads. I am also making a strawberry cake, homemade vanilla ice cream, and baked beans. We are having CHIPS and watermelon, also. The chips are a splurge for the kiddos, because we rarely have them in the house anymore. I was going to make a low fat macaroni salad also, because I LOVE macaroni salad. But I decided against it at the last minute... because I LOVE macaroni salad. This morning I realized that of all the things I am making, that is the one I am likely to binge on. So why make it? The kids don't like it. I know I would want to eat the whole bowl. I don't need it. So it is not getting made. THAT is a choice I am willing to make.

I am eating healthy normal foods for the day, and then my plan for the barbecue dinner is this. I will eat HALF a hamburger and HALF a hot dog. I am doing this, why?? Because I was going to make myself a veggie burger, but I really, really wanted burgers AND dogs. Bad cravings for them. I knew if I went with a veggie burger, I would be likely to eat it and then ALSO go back for a regular burger, and then a hot dog too, just because I have not had them in a long time and I WANT them. But I hate the stuffed feeling, and I know my stomach can no longer handle that amount of food, so I am planning to take a burger and a dog off the grill, cut them in half, and THAT will be my meat for the meal. I am going to have one handful of chips with it, lots of grilled veggies, lots of watermelon, and a spoonful of beans. A reasonable splurge, IMO.

As for dessert, what is summer without homemade ice cream? It's something I don't want to give up entirely. I am making it with whole milk instead of cream. I am also making my usual fresh strawberry cake, which will be my biggest temptation. Maybe I will make a half-cake. Hmmmm.

But my point is, you can be sensible about this stuff. You can celebrate without killing yourself. If something is a treat, have a portion. But be realistic. If you've been binging on chips and ice cream all week, then chips and ice cream are not a treat. They're just an excuse to stay fat.

Above all, enjoy your family and friends. Have fun and stay cool. And celebrate your independence from the bad habits that have chained you in an unhappy, unhealthy lifestyle for too long. Happy 4th of July!


Katschi said...

Sounds like a great plan with delicious food.
Lyn, I hope you & your family have a fun holiday weekend!

spunkysuzi said...

Looks like you'll have an awesome day!!

cindy said...

Lyn, WOMAN. You might think, oh I'm just a lady who's losing weight. But damn, you rock! That's a good idea, half a hot dog and half a burger. You're right. B/c depriving yourself could lead to a binge. 2 things on your recent posts

1)in your update pictures, your upper arms are noticably different from 10 and definetely 20 lbs ago!! i clicked on the 228 lbs pic and i was like wow, NOTICEABLE difference

2) great job on the binge monster post; i noticed that when I LET out my feelings by writing as you did, when I write exactly what I'm feeling and just let myself feel the feeling, i don't desire to binge; i recently just let myself FEEL and i honestly had NO desire to binge during that time.

you also wrote in that post "man, i don't know what's wrong with me, i just want to binge". there's nothing wrong with you. ppl naturally want to revert to old, comfortable habits, but OH MY GOSH, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. You really are doing a great job!

Ready to Shrink said...

Yesterday was great we had marinated pork chops on the grill, grilled veggies, vegetarian baked beans, and a little pasta salad, all topped off with the biggest salad I had ever made. We spentit at a friend's house and I actually said no to dessert (then came home and chowed on some fresh pinapple). A good sensible day all around. Hope yours was awesome!

Ryry the Adventurous said...

I totally read this yesterday and thought of you all day while I was cooking our great holiday feast. I too had a -craving- for these jalapeno cheddar hot dogs I used to make, so I decided I was not going to deprive myself and have one. Also we had sweet corn on the cob, devilled eggs, and I made potato wedges in the oven. I had my hot dog, a couple of devilled eggs (made with low-fat mayo and sugarless relish), and one half of a cob of corn, and I was full and happy. Here's to taking back the meal!

Ceres said...

I hope you had a great time at your BBQ, Lyn! We had a BBQ in our back yard, but most dishes were Greek-inspired, and everything that didn't go on the grill was vegetarian, pretty low-fat and yummy! I will post some winner recipes soon :-)

new*me said...

everyone needs a day off! Glad you had a great day!

MizFit said...

this is such a well written post. and so true/honest.

hope your 4th was fun and a celebration of independence from old habits!


RunningNan said...

Wine was my downfall. I love anxiety!

Big Girl said...

Hope you had a nice holiday. I agree with the mentality of just because it's a holiday doesn't mean you have to "celebrate" it by eating. Thanks for offering some great suggestions.