alcohol

No Candy Edict

NoCandy
First, thank you for the support and comments on my post T is for Truth. It was hard for me to put it out there because I feel like a failure for letting the binge eating demons sneak back into my life. I thought I had it under control.

In that post I vowed to be more honest with myself in my logging and calorie counting. There were a few things I knew I could do to set things straight, it was just a matter of doing them.

The title of this post probably leads you to believe that I’m cutting out sugar entirely from my life. That is not the truth. I’ve found over the years that completely denying myself things set me up for failure and bingeing. But managing what I eat, paying attention to my portions and recording my calories accurately is what has worked for me so far.

The truth is I need to stop eating candy mindlessly at work.

No more candy at work. THIS I can do. After lunch if I am craving something sweet I can chew gum or have some mints or something. But to mindlessly eat candy just out of habit is what is making me fail. I need to limit my “candy” intake to just dessert. I mean really, how many desserts do I need in one day? One or none. That’s how many.

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I did pretty well skipping the candy after lunch at work, or chewing some gum. It really was a mental shift. I’d walk by the candy room, see all the tantalizing treats I wanted and think “nope, not eating it” and keep walking.

SWEET

One day I had a small mandarin orange as my “treat” after lunch. Just as sweet as candy and only around 30 calories.

I need to be TRUTHFUL about the calories I am REALLY eating. The truth is I need to manage my portions better.

This is harder but I’ve been doing it loyally for the last week. Even if I don’t want to see the number in my MyFitnessPal App, I need to see it. Portions need to be accurate or what I’m recording as my calories is inaccurate and not helping me!

The truth is I need to stop eating dessert every single night at home.

It’s easy to rationalize eating dessert. If I work out and I have a bunch of calories left over I think, Sweet! I can have more dessert! And then I fail. It’s OK to have some calories left over for the day! I don’t need to eat all of them. AND it’s A-OKAY to have fruit for dessert! Sometimes just having something sweet at the end of the day is all you need.

The truth is I need to stop drinking alcohol for awhile. The liquid calories aren’t doing me any favors.

This is an easier one to accomplish. I’ve cut out alcohol many times before. Sure I miss it once in awhile after I quit but really, I’d usually rather have some chocolate over wine. This time around it’s easy to forgo the alcohol because after being sick for a week I had absolutely zero desire to drink anything. Once I get out of the habit of reaching for that glass of wine, I don’t think about it too much.

The other night we had steak for dinner. It’s been awhile since we had steak. I bought a nice one from Trader Joe’s, Michael cooked it up with a red potato and I topped the steak with Gorgonzola cheese. It’s one of my favorite home cooked meals.

steak

I have to admit, it was hard not to want a glass of red wine with it. In my mind steak and wine go together perfectly and it felt weird not to have at least one glass. But I resisted and just had water. Sure it was disappointing but I got over it.

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One glass of wine a week is something I can allow myself to do and not more often than that. I’m still considering cutting out the wine entirely for a little while. But I had one glass this weekend so…obviously I didn’t start it this weekend! 😉

And again, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a long term thing. Once I tackle the emotional aspects of why I am overeating and get a handle on it, I can look at my habits with a clearer head. Losing a few pounds will give me the confidence in my maintenance. I weighed myself this weekend and am down 1 pound, which was good to see but I sure didn’t like that number on the scale. So that’s where I am at right now. Trying to make some progress.

Party Animal

{Photos Courtesy of Christi Carlo Photography}

Moderation.

Remember when I mentioned I had two holiday parties coming up that I knew I’d indulge in food and alcohol? The first one was on December 6th; it was Michael’s work holiday party. It was held at Union Pine, a very cool event space, was catered with Hawaiian BBQ and there was a full bar. Michael’s company told everyone to take a cab to the event and expense it to them–sweet!

Is this room spinning or is it just me?

Yeah….so that moderation thing? I didn’t do so well at the first party! I ended up drinking 4 Ketel One Lemon Drops that evening–twice the amount I normally drink ever. And I’d been taking a break from drinking for about 3 weeks leading up to the party.

I definitely drank too much (probably 500 calories worth) BUT I didn’t overeat. It was a buffet and the chances of overeating were strong, but I didn’t. I was so busy socializing, meeting people, dancing and talking that I didn’t eat much.

The liquid calories were definitely more than I planned on having and I only sort of regretted it the next morning (luckily the hangover wasn’t too bad). (On a completely unrelated note, I wish I didn’t look so pale in every photograph that is taken of me. I think the flash washes out my already ghostly skin tone. Any tips on that??)

Creatives sure know how to party. It was a really fun event and I am so glad that Michael got a fantastic job at such a cool company.

The second party I was worried about was my family Christmas party. There is always so so much amazing food, it’s hard not to indulge. My family is full of good cooks. My uncle Pete (seen below) is the king of the grill. He did a prime rib and pork chops on the grill for the party (massive amounts of meat). The meat was cooked perfectly, juicy and flavorful from the smoker. I had 1 piece of of the prime rib and wanted a ton more but I was too full from everything.

We’d all been snacking all afternoon on veggies and dip, crackers and cheese, fruit, deviled eggs, nuts and I did too. I managed to pace myself and eat only little bites instead of gorging myself. Dinner was the meat, a potato casserole, several choices of salads, crusty french bread and of course…mac n’ cheese!

Michael made is famous mac n’ cheese because I don’t think we would have been let in the door had we shown up empty handed. His mac is requested at every event we take it to. My aunt requested it specifically. He made a double batch because last time not everyone got a chance to try it. Look at how good it looks:

The wine was flowing, lots of Cabernet sauvignon and California reds. There was tons of other alcohol , including eggnog, but I limited myself to two glasses of wine–unlike the other  party.

Almost everyone was there, just a few family members were missing, like my brother. I had family come to Oregon from Wyoming, California, Texas, Florida, and Washington. My grandma celebrated her 91st birthday the day before the party. Look at how beautiful she looks:

And of course, the family was visited by Santa Claus! (Whom is really my aunt’s actor friend who kindly does it every year for the kids.) Santa sang Christmas carols with the little kids and might have gotten a little fresh with Grandma. 🙂 It was all good fun. After Santa we did the white elephant gift exchange and it got very loud and rowdy.

Here is one of Michael and I:

Despite a few slip ups, I am still doing really well on my holiday plan to limit alcohol and sugar. I’ll be stepping on the scale this week and crossing my fingers the moderation has paid off.

QUESTION: Do you have a lot of holiday parties to attend this time of year? What’s harder—food or liquid calories?