Amazing: Getting to do a tasting at one of the top restaurants in Dallas. I’m a lucky girl!
Awful: The way I feel this morning after consuming all that food and drink. Ugh.
Last night, as part of a major team celebration, we got to go to Abacus, which I’ve heard for a long time is phenomenal (spoiler: absolutely true). Like any good dieter, I checked out the menu in advance to see what healthy(ish) options were available, made sure to get a workout in that morning instead of relying on when I was done, and planned to pass on the alcohol (I didn’t need it, and I’d be able to appreciate the food more anyway if I didn’t drink). But you know what they say about the plans of mice and men…
I skipped the pre-dinner cocktails at the bar, so that was fine. But when we sat, the group decided to get the nine course chef’s tasting, with wine pairings. It was a case where I really couldn’t object – either the whole table had to do the tasting or no one could do it, so I didn’t feel comfortable ruining everyone’s fun. Not to mention, the tasting menu sounded incredible – even if I had the choice, I don’t know that I could have passed it up!
But this morning, I woke up feeling awful. My stomach ached from all the buttery deliciousness that I’m not used to having, and I felt like I wouldn’t be able to eat another bite for days. All I wanted to do was lie in bed until that feeling went away… but the gym awaited, and today of all days was not one to skip. So I dragged myself down there, and forced myself to do something, anything.
After recently reading Rachel Cosgrove’s article on Top 5 Ways to Gain Body Fat, I’ve been really bearish on steady state cardio (yes, that finally clicked for me!), so on days that I’m not lifting, I’ve been sticking to foam rolling and intervals. I’ve since learned that intervals are tough – regardless of how far I used to go or how sweaty I thought I got on the elliptical, that was no workout compared to the all-out sprints mixed with rest that I’m now doing. I vowed to avoid steady state cardio going forward (well, except for marathons – speaking of which, race report from Saturday is in progress, but may even be double posted later tonight).
Today, though, there was no way I could stomach the effort for intervals – not feeling the way I did. Of course I didn’t realize this until I was already down at the gym and had no chance of going back to sleep… so I ended up just pedaling away uselessly on the elliptical, bringing my heart rate up a bit (130s) but not really getting a true workout in. Fortunately, assuming I get done with work at a reasonable time, I’ll have a free night tonight – so that will be a good time to work hard. I know I can’t burn off the calories I consumed last night (3000? 4000? I couldn’t even begin to guess), but I can work hard today and also try harder to make the right choices going forward.
Rather than beat myself up for the indulgence, I’m focusing on the positive. Last night was an incredible dinner – I’d put it in my top 10 list of meals – and I really had an amazing time. That said, I’m also grateful that this type of extravagant team dinner isn’t an every night occurrence (like it was on the project I did in Boston back in 2008, when I first tried calorie counting), but a once-every-few-months-at-most thing. I keep reminding myself that occasional indulgences are fine, and so far, that reminder is working. While I still feel stuffed and not-so-great, I’m not beating myself up mentally, and I’m pleasantly surprised at how I’m able to shrug last night off and not stress about throwing my calorie count way out of whack. It’s a setback as far as weight loss, for sure, but I’m genuinely glad I went and enjoyed myself – and I think that shows that I finally have struck a healthy balance with watching my numbers.
And with the fear of going overboard gone, now I can focus on keeping a close eye on those numbers. I know what I need to do, and seeing that I’m not going crazy this time around makes me so happy – it means I can stop being cautious and really be strict with myself and what I eat. This will happen!