June 27, 2012

I want instant gratification!

Last night, my company sponsored what was actually a pretty cool event. We rented out Deep Ellum Brewery for the night, and then brought in a slider food truck for dinner and The Os to perform. Good music, good friends, good food and drinks, what’s not to love? Well, when you’re trying to watch your weight, burgers and beer are not necessarily the top picks.

I declared a while ago that I’m giving up beer except for special occasions, and I meant it – a Tuesday night with my coworkers did not count. (Examples of special occasions I have coming up: my birthday, which I’m having at my favorite beer bar, and Belgian Beer Festival in September). That said, I had never tried any of Deep Ellum’s brews before, so I ended up doing something completely new: practicing moderation.

(Yes, cue gasps, I know.)

I had literally 1-2 sips of each of the beers on tap, probably not consuming more than half a beer in total. It helped that I didn’t think most of them were all that special (except for the IPA, which was pretty good), and that there was tons and tons of bottled water available instead – I made sure to keep a bottle in hand at all times, so I wasn’t chugging beer just because I was thirsty.

As far as the food went, I got two of the vegetarian sliders (grilled portobello mushrooms with tomato, basil pesto, and grilled onions, hold the mozzarella and the bun) and called it a night after that. I actually intended to go pick up something more substantial for dinner after, but discovered as I was heading home that I wasn’t that hungry after all. Score one for not feeling the need to eat just because my calorie counter told me I had excess capacity! (And, that totally balanced out the extra calories from Monday, if you really want to get fussy.)

I headed home presumably to work out, but ultimately ended up just taking care of some emails and then going to bed at 9:30pm. (Totally fine; I already lifted in the morning so the evening workout was just going to be a bonus.) And it was SO amazingly worth it to catch up on sleep a little bit! I woke up this morning feeling well-rested and fantastic, and I was so proud of myself for the good choices I had made the night before.

But then I got out of bed and found myself heading straight to the full length mirror. I absolutely knew better, but I was still just a little disappointed that my body didn’t look any different. After all, I had been good! I had stayed away from the beer and burgers! I got enough sleep! Unfortunately, it definitely takes more than one measly day of sacrifice to see results – and while I was cognizant of that basic fact, it was still somewhat disappointing. If I lose one pound a week (which is pretty ambitious and not all that likely), that means it will still take me at least 2.5 months to reach my goal. How had people like Theodora kept this up for such long periods of time? I was totally impressed – and slightly daunted by what lies ahead of me.

On the plus side, once I get into a healthy habit, I find it easier to keep it. Knowing that I had done so well yesterday made me inclined to make good choices again today – and I’m actually looking forward to a relatively free night tonight, which certainly makes being healthy easier. Perhaps some piano playing, books, and bedtime? I could be down for that, along with a trip to the Whole Foods salad bar. (New obsession: their “Detox blend” topped with balsamic mushrooms, broccoli, roasted whole cloves of garlic, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Comes to like $13 a salad for the mass quantity I get, but it’s totally worth it.)

Anyway, point of all of this is not to complain, but just to be honest about what I’m thinking. In talking about dieting, it’s easy to put on a brave face and act like everything is easy and fine – and perhaps I’m guilty of putting a Pollyanna positive spin on most of what I write. But when it comes to making mistakes, I’m just as human as everyone else – I make a ton of them! I think I usually recognize them and self-correct as quickly as possible, as I did with my silly attitude this morning about wanting instant gratification for my efforts – but that doesn’t mean it’s still not frustrating at the time. And since I know from the comments that a lot of you are trying to watch their weight as well, I thought it might be comforting to point out that we all have those up and down moments where we think it’s not going to work. Gotta just keep trucking!

Mostly off-topic but somehow kind of related in my mind: I really enjoyed Ericka’s recent series of posts about her trip to Congo, and I was especially struck by what she wrote about eating in Congo. It’s easy to dismiss things like that as “first world problems” or the like, but I thought she did a good job explaining her feelings on food in a way that made me empathize with her without ignoring the fact that hunger is a major problem in that part of the world. Go check it out!


3 thoughts on “I want instant gratification!”

  1. I’m the same way when I have a good day of eating and working out. I want to see a difference in the mirror! Right now I’m trying to lose about 20 pounds but to not get frustrated with the slow progress, I set mini goals for myself along the way. Right now my goal is to fit into a pair of pants I haven’t been able to wear for about 6 months. I know reaching that small goal will definitely give me the motivation to keep going.

  2. I think we all want instant gratification but I have found when I am not focusing on losing weight and just track my eating, then I finally notice some change. I like eating right but i also love sweets. its tough!

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