I sometimes get a humorous reaction from people when I say I love going out to eat. I am sure many people think all I do is munch on carrot sticks and chicken breast. So to tell them how excited I am to go to a buffet must be close to mind blowing. While this isn’t something I do weekly, or even monthly (to be honest it’s been over a year) I was legitimately excited about walking around the enormous food court at my city’s casino buffet and filling a couple plates worth of food. It really helped that the same day that this was taking place, I was also running in my 2nd 5K.
Kinda took the edge off and gave me further reason to indulge and not feel so guilty.
Going off script in terms of my food choices isn’t something new for me. I battled through the holidays like a champ. But this was slightly different. This was my first buffet since my new healthy lifestyle. I knew I would be going up for a second plate – it’s a buffet for crying out loud, it’s what you do! BUT there was a dessert section. From cheesecake to an ice cream bar. I was excited about the main dishes, but in reality I could have skipped that part and hung out with the chocolate fountain the entire time I was there.
The group of friends I dined with were well aware of my new lifestyle but I wonder if they thought I would abandon all of my new found, healthy eating principles and go nuts? We were there to celebrate the homecoming of one of them, so given the special day, I could have given myself free reign to do just that. But I wanted dessert. Bad. I think balance is key – even at a buffet. So I kept my lunch options fairly tame, which I will admit wasn’t easy to do given the abundance of breaded meats, hell, bread in general, cheesy dishes and noodles galore. I ate lots of veggie dishes, some chicken, fish and salad. I was feeling pretty full but I had planned for dessert. I wanted dessert. Damn it, I was getting dessert. It was all I could think about and there was no way I was missing out.
So I ate my first crepe….with bananas, caramel, whipped cream and chocolate chips. People who say you just stop craving “the bad stuff” are delusional.
I had prepared for this day well in advance. I gave myself a pep talk before and after eating. I told myself to practice mindful eating during my time at the buffet. I would be aware of my food choices and I would own them. I wouldn’t be too hard on myself or feel guilty.
I intended to skip stepping on the scale for the next couple of days. I knew I ate more then I usually would and there would also be water retention from the extra salt in the food and there would be no need to make myself feel bad about seeing a higher number. It all seemed do able and very rational. I easily ignored my own good advice. I woke up the day after and couldn’t wait to jump on my scale. Masochistic much??!! I just HAD to know. I don’t know what I was expecting. I knew my weight would be higher! As my left foot stepped on I thought about walking away. What was the point to this Amanda? I would gain knowledge I already knew. Then I put my right foot on. I debated closing my eyes before the numbers appeared and just walking away. Then it was too late. I saw the result. Quite a higher number and no surprise AT ALL! What was a surprise to me was my lack of self control to not step on the scale.
Initially there was small freak out but I quickly talked myself down off the ledge. I reminded myself of all the reasons why the number is higher and why it won’t be that high tomorrow. It is no big deal. I calmed myself down and pushed on with my usual day. I had a decent work out and I ate like I typically would. I still felt bloated, but again, that was what I should expect. A small part of my brain still wanted to wallow in the “bloatedness” and just lie on the couch for the rest of the afternoon. Mid way through the day I was really feeling sluggish and the thought was really tempting. I did need to do something to shake the feeling. I went rollerblading. I knew that physical activity would make me feel better. Crazy right?! I have come so far mentally that I shock myself!! Just a couple years ago you would have found me right there on my couch, watching re runs of “Gilmore Girls.” Now you’ll find me on the track beside my apartment. It feels really great being this in tune with my body and it’s needs.
It is much easier to preach about balance. Understand that I had to really fight against the urge to embrace my inner sloth. I had to consider the options in front of me and decide which one would actually make me feel better. I will work hard this week and stick to my routine and what I have planned. I will be successful in surviving my first buffet, post weight loss. Just goes to show you can have your crepe and eat it too.