Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Sweet Smell of Temptation

I thought the first week of the new year would be relatively easy to get back to healthy eating. After all, Christmas is over, all the leftovers are gone or expired, and almost everybody's top resolution is to lose weight.

Yeah, not so much. This was the first thing I saw when I got back to work:

That's leftover popcorn, cookies, chocolates and other goodies that I munched on for most of December. Still there, testing my willpower right off the bat. I successfully cursed the food as I walked by and avoided inhaling three handfuls of popcorn as I usually do when I walk by that table.

My dad often says the best way to beat the willpower problem is to not buy sweets or chips and keep them in the house. I couldn't agree more and we're working on that, but that's not a viable solution while I'm at work. I actually have to resort to saying no, which is admittedly not one of my strengths.

Luckily, most of the food was gone by today, which left me relieved. Until I walked by again and saw it had been replaced by this:

More cookies! This time, freshly made from a coworker's wife (and also the author of the excellent Homemade Happiness blog). Two weeks ago, I would have sat there and eaten half the basket. Or at least made a couple of extra trips down the hall to give me a reason to grab one more cookie as I walked by. Today, here's how I coped: I purposely stayed in my office assuming (correctly) that the cookies would go fast. And once I even took a different route so I wouldn't be tempted.

And then there was last night. Kristen and I had already scheduled weeks ago a food tasting for our upcoming wedding. Our mistake was not scheduling it before January (actually, we did and had to reschedule). For the two of us, we were served four full dinner plates, in addition to the salads and the rolls.

That photo was definitely not part of my diet planning! My solution last night: portion control. I indulged in 3 different kinds of chicken smothered in delicious unhealthy sauces, beef teriyaki, and mashed potatoes....but I didn't overeat. I had a few bites of each and made myself eat some of the green beans.

I was also planning on a relaxing night at home afterwards, but decided to go play 90 minutes of basketball to burn off some of the calories. I'm trying to be mindful that losing weight is accomplished much quicker with a combination of exercise and healthy eating...not just one or the other. I like being lazy, but I won't reach my goals by laying on the couch watching TV unfortunately.

So my lesson learned for this week: there are always going to be temptations, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. This Sunday, for example, there will be pizza and cake at my daughter's birthday party, followed by the Redskins playoff game, where there will no doubt be some less-than-healthy choices. Football and junk food just go together perfectly. The question is how do you deal with those situations? So far, so good, but hopefully I can show similar restraint for the remaining 362 days this year!

P.S. My starting weigh-in this week was 241 pounds. I'll be posting my weekly weights on Monday.