Thursday, December 07, 2006

That morning resolve

You know how good and strong and capable you feel in the morning? How you have your plan in place, your exercise is scheduled, all the food you need for your menu is in stock? You tell yourself that if you really feel like eating something, you'll have water, tea, coffee or a diet soda first. You feel like today is the day to finally get a handle on this, and if you get one good day under your belt, that's the foundation for two, and then three, and then a week.

Breakfast goes well – how hard is it to screw up an egg-white omelette, or oatmeal? Besides, you're at your strongest first thing in the morning. You make it through the next couple of hours just fine, busy at work or around the house. Maybe that's when you work out, and it's utterly ridiculous to think of eating forbidden fruit while you're diligently burning calories.

Only an hour or so until lunch. How could you have forgotten that promise to drink something first? Why are crackers or peanuts or fill-in-the-blank so tempting, when you're not really hungry?

What is it that gets you off track so quickly, so soon after that strong start?

You all know that's the "editorial" you, don't you, and that I really should have written "I" instead?

I have no answers, but I do have a couple of observations after this Year of Living [Mostly] Healthfully.

Real-egg omelettes last longer than egg-substitute omelettes.
A two-egg om
elette made with cooking spray, real eggs, a quarter-cup of low-fat cheese, onions, mushrooms and salsa is the most satisfying breakfast I can eat. Using an egg substitute saves 90 calories at breakfast, but usually costs more by mid-morning.

Real, whole-grain bread is more satisfying than fiber-filled, low-calorie crap bread.
a big calorie saving – up to 200 calories for a two-slice sandwich – in using diet bread for a sandwich. But I've learned that if I look I can find lower-calorie real bread at about 100 calories per slice that tastes great and doesn't leave me feeling like I haven't had a proper lunch. Just about any filling will do; bread makes the sandwich.

Low-fat cheese is an acceptable substitute for the real thing.
I don't
feel at all deprived eating cheese made from 2% milk. Whether topping a salad, an omelette or a piece of good bread, I get the same mouth satisfaction from lower-fat 'cheddar' that I do from the full-fat variety. Since I don't eat cheese unless it's topping something else, I can't speak as a cheese connoisseur.

Crackers might as well be crack around Chez Shrinking Knitter.
I try
to stick with Triscuits or wheat saltines, but when I'm feeling bored, lonely, tired, frustrated or at loose ends, I can't just eat seven or five or whatever the hell a serving is. My name is Debbi and I'm a cracker addict.

Abstinence from booze is waaaaay easier than abstinence from sugar.
And it probably always will be.

It's usually not stomach hunger that derails me. It's something else, something that feeling good and wearing smaller clothes and moving easily and looking better than I have in a long time just doesn't satisfy.

Maybe it's just bad habits. That would be better than having some deep-rooted psychological 'issue,' wouldn't it? One thing we learn in AA is that if you bring the body the mind will follow. Maybe that's how I should approach the saltines. Just visualize a bottle instead of a box. Heh.

So. Right now, before 7 a.m. Eastern time, I'm feeling good and strong and capable – full of that morning resolve. I haven't done very well the past couple of days.
Let's hope it lasts all day today. Tomorrow? I'll think about that … tomorrow.


Greta said...

What works best for me is to use the calorie density of foods as a guide to choosing what to eat. The fewer calories per pound in the food, the better because filling up takes fewer calories. Calorie density is what makes veggie soup & salad/raw veggies with FF dressing such a calorie bargain. Our biggest allies are veggies and fresh fruit.

However, I certainly have times when the siren sound of crackers & sugary foods overwhelms my desire to lose weight or maintain. It's virtually impossible to be "perfect" for life.

If you want help in getting through the morning successfully, perhaps you could try eating a mid-morning snack of something low in calorie density such as a piece of fresh fruit or a smoothie made from fresh veggies and fruits.

M@rla said...

You make a good point about breakfast - shaving off calories is not always the best strategy. When I make an omelette, I often use egg whites, but in addition to a whole egg. Eating egg whites is like drinking air, as far as satiety goes.

This is something I've discovered and re-discovered many times, that there is a point of diminishing returns in looking for the lower-calorie solution. You have to balance everything you're getting from that food - it's not as simple as a single value.

PICAdrienne said...

You are an inspiration to me, for your honesty in that post. Makes it much easier to 'snack' on chicken broth, as my office mate is snacking on pizza.

(How did the felting with the SWS work for you, turned out great for me?)

PastasQueen said...

A little late on commenting on this post I know, but when I cook with fat-free cheese they get very rubbery. When I make an omlette or a tuna melt casserole with the fat-free cheeses it's like chewing on a tire. I'm fine putting them on salads or sandwhiches though, or eating them raw like with mozzarella sticks.