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 omelette 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.
There's 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.