Monday, November 21, 2011

The Importance of Routine

I went to visit my parents on the weekend. They’re awesome and I love seeing them, but staying at their place for 4 days threw me completely out of whack! Don’t get me wrong, they are healthier than 99% of the parents out there, this I’m sure of. But there’s something about being in someone else’s place (even if they are your nearest and dearest), with a different kitchen and fridge, that makes it harder to stick to your tried and tested eating plan.
Breakfast wasn’t too difficult as they always have an abundant supply of eggs, and I was lucky enough to scrounge some left over curried mince to add to that. It had some vegies through it but I also added some broccoli to flesh it out. Lunch and dinner too was generally some kind of meat with vegies, but it always seemed to have an additional sauce or not huge range of veg… Overall, it was still okay but there was still small room for improvement.
So what is the big deal then you might be asking? Well it was just the little things that threw me. My parents drink a lot of tea, and will usually have at least one for morning and afternoon tea. With my new ‘no snacking’ rule, it was difficult to overcome. The worst was the morning we went to my grandparents and, knowing that my brother and I were coming and it was my dad’s birthday, my grandma had baked all manner of delicious but decidedly not-primal goodies. Sitting there drinking a cup of iced water while my family chowed down on pikelets, date and fruit cake was tough!
The issue there was that because I remained strong at morning tea time, when it came around to lunch I was able to rationalise having a piece of fruit cake with my cuppa! Perhaps ‘able to rationalise’ is not the right terminology, but with everyone commenting on my weight loss and me feeling like I’ve been eating really well, I just went with it.
I know what you’re thinking… So what?!?! You ate a piece of fruit cake – oh you’re just on a downhill spiral now!!! And yes, granted it is probably a bit of an extreme reaction. But do you know what? I didn’t really even enjoy the fruit cake (sorry Grandma!) It was too sweet for my palate which now associates sweetness to the tart berries I occasionally have as a ‘treat’ after dinner. Even the chocolate (85% at a minimum) I eat is bitter. But I love it!  And so I have learnt that I still need a bit of work when it comes to emotional eating. I wanted that fruit cake because it reminded me of summers at Grandma’s!
I guess the biggest lesson is that routine is so important. There is no way I would ever eat fruit cake at home because I just don’t have that sort of stuff in my house! It’s easier to skip morning and afternoon teas because I don’t have the social expectations surrounding it. Plus there’s never going to be a load of goodies silently chanting “eat me” in my ear.
So this week it’s back on plan. I won’t see my family again until Christmas, and even I know that I will give myself a cheat day then! I figure as long as I can eat fairly cleanly up until that point, I’ll be doing alright.

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