I’m being haunted by my inner fat kid. She follows me around all the time, trying to convince me to cheat on my meal plan, to accept dessert, to order whatever I want because it’s oh-so-tasty. It feels like a constant struggle to make the better choice sometimes. But being healthier really is a choice you (and only you!) can make for yourself. And the decisions we are faced with everyday all add up to whether we are making choices that bring us a healthier version of ourselves or something lesser than that. As I’ve mentioned in my past blogs, I struggle with making the right decisions sometimes. Most specifically, my decisions regarding food and making myself work out on the weekends. I’ve already identified some triggers for myself – you know, the things that make me say “Can I have another cookie?” or “more chips, please.”
The first obvious one would be going out to eat instead of eating something I’ve (okay my husband) prepared. I grew up in a family where we went out to eat constantly, particularly as I got older. It became so commonplace for our family to meet up for dinner out because we still valued family time, but we were never all home at the same time with our crazy schedules. So we’d meet at Burger King, or Arby’s, or the local Mexican place. And yes, I grew up eating fast food in my small, dry (no alcohol could be served/sold) town where it was like fast food nation. So going out to eat became a part of my daily routine, it seemed normal to eat those meals on a regular basis. And I guess my some miraculous stroke of luck, I was active enough in highschool that I wasn’t humongous as a result. While I’m thankful that this lifestyle didn’t take me to morbid obesity, it did firmly plant the desire in my head to go out to eat as a normal part of my life. That has been probably the #1 hardest adjustment to trying to live a healthier lifestyle. My husband and I try to limit how many times we eat out during the week and weekend by cooking in advance. It works most of the time, but if he even hints that he doesn’t want to cook, that inner fat kid inside of me is literally jumping up and down at the chance to go out to a restaurant and eat even though I know I’ll regret it later.
So for me, it’s been a struggle to eat out less, but also to reign my inner fat kid in while I’m ordering and make a good decision. Because, let’s be honest – not going out to eat ever is not a reality in my life. Today, I had to grab something for lunch because we only prepared 4 lunches this week, and I have a meeting right after lunch so I wanted to just grab something on campus. I just went to the food court and went to each place and evaluated their menu and asked myself “WWSDD?” (really? you can’t guess? What Would Super Dre Do!).
I passed on the Asian place – all the options were fried today. Boo. Hiss.
Looked at the burger studio and considered the char grilled chicken sandwich but then the sides were either fried or unappealing. Pass.
The pizza place was next, and while I could pretend like I don’t know how many calories it’s possible to pile into a vegetarian slice of pizza, I’m not going to. Pass.
I don’t even bother to look at Popeye’s menu – i don’t think they have anything not fried.
I come to the Mexican (think moe’s but not) place. Mexican is my favorite. I scan their menu. I can do a burrito bowl (no tortilla or shell or chips – check!). I’m not a fan of the meat options – it’s all roasted or pulled pork. Fail! But they do have grilled mushrooms and beans. Fabulous. I order a burrito bowl with lettuce, black beans, mushrooms, LIGHT ON THE CHEESE please and absolutely no queso (even though the inner fat kid is squealing at this point), and I load it up with veggies like black olives, pico de gallo, cilantro and jalapenos. I skipped the dressing and got tomatillo salsa instead.
I’m eating it at this very moment and I have to be honest – this is good. It’s not the mile high nachos covered in queso that caught my eye, and it’s not the quesadilla loaded with cheese that was calling my name so very sweetly. But the healthy decision actually turned out to be quite good. And I bet my stomach won’t be hurting later from a poor life choice. I have to remember this moment next time I am about to order something just to shut the inner fat kid up. She needs to grow up anyway and realize that instant gratification is just that – only in that moment. I’m in this for the long haul, and the good decisions I make can be the best of both worlds – delicious, and easy on the conscience later.