Cookies: The Frenemy

Cookies are my Frenemy. They bring me much joy, and cause me much grief.

Especially these ones! Lofthouse soft baked, frosted Red Velvet cookies!

Disclaimer  Only one cookie was harmed in the making of this photo.

Disclaimer Only one cookie was harmed in the making of this photo.

“Special Occasion” Eating and Treats

I wanted to talk a bit today about the challenges of managing eating on “special occasions” and/or indulging in “treats”. This is an area where I have become more aware of the challenges and consequences, and yet I still struggle to conquer this situation.

For example, last Saturday, not only did I run a 5K, but later that night I attended my best friend Terri’s bachelorette party. Part of my job was to bring food. I gave this much thought because I knew I would be eating whatever I brought and I wanted to provide myself with lower calorie, somewhat healthy options. But I also wanted to do it in a way that the other gals at the party would enjoy the selections, with the options being kind to their waistlines.

This is what I took to the party:

Fresh Veggie tray (all fresh, local, organic veggies I washed & chopped myself the night before)
French onion dip – not the healthiest, but quite yummy!
Tortilla chips
Special K Popcorn chips (sweet & salty)
Lofthouse Red Velvet Cookies

Since I had done the race that morning and burned a good amount of calories, I really didn’t want to spoil my calorie count for the day by splurging too much at this party. I carefully logged on calorie count what I planned to eat, one serving size of everything I brought, plus two drinks of vodka & club soda. This, combined with what I’d already eaten for the day, was going to put me +200 calories over my daily target (even counting the calories burned from my race) – which was an acceptable overage given that it was a ‘special occasion’.

As usual, everything changed once I actually got to the party. I stuck to my two drinks of vodka and soda, but I also indulged in several servings of gummy bears soaked in vodka and others soaked in rum. And one of the gals brought pudding shots, which I quickly refused when first offered to me. Soon all the ladies were sampling the pudding shots and raving about how good they were, I ended up having two of them. (And yes, they were delicious!)

I stuck to my plan of only eating one serving size of everything that I brought. But then Terri’s mom (who, by the way, is one of the coolest mom’s I’ve ever met!) also made homemade pita chips and buffalo chicken dip. I resisted it for several hours but finally gave in, and after tasting how delicious that was, I went back for seconds of that. She also made bacon cheese stuffed pastries, which I resisted as long as possible but eventually caved in and ate several of those. (Also, delicious!) Oh, and did I mention the red velvet cookies? You KNOW I couldn’t stop at just one of those!

All said and done, I’m sure that my day ended somewhere more like +1000 calories over my target instead of the +200 over target I had planned.

Terri& I at her bachelorette party, June 2013

Terri& I at her bachelorette party, June 2013

Now don’t get me wrong, I had a GREAT time at Terri’s party, and I am so happy to be sharing all these special occasions with her leading up to her wedding. I really enjoyed all the food, and drinks, and fun and laughing and all that great stuff.

What I am getting at is that I am having a hard time exercising discipline with food when I get outside of my normal, structured, planned eating patterns. This has always been an area of particular weakness for me, especially when it comes to sweet treats.

Exercising discipline feels too much like exercise…

It is an ongoing, never ending battle. The battle against doughnuts at the office. Birthday cakes. Celebration dinners. Home baked treats. Ice cream on hot days.

I brought home about a dozen of the red velvet cookies from the party. I have eaten one almost every day since then and only managed to abstain on two days.

Cookies: 4, Debb: 2 As usual, the cookies are winning

I find myself spending hours fighting the good fight in my head, trying to talk myself out of eating rich, delicious, sugary treats. It seems like I can resist for so long, but often I give in “eventually” and indulge. And part of me thinks that somehow I did good because of how long I resisted. When the fact is that the calories count whether I gobble them up the moment the urge strikes or if I “exercise discipline” for a torturously long time and then indulge.

In the end, I am unsure how to overcome this obstacle. I do not suspect my sweet tooth is going away anytime soon, I have had it my whole life. There is nothing I love more than sweet treats. However, I think if I am going to indulge at all I need to start just making the decision to do it, do it, and live with it and move on. Instead of fighting and trying to resist and putting myself through the guilt-trip wringer and then still giving in.

Unfortunately, that’s the best I have for this problem, at the moment….

In conclusion, I was just telling my husband I was writing a post that I don’t have a good ending to. Because frankly, I just don’t have a good solution right now. And he said “maybe if you read my post tonight on calorie count it will help”. This is what he wrote:

“And finally, as a good husband I am doing my part to help the wife get rid of the red velvet cookies that are tormenting her nightly in the kitchen.”

The Dress

Ok so I realize these first few entries are going to get a bit confusing. The perfectionist in me really wants to start sort of “at the beginning” and use this blog to tell my story. But I haven’t had time yet to sit and write out my back story yet. I am too impatient and want to start getting down some of my thoughts and documenting a few things right away.

So, I apologize right now because the next few posts will jump around a bit through a timeline. But I’ll try to at least explain in each one whereabouts in the timeline we are!

I am standing up in my best friends wedding in July. So, part of my weight loss goals were tied to losing a certain amount to feel great in the dress I’ll be wearing in her wedding. Last weekend I took the dress in to be fitted so I’ve marked this as my official crossing into “maintenance” mode. At this point I don’t want to lose any more (or gain any back) because I really need that dress to fit me in July.

On June 22nd, my best friend (Terri) and I are meeting for breakfast then I am taking her to a really nice spa where we’ll be pampered for a very relaxing hand and foot treatment. Afterwards we’ll be going together to the bridal shop for the final fitting of our dresses. It was ironic, I had scheduled my appointment for that fitting on 6/21 – then when I talked to Terri today she said she is doing hers on the 22nd, so we might as well go there together since we’ll already be spending the morning together.

November 2012 at David's Bridal

November 2012 at David’s Bridal

This picture is from November 2012 when we tried on the dresses and picked them out. This was taken about 6 weeks after I started my fitness journey and I had lost about 3 or 4 pounds – – so this could kind of be considered my “before” picture. I will post the “after” pic of how I look in the dress now, when I pick it up in June. You’ll be surprised!

So, on to the fitness side of things today. I felt very SNACKY today! It seemed like I was craving some sort of sweet treats all day long. I gave in to a cookie from a potluck that another department at work was having, and after dinner my husband had a Kashi Chocolate Almond Butter cookie and the temptation was too great – I had to indulge in one of those as well.

Other than that I ate pretty well, and ended up with +21 net calories for the day so that is pretty much a break even day. Since I am now in maintenance, I think my day ended up exactly as it should. (although it is hard for me to get used to not needing a calorie deficit every day!)

I had planned on doing a bit of strength training tonight. But I was working up all sorts of excuses not to do it. The weather was bad and my allergies were acting up, so I felt pretty yucky. That seemed like it might be a good reason to not work out. Then I managed to keep myself occupied all evening with activities related to Terri’s wedding; preparing some things for the shower, wrapping her shower gift, writing out the card, calling on final arrangements for our spa day. Before I knew how much time had passed, it was almost 9:00p.m. and I even closed out my day on calorie count saying that I had planned on doing strength training but decided not to.

THEN I changed my mind. I reminded myself that I don’t get to keep the results if I’m not willing to keep doing what I did to get the results in the first place. I decided not to let my excuses stand in the way of me doing what needed to be done.

So I just finished with 20 minutes of strength training and I was so proud of myself for pushing through the excuses that I sat write down to write my very first blog post about it!