Yep, it's time for another amusing and inspiring post by blog contributor Jan Bono! See more about her on our "info"page and don't forget to check out her “Back from Obesity: My 252-pound Weight-Loss Journey” either in print or on Jan's smashwords page. --Crabby
Saying “no” to food not allowed on my healthy food plan is often a challenge. Sometimes I manage to say “maybe,” or “later,” but occasionally I throw sanity to the wind and scream “Hell, yes!”
It takes discipline to maintain a 252-pound weight loss—something I’ve managed to do for over a year—yet there are days when that discipline is in short supply. So naturally, I need solid strategies in place to keep me from caving in on a regular basis.
One sunny Saturday afternoon I stood before the open refrigerator, pondering my food choices for the rest of the day. I’d already had my usual yogurt breakfast, my mid-morning low-sodium V-8 juice break, and it was time for a satisfying low-calorie lunch.
But today there was nothing in the fridge that appealed to me. I closed the door and peered into the cupboard. Nothing too exciting there, either.
What I really wanted, I realized, was that amazing broasted chicken they served in the local bar.
Nowhere on earth could you find broasted chicken that tasted any better, and the more I thought about it, the more my salivary glands kicked into high gear. Before long, I realized I had to have that chicken.
I added up my calories for the day: just 170 measly energy units. Since my ideal daily goal is “less than 1500,” that gave me a whopping 1330 to mess with, but it had to include both lunch and dinner. Never mind that by eating the chicken I’d be through eating for the day by 2 p.m. and that I’d most likely be ravenous again by 6 or 7 o’clock. I knew what I wanted, and I wanted it NOW.
An order of half a broasted chicken was one humongous breast, thigh, wing and drumstick. And of course, jo-jos came with it. Jo-jos and ranch dressing.
Eighteen hundred and 170 was 1970. Well, gee! Nineteen-seventy was still within my food plan’s rather loose “upper limit” of 2000 per day! Accounting for “special occasions,” I had promised to cut myself some slack as long as I stayed below 2000 calories in any one day.
Deciding it was a “special occasion” for the sun to be shining so brightly on a weekend on the southwest Washington coast, I rushed to pull on my tennis shoes. I could already taste the first bite of that scrumptious chicken!
I debated whether or not to call ahead so they could have my coveted chicken, which I knew took 20 minutes to prepare even if there weren’t any orders ahead of mine, ready to pick up and take out the moment I arrived. No way was I going to eat it there, where others could watch me wolf it down. I planned on going to the nearby ocean beach approach to eat in peaceful solitude.
“Solitude?” I heard a little voice ask. “Isn’t that the same as eating in secret? Just what kind of healthy food plan justifies sneak eating?”
That little voice, my fledgling food conscience, was becoming a tad bit annoying. More often than not, that little voice was messing up some previously very enjoyable eating experiences.
It’s not sneak eating, I thought to myself. It’s legal food on my legal food plan.
“Yeah, right,” said the little voice in a tone I previously thought was reserved solely for snotty seventh graders.
I stopped grappling with my shoelaces, and sat totally still for a moment on the living room steps. What are you really up to? I asked myself.
“You’re not going to like the answer,” said my little voice.
So what shall I do about it?
“Put all your bras into the washing machine.”
I beg your pardon?
“You know you won’t leave the house without a bra on,” said my little voice. “Do what you need to do to keep from going out and beginning what could turn out to be the ominous start of a multi-day binge. You have no idea where this one indulgent meal could lead you. Do the right thing here, girlfriend.”
I cringed. No! I want my broasted chicken! If I’d been standing, I’m sure I would have stomped my foot. I’ll only eat the chicken! I’ll skip the jo-jos and the ranch dressing! Pull-ease!
The little voice was silent.
It’s difficult to argue with silence.
Still sitting on the carpeted living room steps, I sighed in defeat. I kicked off my shoes, stood up and pulled my shirt over my head. I unhooked my bra right there, took it off, and walked into the utility room. “This is crazy,” I said aloud.
But crazy or not, when I threw my bra into the washer, turned the water on and went into the bedroom to retrieve my other two industrial-strength undergarments, I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do. Throwing my bras into the washer banished any thought of leaving the house, just as my little voice said it would.
And when I stop long enough to listen to my little voices, I become more willing to go to any lengths to stick with my food plan. I’m halfway home. So I dropped the rest of my laundry in with my bras, added detergent, and made myself a fabulous bowl of soup.
The next Saturday evening, I took a friend to the bar with me. We split an order of broasted chicken and opted to replace the jo-jos with coleslaw. Both of us were well-satisfied with the meal we ate.
Better yet, we stayed well within the parameters of our individual food plans, and both of us were wearing bras.