Fat Tuesday: Being Thankful

You may think that this post must have come a week late, but it’s not. You see, I fully expected to write this up and explain how I gave myself a little bit of leeway, a moment of culinary freedom, and that my scale reflected it.

And the honest truth is that I *did* do that. I had more (significantly more) than the regulation 5oz of dark meat that the diet calls for. A bit of stuffing, a pile of sweet potatoes, and a slice of apple pie (courtesy of Love Plus Flour). That was on Thursday. On Friday, for Shabbat, I had some wine, some bread, and a few more bites of pie (what can I say? My house is in a freaking BAKERY. It’s all just there!). At lunch on Saturday, there was more wine and bread.

However, I also took to heart a piece of wisdom I learned from my friend Thomas LaRock (aka SQLRockstar) – as he was working through his own weight loss journey, he told me that “I’m not a slave to this diet. If I want something, I eat it. But I also have goals. So if I am going to eat it, it had better be worth it. I’m not just going to put crap in my mouth for the sake of having crap in my mouth. If I am going to drink scotch, it’s going to be GOOD scotch. If I’m going to eat popcorn, it’s going to be bacon popcorn with butter salt. I’m going to love every single stinking bite of it. And because it’s good, I’m not going to gorge on it. I’m going to enjoy it, and I’m going to be reasonable about it.”

So even though I had all that stuff – bread and wine and pie – I made sure it was worth it. In fact, that’s been part of my thought process about food since I started this healthy lifestyle – asking myself, “This thing right here, is it worth the uptick on the scale tomorrow?” I’ll be honest, there are moments when the answer is “YES!” and that’s fine. But more often, the answer is “No, not really.” and I pass it up.

So what was the result of all the indulgence? I feel guilty telling you that my scale is actually DOWN rather than up. The guilt comes from the sense that it somehow sends a mixed message: On the one hand,  “you have to be disciplined”; and on the other, “It’s ok to cheat. It’ll be fine.”.

The fact is that even the word “cheat” sets me up for failure by making you feel like the rules by which I am choosing to live and eat are somehow constricting and unfair. Over on MensHealth.com, Dr. Michael Smith posted a nice write-up on “cheat days” that I recommend you read.

But with all of that said, somehow I pulled out a win here in week 7:

  • 5′ 8″ tall
  • 51 yrs old
  • 169 lbs
  • 37″ belly
  • 37″ waist

That’s right, I’m now treading on soft, fine soil of 160-something territory, a place I haven’t visited in over a decade. Wish me luck as I journey further, and try to find those “thankful” moments along the way.

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