So today I’m driving back from a morning meeting and I’m feeling a little stressed. My head and heart is spinning a little from things in my personal life, BIG projects in my professional life, good things happening physically, still trying to sell the house, approaching events and deadlines and I find myself suddenly craving comfort food. I had planned to have an antipasta salad with fat-free Italian dressing (a fairly common lunch for me) today but now I’m thinking about a Jack-in-the-Box Ultimate Cheeseburger (with no sauce) and Bacon-Cheddar Potato Wedges.
"Dr. Valentine, paging Dr. Valentine"
Now the burger, fries, soda and wedges would have been a guilty pleasure. Greasy, tasty, really bad for me, somehow satisfying, artery-clogging. High in fat, high in sodium, high in sugar, high in calories. Also high in protein but that’s about the only redeeming nutritional factor in what is otherwise a train wreck for me nutritionally. That said one of the cornerstone’s of my diet success, and rarely does the DAY go by without somebody commenting on how fit I look these days and how much weight I’ve lost, is that on those rare occasions when I crave food that isn’t necessarily good for me, I’m allowed to have it. That way when I do, occasionally, succumb and have a cheeseburger or some pizza I haven’t ruined my diet and thus I might as well just binge.
I’m allowed the occasional ice cream or steak because most of the time I’m going to choose the healthier options – salads, pastas, chicken….
And that’s part of how I’ve lost almost 30 pounds and dropped my body fat percentage almost 10 points.
The Cooler Head Prevails
So I’m driving along weighing burger vs. salad and finally I conclude that while I would enjoy the burger, I would also enjoy the salad. The salad would satisfy me. AND, I know full well that I will feel better both mentally and physically if I have the salad. My waistline will appreciate it, my energy level will appreciated it and even my bloodpressure will appreciate it. If I decide later in the day that I really DO need the burger I can have one for dinner. If not, then I won’t. I can’t un-eat the burger once I’ve had it though. (with apologies to any bulemics reading this).
So I went with the salad. Maybe I’ll have the burger for dinner…but probably not. The key, though, was asking myself if I really NEEDED the burger and if I would be satisified with the salad. Once I acknowledged that I’d be happy with the salad too, it was a much easier decision.