So, yesterday I told you all that I was going to be facing my first Pot Luck of this school year. Last year, a pot luck was something I got excited about. A smorgasbord of homemade creations, fantastic indulgent desserts, and piles of grab-all-day snacks of chips and crackers and sweets.
But this year, just hearing the words "Pot Luck" sent shivers down my spine and sensations of fear to rise from my stomach.
To someone who's trying, and has been pretty diligent, in trying to lose weight.. a pot luck is a huge nightmare. It's not as easy as just staying clear or just saying no. It's coming face to face with temptation and finding the willpower to make selections that are mindful. Yes, the option is always there to just avoid it at all costs and not put myself in a situation to be tempted.. but then what am I learning from that? I've tried to stay clear from temptation for the past couple of weeks, and the truth is.. I can't avoid it forever. Just because there's tons of selections of all forms of food to choose from doesn't mean I can't have any of it... I just have to learn to take what I can and rather than avoid what I can't, train my mind to not even want any of that stuff.
All staff members are expected to participate in the pot luck, because the pot lucks are to celebrate birthdays..and the time will come when each of us will have our turn at being in the limelight of the celebration. My first go-to option was to bring a couple bags of chips..which is what I usually do. Then realization hit that I shouldn't be a part of the problem, but a part of the solution. How many other faculty members were feeling the same way I was about the lack of healthy options? So, I decided on buying a veggie tray.
There was just one problem. When I got to the store yesterday morning, there were't any veggie trays available. I panicked for a second..looking towards the chip aisle.. and then saw huge tubs of strawberries for a really great price. I looked them over, picked up three tubs, and decided they would be my offering. Not veggies.. but fruit is still good.
When I got to school, I took my strawberries down to the lounge and saw that the temptations had already started flowing in.. including some breakfast casseroles and sweet breads. I didn't even consider taking any of it. I popped my strawberries in the fridge, and walked back to my classroom empty handed. And it felt really good. I didn't have to talk myself out of not eating, I didn't even consider it.
Then, the moment of truth came: Lunch time. I went down with my team, and the options were strewn over three counters, and a table was set up specifically for desserts. The smell coming from the room sent my tastebuds in to overdrive. I looked to the dessert table and thought it looked like a chocoholics paradise...or nightmare to this chocoholic.
I had tried to plan ahead and didn't take my pill until an hour before lunch. I had hoped that the pill would eliminate any cravings... but it didn't. I was on my own and had to face the now or never moment of proving that I could be mindful in my selections.
I grabbed a plate and started with some green beans. Then added some pea salad (actual salad containing peas that was topped with a thin layer of sour cream). Then added a small spoonful of pasta salad. Then a small spoonful of rice (boiled not fried). In terms of proteins, I had options of fried chicken, barbecue chicken chunks, and meatballs. I took a few chunks (4 to be exact) of the chicken. I then grabbed two mini tortilla pinwheels. And I was done. I didn't even continue looking through the other two counters of food. My plate was covered, and there was no desire to add more. And for the record, when I say small spoonful.. I mean an actual spoonful. A regular sized spoon, not a giant serving spoon.
I sat down, and I ate what was on my plate. I smiled to myself when I thought about what my plate used to look like last year... filled to the brim, piled high, spilling over the side. When I was done, I was done. No going back for more, no deciding to try a little more of this or a little more of that. The only weakness came when I went up for some strawberries. They just happened to be near the dessert table, and I noticed a pudding based dessert. It looked like chocolate pudding with cream on top, sprinkled with nuts. The dessert had already been cut in to serving sized pieces. I grabbed the pie cutter and cut one of those pieces in half and took a small piece. Basically enough for three bites. And it was delicious. There was a taste of peanut butter added to the chocolate, and the bottom of the dish was layered in a very thin sweet pastry.
Having not let chocolate pass over my lips in over two weeks, the sweetness was overwhelming. Almost too much so. I know that I couldn't have eaten more than the three bites I did eat. I also had a couple of strawberries with it. And when I was done, I felt full. Satisfyingly full.
I have no idea how many calories I consumed, because it was impossible to track the dishes without hunting down each person that brought the stuff I ate and ask them the ingredients used. But, I feel like I did pretty well. Maybe not perfect, but I felt in control. I didn't pig out. I didn't feel the need to eat more. I didn't go back to the room for any snacks or afternoon seconds. And, OK, I ate some chocolate dessert.. but not enough to consider the entire meal a total fail.
I don't feel like I ate too much, and comparing my performance to those acted out last year... the differences are immense.
I could have probably done without the pasta and rice. I could have definitely done without the small dessert. But, all in all, I don't think I did too bad. There were MANY more devastating options I could have chosen from... fried chicken being at the top of that list. But, again, there was no talking myself down or rationalizing or inner bargaining taking place. I knew right off the bat I wouldn't be eating fried chicken, or chips, or nachos, or hashbrown casserole, or brownies, or chocolate cake, or coconut cream pie. I saw all of them, and there wasn't a fleeting chance that any of that stuff would make it on to my plate.
I consider that ultimate success.
And the best part is, the pill really didn't help AT ALL in curbing my hunger. It may have contributed to the full and satisfied feeling I had when I was finished.. but I have no way of knowing. That could have just been from my stomach actually shrinking, or having spent the past two weeks eating very small portions of food. What I have noticed, though, is that I haven't really felt any effects of the pill these past few days. Which is why I made the decision this morning to skip my pill for the weekend.
I'm going to stay off of it for a couple of days, continue to be vigilant with my eating without it, and then try taking it again on Monday. With the hopes that a few days off will boost the effects back in to full gear.
Which reminds me... I need to think about getting out to grocery shop. My house is pretty bare, in terms of food right now. And it's time to stock everything up ready for another successful week.
Till next time!!