Thursday, May 19, 2011

On veering from the path. Plus a recipe for an unexpectedly tasty strawberry salad you HAVE to try.

It's been a week of celebration, but all parties inevitably meet their cups-scattered-on-the-counter end.  So today, I'm going to talk a little bit about the track. And how I've recently... slightly... gradually... veered from it.

For me, the track isn't that narrow.  Or that hard to traverse.  If you're a regular reader, you probably even know what it looks like:
  • I plan what I'm eating.  
  • I stay mindful about what I'm eating.  
  • I don't keep things in the house that will trigger disordered eating.
  • I exercise regularly.
 Except that over the last week or so, it's looked kind of like this:
  • I plan what I'm eating for two days while our guests are here, and then eat what's left over in the fridge.
  • I stay mindful about procrastinate and forget to log what I'm eating.  
  • I don't keep things in the house that will trigger disordered eating, but when guests bring trigger foods, I allow myself to pull that trigger.
  • I exercise kind of regularly.
My intake hasn't been terrible.  I haven't eaten more than I've burned, so there's been no gain - I did just get down to 50 pounds lost.  But when I look at how far I've come, I know that being passive about my health just isn't enough for me anymore.  I feel my best when I'm mindful and even-keel about the energy I take in and the energy I put out.

I think I know, in part, what set me on this slight veer from my path.  I have surgery coming up, and the very thought of it made me feel emotional.  So many questions.  First of all, will it even work?  And how will my body handle the blood thinner switch-a-roo that they'll have to do before I can go under the knife?  I've never had surgery before, so how will I react?  How will I handle slowing down my weight loss progress because I have to sit and convalesce? 

I'm proud of the fact that my answer to these questions wasn't to eat to distract myself.  Instead, I acknowledged that there's going to be a bit of a slow-down in my progress for the short run, while I recover.  But this isn't a race.  There's not even a finish line, because it's a lifetime project.  So I wasn't going to try to lose as much weight as possible before the surgery, in an effort to make up for lost time.  I wasn't going to nudge myself over the edge into disordered undereating or overexercise, the same way that I wasn't going to slip back into disordered overeating or couch potatoism.  What was that Mr. Rogers song my parents always used to sing?*  "Be patient.  Be patient.  All good things take time."  But here's the thing: when you give yourself permission to be patient, it's not a free ticket off the path.

Nevertheless, while I've been a little freer with the calories, I'm not going to punish myself for it.  I'm just going to recommit to the path that works the best for me.  I'll be doing that by working on each of those bullet points above.

Something else that will help is to bring more fruit back into my diet.  My goal for each day is to have 3 servings of fruit - and I let that slide over the past week or so.  I've been lucky to get 2 servings on a good day.  And it's interesting to see how that affects my cravings.  It made it all the harder to resist the cookies, cheesecake and ice cream pints that were in our house.  We never buy them for ourselves so I rarely deal with the temptation. But I feel like I might have been able to say no to them if I'd been eating my regular fruit.

So... there's no better time for a salad recipe starring that beautiful berry of the straw.

Strawberry-Cucumber Salad

We came upon the concept for this dish at the Hollywood Farmer's Market last weekend, where the nutritionist on staff was offering samples of this unexpectedly brilliant combination.

Chop the cucumber and strawberries (1:1 ratio) into similar-sized pieces.
Then macerate the strawberries in 1 tsp sugar and 2 tb balsamic.

Just before serving, combine macerated berries with the cucumber and 2 tb chopped basil.
A squeeze of lemon juice is very good with this as well.

One last thing to help me back onto my path: I'm also going to go back to something that has worked for me in the past: sharing my daily intake at the end of my blog posts, every day for the next week.

By tomorrow morning, I'll have retroactively logged all of the food I didn't log yet, and at the bottom of tomorrow's Fashion Friday post, I'll include what I ate today.  Onward and upward - I'll take care of me.  And you take care of you.

*Not the one you're thinking of, dear family.  Though I will admit that I totally teared up when Dad sang "I'm Proud of You" for my 50 pound loss this week.


  1. I am distraught to learn that you are human. Le sigh.

  2. The past week has just been a learning experience for what to do/not to in the future. Cannot WAIT to try that recipe. It will happen this weekend.

  3. A simple fruit serving suggestion -- cut an apple into 1/4" slices. Spread on a place and sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy.

  4. a "plate" not a "place"