Portions and Splurges


I was asked about portions and splurges on vacations and special occasions and thought I’d share with everyone a little about me. But first a few tips: eat off a salad or appetizer plate. Schedule your eating times every 3 or 4 hours. Drink water before eating. Drink water between each alcoholic drink. Don’t sit in room with food. Clear your place setting before taking seconds. Use sites such as My Fitness Pal to look up calorie and sodium and saturated fats before you go out to eat. Create family traditions that involve board games or story telling or mommy make overs. Bring healthy snacks with on vacations. Take pictures of your food. Find activities to do on vacation that are physical. Tell family you made a bet that you can go 21 days without sugar. Always arrive at parties with a healthy side that you enjoy. Remember it is ok to say no to food, to added responsibilities, to favors to anything that doesn’t help you meet your goals.

For a while I was fat, not obese, and it was literally only 2 years. So I don’t have the years of yo yo diets and the struggling with weight problems that many of you have. But I can empathize as I have had my own problems. One day I woke up and decided I didn’t want to be so unhappy anymore. At the time I was a bartender for Fridays during lunch and dinner shifts. I ate 90% of my meals at work and would often sample drinks we made. I was also a bartender at a bar that was open until 3 AM. Our owner routinely gave us drinks, customers would buy us shots, and then we’d go out after work for one more. When I decided to get healthy I already had my personal training certificate. I got a job at a gym. I set a few rules for myself. I gave myself 12 weeks. I ate every 3 hours, and the food was cooked at home only. I gave up alcohol. I did 45 minutes of intervals on the elliptical 6 days a week and strength trained 5 of those days for another hour.

Once I got going, I counted calories for my 6 meals, and ate the same 6 meals each day. In 11 weeks I was down 33 pounds.

To me, it was worth it to skip going out with friends to dinner. It was worth it to show up at family parties, and fridays, with a lunch box. It was worth it to not vacation. It was worth the “friends” from the bar scene I lost. I got my life back.

After the initial 3 months, I would go out once in a while. I changed my meals up more often. At some point tuna helper with double tuna was no longer healthy enough. I could take an extra day off of the gym. My habits were set as my lifestyle.

For probably the first 3-5 years, going to mom’s always meant really yummy food and too much of it. I’d drink extra water and count calories for a week after one dinner there.

Now, it is so engrained as my lifestyle, I’m more like a person with allergies. There is no need to eat food totally off my plan in excess. In fact, my taste buds have changed so much that I don’t love my mom’s cooking anymore.

My advice is to realize this is your new lifestyle. Things may be more drastic during the weight loss part, and while you don’t need to avoid cookies forever, they won’t be a staple you eat at every party. Find friends who appreciate your new lifestyle and hang with them. Cut out restaurants and alcohol and soda as you lose weight. When you get to the maintenance part, those things will need to be in moderation, or sparingly. By cutting it out temporarily, your stomach will limit how much you can tolerate and stopping becomes more common than binging. I come from a huge family. If I allowed myself cake for every birthday, I’d eat cake way too often. This isn’t a diet you are going to do until you are a size 12 jean. This is the new you, so if you go on vacations all the time, travel for work, and have endless celebrations, you need to decide how healthy you want to be.

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