Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday: October 15, 2009

As I was going through the day being careful about what I was eating and dutifully writing it all down, I had a craving for pancakes. I knew I couldn't spend any calories on the luxury of pancakes on a day when I was being careful and I dealt with the craving by telling myself, "tomorrow, I can have them for breakfast."

Yes, I do allow myself pancakes on occasion. However, I only eat two of them about the size of my palm with about a pat of butter and reduced calorie syrup. Still, with a small cup of coffee, and slow eating where I'm tasting and enjoying the texture of every bite, this is just fine. I deal with the portion issue by making all of the pancakes that the amount of batter allows, cooling them on a rack, wrapping them in packets of two in foil, and heating them in the toaster oven when I want them. That not only allows great portion control, but means it's easy to have them any time without hassle. They come out of the toaster oven as good as fresh.

My point is that any time I really want something, but know I can't really accommodate them in the day's calorie totals, I tell myself that I can have it tomorrow. Sometimes I don't want the thing I craved anymore and sometimes I do. The important point is that when I eat it, it's at a controlled moment and as part of the meal plan for the entire day. By waiting, I am also better to limit portions effectively since I'm not acting on an impulse.

I don't want to undermine the difficulty of reaching this stage in my approach to food. It took me a long time and a lot of mental energy to get to the point where I could manage this. In the beginning, telling myself "tomorrow" was mainly based on the fact that I wasn't counting calories on Friday (well, I'm still not, but I'm being very careful without counting on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). That "tomorrow" meant I could indulge if I really wanted to. This was my emotional "trap door" for escaping the feeling that I was seriously confined by a "diet". That early exercise in behavior modification has transmuted into a newer, more profound control over my eating on non-counting days.

Getting to today though, the total was 1445 and it was pretty good. I had sweet potato bread with low calorie margarine, coffee, chef's salad, tomato soup (homemade), rice crackers, a persimmon, chicken, onion soup, hot chocolate, and a couple of tiny treats - a chocolate wafer about half the size of a KitKat finger and a tiny, tiny cake (40 calories for the morsel). It almost felt like a lot of food, though there were times when I was really, really hungry.