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Everyday choices...

The last two days I've attended two different get-togethers with friends. I was, of course, bombarded with many yummy tempting food options on both occasions. The old me would have dove in and begun indulging without abandon. I've got a wicked sweet tooth. I was the girl who used to go back for seconds at the dessert table. Looking at oatmeal cookies and turtle cheese cake without so much as taking a taste... ugh. This healthy thing is friggen HARD. It didn't help that there were also "friends" who thought it amusing to rag me about it incessantly. "You are wasting away.... C'mon... one cookie isn't gonna kill ya... blah blah blah..."

Yes.... it was impossible to hide the fact that I was the only one who brought their own food as I sat at the crowded table chopping up chicken breast while everyone else ate pizza. It's moments like these that I ask myself the question... Why am I doing this? Do the benefits I gain from this lifestyle outweigh the sacrifices I'm making? When I'm in the gym doing my thing... it's easy to say it's worth it. But when I'm watching my friends enjoying themselves and I sorta feel like an outsider... that's when I wonder if I'd just be happier eating whatever I wanted. Am I the only one that struggles with this???

So... after reflecting upon all these things, I had a few thoughts to share. First let me answer my own questions...

Why am I doing this?? Because I was absolutely miserable before I made the change. I remember that sadness, standing in front of the mirror and just feeling disgusted. I don't want to go back there.

Do the benefits outweigh the sacrifices? Yes they do. I'm stronger and so much more confident. I have the body I've always wanted. 

The one profound conclusion I came to through my experiences this week... it really is the EVERYDAY CHOICES that determine whether or not you will reach your goals or maintain your progress. I used to use every single occasion I could to indulge in yummy foods...

It's ________'s birthday.... let's have cake!

_________ is in town to visit... let's have a 7-course meal!

I got a promotion... bust out the bubbly!

Our baby took his first steps today.... let's bake cookies!!

The ________ family is coming over for dinner... peach cobbler for everyone!

________ made the principal's list... let's go for ice cream!

I'm not saying these aren't great reasons to celebrate or that it isn't ok to indulge once in a while. It's true... one weekly cheat meal isn't going to undo a whole week's worth of clean eating. I'm just saying... I have to PLAN when I'm going to allow myself an opportunity to indulge and it can't be several days/week. These thoughts were brought on by the following conversation...

Friend: So you don't ever eat sweets? ... Ever?

Me:  Oh yeah... of course I do. I just choose to reserve "cheating" for special occasions. I ate lots of yummy foods for Easter, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, and at my sister-in-laws rehearsal and wedding not long ago. 

Friend: So I guess "Wednesday" doesn't qualify as a special occasion... ??? (said sarcastically of course)

Me: LOL... nope... sorry... nothing special about Wednesday. It's just a regular day. And tomorrow when I go to ________'s house will be a Thursday like every other Thursday. Just because there will all sorts of yummy foods available does not make it a special occasion.

  ... this change in my thinking has made the difference in me wearing a size 8/10 verses a size 2!

26 votes + -

18 comments:

chrisdavey wrote over 3 years:
GREAT blog! I have the same mentality. Yesterday was my Mum's birthday and I knew that there would be different food choices to what I would normally have. Therefore, smash a good workout before going over there and pretty much eat whatever I want knowing that my body actually deserves those calories.
Lyadeia wrote over 3 years:
It's the everyday choices that I struggle with so much. I make out my meal plans, and then all of a sudden, my mother-in-law wants to take us out to eat (for example) and it's never to a healthy place. When I go out with friends, one of them always suggests eating at McDonald's or other such trashy places and grunts and groans when I even ask her to stop at Subway so I can get something. It's really annoying! I am wearing those size 8/10's right now, and I remember when I was at my smallest I was in a 6...yet I had a kangaroo pouch stomach and no defined waist. So my goal is a size 2. I know that I just have to stay strong and remember to make decent choices when around friends and family. I just wish that they would make similar choices so my choice didn't seem so hard!
rachmaree wrote over 3 years:
So true! We have to be responsible for our own choices every day. You are a great example of staying focused :)
dzdame wrote over 3 years:
I hear ya! So hard to stay focused on healthy lifestyle goals when everyone around you just seems to eat/drink whatever whenever..I admire your ability to stay the course day by day and allow yourself to "cheat" on special occasions. I have found myself slipping lately, after over a year of being really focused and disciplined, so I came back to MFP for motivation and support to get back on track..I have gained a few lbs and want to get them off and then the last 10-15 lbs in the next few months..I will keep a look out for your blogs..really helps to hear from people who share my goals and are able to keep focused on making healthy choices..Thanks!
NyxDominique wrote over 3 years:
Great job setting a example. Thank you for telling us your story. It is so true the small battles we have to face everyday. It is overwhelming sometimes.
H_Factor wrote over 3 years:
This was a great blog! Even though I have made significant progress, I still have a ways to go to reach my goal. However, I find myself too often waning from the will power I had for the first 5 months of the year. During that time, I didn't give in to co-worker cake on birthday or other treats (except for the occasional, planned indulgence). More recently, though, I have given in to these treats more often and I've stagnated as a result. I think I got the mindset repaired this week and reading your blog is added motivation to continue with the good mindset.

Keep up the great work!
RochelleBlack wrote over 3 years:
True true true. What's sad to me is that "friends" have to try to make us feel guilty about our choices. Who ever thought we'd be peer pressured about food!?!
BotsMomJ wrote over 3 years:
I had someone say recently that I had an "addiction" now. Just because I want to be fit and healthy rather than eat crap and drink alcohol every weekend. Well, I can think of worse things to be addicted too! Fitness and healthy eating is not one of them! Thank you so much for sharing!
divajj107 wrote over 3 years:
What a great read!
You're such an inspiration and I'm at where you were. I hate me, myself. I don't feel good and I wonder what all this working out I do is for when I ruin it with the way I eat...
It is all about choices. And I have to begin to make the right ones!
juliemouse83 wrote over 3 years:
This is an amazing blog! :)

I struggle in the same way - with the daily choices. And then I end up feeling guilty if I indulge, so I wind up staying up later than I should to burn those stupid extra calories in the pool.

I don't crave sweets...It's the salties that get me. I LOVE sunflower seeds.

I love salads, but at the day job, the salad bar is the same thing day after day after day, and that gets SO boring. On Tuesday I ate a Ruben sandwich, and it was SOOOOO good. And then I did extra laps in the pool that night and ate salad for dinner.

I, too, have friends who will rag on me, "Oh, one Krispy Kreme won't hurt you...they're warm and goo-ey!" Shut up, already! :)

Thanks for posting this. Nice to know I'm not the only "health freak" out there.
MarybethAltizer wrote over 3 years:
Amen! I have been bashed recently for my healthy eating habits as well. (although I'm not where you are, YET) I bring my own food if I know they're will not be healthy choices available, and get laughed at. I don't care. It's like you said, it's the everyday choices that determine whether you will reach your goal or not. Thanks for posting this, you have motivated me today! Business conference this weekend and I know I'll stay on track now!
juliemouse83 wrote over 3 years:
Marybeth...It clicks as I'm reading your comment that folks get like that because they may (subconsciously) be trying to sabotage those of us that are actually getting out and DOING something about our weight. I'm nowhere near where Steph is, but I'm down from a 16 to a 12, and will be happy in a ten (I'm 5'7"), and healthy... :)
taso42_DELETED wrote over 3 years:
Well said. To some of the "outsiders" it might look like we never ever indulge in any goodies. But you're right that we have to pick and choose when we do; can't do it every day "just because", or else we'll eventually get right back where we started.
velix wrote over 3 years:
thank you for the post- i needed to read something like this today. I was doing really well for about 6 months, and lately, have been on a faltering on the little things that add up. Every day, I seem to be making an exception here and there - I struggle to get back to where I was 2 months ago - reading this sort of just reminded me why I was doing everything not only properly, but happily.
rachelhohenbrink wrote over 3 years:
Great blog...enjoyed the read. Good FOOD for THOUGHT.
NavyWifeTwinMom wrote over 3 years:
Just returned from a vacation back home to visit family, and felt this way the whole time... Literally had people shoving s'mores in my hand and waiting for me to eat it. I had a few stumbles, but did manage to lose a bit rather than gain so I'm considering vacation a success :-) thanks for putting your thoughts down...helps to know others face these challenges too!
kdiamond wrote over 3 years:
The ONLY thing I disagree about is the bubbly...lol...though I don't need a celebration to drink champagne...did you know it is only 80 calories and 3 carbs a glass? LOL Seriously though, I definitely agree. I can't stand when my mom (who is thin though) tries to overfeed me everytime I am over there...soothing with food I guess...
colorfulcupcakes wrote over 3 years:
Wow, what a great post. This is so true. The exact same thing happened after I quit drinking. People can't quite believe it, they think I'm judging them if they drink, or they want to quiz me on why. Like maybe they are dealing with their own guilty feelings/issues. I don't think they are doing anything on purpose, but maybe they just have never questioned WHY they make certain choices. Seeing someone else choose differently sort of confronts their belief system.

I'm ready to question my own food choices now, and this post was awesome!

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