So far so good: Over-scheduled! Update

I got up this morning, late and feeling tired. Instead of sticking to yesterday’s plan, I immediately started working and then when I realized that I wouldn’t get in a full hour of exercise, I decided to skip the workout. I worked some more and then thought: What the heck are you doing?! You know you have a tough day ahead, get up and get to the gym. Less is better than nothing! I threw my exercise clothes on, packed a bag and was out the door in 15 minutes. I got to the gym at 7:15, got on the elliptical — my four favorite cardio machines were unavailable, which I also found irritating– at 7:20, plugged in 40 minutes.

So, I only burned 375 calories instead of 550. It was better than nothing.

I took a quick shower, grabbed my computer, and headed to the dinner.

Immediately, I was tempted by the “Healthy Option: Light Multigrain Waffle filled with Oats and Walnuts, Served with Fresh Strawberries, Real Vermont Butter and Maple Syrup.” (I’d hate to see the Unhealthy Options — oh yeah, that would be the rest of the menu). My bad. I was particularly tempted when a waitress brought one to the woman sitting less than two feet to my right. It looked — and smelled — delicious!

With much gritting of the teeth, I decided, believe it or not, to stick with the plan. I ordered (and eventually enjoyed) my bowl of fresh fruit and pot of orange spice herbal tea, not to mention the conversation with the visiting scholar.

Now, you may be wondering if was “the plan” that kept me from ordering the “Healthy Option” as opposed to the pre-planned bowl of fruit. I’m not so sure to tell you the truth. But having thought about the challenges facing me before hand and actually writing it out was a powerful exercise. Though, it may have been the pseudo-calorie calculation I did, which put the waffle at 400 calories — that is, 400 without the butter, strawberries, or syrup — versus my 100 calorie fruit bowl, which I knew from experience was comprised mostly of melon!

On to the pub.

So a few hours later, I head over the pub with my students. From a health perspective, the menu was horrifying.

I ordered a spinach salad and added salmon. Hands down: the worst lunch/dinner salad I’ve ever had.

The spinach was wilted (and not in a warm spinach salad sort of way, but rather in a I’ve been sitting in a plastic bag for a week sort of way) and the salmon was so dry and salty that it stuck to my tongue.

Now, normally I try to avoid what nutrition coach Sonni Tallent refers to as “Ick” food (or food that you’ve had in the fridge a day — or three — too long, but you eat it anyway because it’s there), but in this case, I was hungry and my students had invited me. Besides, the conversation was awesome, and sometimes that’s all that really matters. I picked through the salad and left half of the salmon on the plate.

As soon as I left, I went back to the office and downed 16 ounces of Perfect Food (as a detoxing move) and 16 ounces of herbal tea. Note to self: drink way more water than normal before going to bed!

So, to my best guess, I have consumed 850 calories, which leaves me with 650 for the banquet later this evening. Hopefully I can keep it under 500, so I can go home and have the dessert of my choice. If not, I’ll either skip dessert or have it anyway!

So, what did I learn?

On challenging days, it’s good to try to think them through the day before and do your level best to stick to the plan to the best of your ability. And, if you’re anything like me (who tends to have an all or nothing attitude) it’s also a good idea to try to stick to them as long as you can — as who knows what might have happened had I derailed myself early by either failing to go to the gym or ordering the waffle (or both).

The really important thing to note, however, is that I wasn’t “perfect,” at any point at the day. I didn’t exercise the amount I wanted to. I really had to think long and hard about not getting the waffle. And I had something for lunch that had enough salt in it to preserve a horse.

But I was close at each stage of the game.

More importantly, I was closer than I would have been if I hadn’t thought it through and had a plan to which I felt at least marginally accountable.

The good news is that I’m sure that the certainty that I have gained in my ability to navigate obstacles and to make the healthiest choices I can will see me safely – and happily — through dinner, not to mention any of the other myriad of opportunities to overeat that I have facing me in the coming weeks!

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2 comments so far

  1. Patty on

    Sounds like one of my days–overscheduled and filled with temptations to make the wrong choices. I’m interested in discussing the “perfect food” that you referenced.

    • KJ on

      I did pretty good until I got home and waited an hour to call Laura. I broke my HALT rule. I got to tired and ate about 300 calories in chips…straight out of the bag! I think dinner at home (Minestrone)? Or would you prefer that the two of us to have dinner in town?


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