Monday, May 3, 2021

Impending Noom: A Couple of My Areas for Improvement

Who's hungry?

 My Noom journey has been a positive one thus far. Two weeks in and I've pulled a fast 10 lb. drop (results not typical, but appreciated). I've developed a good list of "go to" foods and even feel some of the time as though I can't keep pace with my meal/snack schedule. The app provides a source of accountability and scheduling for how to engage with eating and activity. I've been able to "go get" my daily 10K steps and drink enough water from essentially being reminded and logging the activity.

Still, I'm starting to learn the situations that get me in trouble and frankly need to improve upon. Here are three of them:

Social Situations

Who doesn't love sitting and munching on the delectable meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits and veggies on a charcuterie board along with a cocktail or three? I certainly do, but I'm finding that I continue to reach for the treats even at the end of the evening and regardless of how full I'm feeling.  I even feel socially awkward as I'm offered even more.

For me the only diet-safe charcuterie board is an empty one.

This happened this past weekend as I was invited to hang out with a group of the recently divorced that my girlfriend is apart of. It was a great evening of meeting new people and talking about work, music, etc. However, I consumed way too much food and way too much high calorie beverage. I left the evening feeling overly full and uncomfortable. The next day was akin to a hangover only in my gut from the cocktail of meat, cheese, drink and even pizza. I didn't even bother logging the evening in Noom, perhaps out of some level of giving up and some level of shame.

Fortunately, I got back on the routine the next day. I weighed in (I was up obviously), started my day with water and planned my eating. I made sure to get my steps as well. Both Saturday and Sunday were then successfully navigated and I found myself back to where I was weight-wise.

Ultimately, I'm not sure what to do in these situations. It's hard to break away and be anti-social. Perhaps a goal here would be to make sure I drink a bit of water before and during the event to help with the fullness. It might also be a good idea to bring some guilt-free foods to munch on, i.e. a veggie tray. Despite, Jim Gaffigan's claims, it's probably better to be the guy who brings the veggie tray than the one who eats all the prosciutto and goat cheese.

This will be a tough one, but needs to be addressed as there is roughly one family gathering a month in addition to Covid ending resulting in more social gatherings. Here, I really need to remember that this is about progress and not perfection.

Junk Food at Home

This is another tough one to avoid; especially when one of your kids likes to bake large pans of brownies after I've gone to bed. My that makes for some tasty dreams! This was the case Thursday night. My night-owl daughter decided to make some Ghirardelli triple chocolate brownies as a snack. This may have had a little to do with having fewer sweets in the house, so she was looking for something yummy. Despite Nooming, brownies are still very yummy for me as well. She nailed them too: so soft, but dense. 

The problem then became her and her brother heading over to their mom's house and leaving me with 3/4 of a pan. I feel I handled this better than the social gathering, though. They did call my name, in that sultry way brownies do, every time I stepped into the kitchen dining area. I was able to resist for the most part, aiming at fruit or carrots, or even glasses of water. Occasionally, I did take a sliver of goodness. 

While the nibble was momentarily satisfying for the taste-buds, it also created a little more desire. Fortunately, I took the opportunity to send the sinful goodness to my ex's house when my daughter needed to drop in to get her glasses. I told her, "you're allowed your vision, only if you take the brownies with you". I'm guessing she had to think really hard on that (or not), but she eventually texted back, "Deal." I did leave a couple squares worth (I'm not a total brownie prude), but sent her away with the better part of the pan. I don't even care if I get the plate back, I'm just happy the overall temptation is gone.

Uh, Maybe? 

Moving forward, it might be a good idea to have smaller batches for baking available, or even print up some healthy baking recipes to have on hand when the desire for such things becomes strong.

Being the Man with a Plan

I occasionally hit a stride when it comes to (meal) planning, but it's not necessarily in my nature. I do find myself doing better with food when I do have a plan though. This may tie into the other two struggles listed above as well. 

I have found myself doing "spontaneous planning" (quite the oxymoron) when I'm consciously Nooming. For example, coming home from a stressful day I'll realize that I don't have a food plan for the evening. I also realize that this will just draw me close to the tortilla chips and cheese if I don't. Even worse, I'll mindlessly eat to pacify my stresses with a salty crunch. In those couple of situations I decidedly sat in my car until I had a more deliberate plan for what I was going to consume that evening. Even the short term spontaneous plans seem to work.

So what about longer term planning? I think I get caught up in the idea that longer times require more grandiose plans; as though I need to be super creative with my meals. Well nuts to that!  I have a few things that I know work for me, e.g. Healthy Choice power bowls for lunch and mandarin oranges. So many mandarin oranges. 

The plan can just be getting those things in order for the week. So I just need to go pick out five healthy frozen lunches and make sure I have enough of the snack items to get me through the week. There, two-thirds of the plan is done and already in the freezer at work. I bring the snacks daily from home, that helps stay conscious and prevents me from OD-ing on vitamin C in a day.

Everything's better with garlic (hummus)!

Dinners can be a little more tricky, but when it's just me I can just make dinner a decent portioned snack. Perhaps some veggies and hummus and a little pita bread; maybe some deli meat for protein and a sparkling water.

For this week, in addition to the hummus, I picked up some soups, some additional roast-able veggies and some chicken breasts. I'm feeling pretty good about at least getting myself to the weekend.

There may be some dinners that are less than healthy. Every now and then I do get the urge to break out the Fry Daddy and make some wings (they do come out awesome), but part of this is making it the exception and not the norm.

Obvi (as my daughter says) there will be ups and downs. The idea is to keep an eye on the overall goal by negotiating the bumps along the way, pulling myself back to the healthy plan whenever they occur. Live, learn and get better.

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