Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Realities of Holiday Eating

May 28th, 2008
Last Friday, my husband and I drove the kids to Dallas, Texas for my sister-in-law’s college graduation. I love to road trip - I like seeing different places and trying new adventures with the kids. And the destination always seems to end up in some type of party. We like to party almost as much as we like to road trip - okay, more.
Anyway, after the graduation, we went to one of our relative’s house for a barbeque. The kids jumped on a trampoline outside and the parents flowed from kitchen to family room meeting, greeting and eating.
Now, I’ve never really been the type of person to eat large quantities of food at one time - I’m more of what you’d call a grazer. I pick and snack in tiny quantities all day long. At large gatherings, like this barbeque, I usually get a plate with tiny amounts of salad, chicken, collard greens - you know… whatever is there. And throughout the course of the day or evening, I’d go back for another little bit of this-and-that. And I love dessert. I’m picky about the type of dessert I like, but homemade cakes and muffins and sweet rolls - mmmmm. Again, I normally cut a little sliver of this and a corner of that and walk around until I see something else I might want to try.
Well, something about this particular barbeque in Dallas had me doing more than swiping quick little bites here and there. Maybe it was the perpetual smell of roasting rib meat, or the aroma of homemade barbeque sauce, or the sight of barbeque baked beans in a huge roaster prepared for the mass of family and friends that would come through the kitchen in the coming hours. I don’t know what it was, but I could NOT stop eating! I mean I ate non-stop for about 2 hours. And it wasn’t healthy food either - it was straight meat and cake! I don’t even eat that much meat on a regular basis, so it was really weird.
I felt so guilty, I made my father-in-law take me to the grocery store to buy veggies for a salad, 2 bags of cherries, a container of strawberries and some baked tortilla chips and pretzels. Guilt and the fact that my 6-year old doesn’t eat meat and would starve if I didn’t get him something he would like.
Back at the house with my bags full of goodies, I felt better. I washed the fruit and mixed them in a colander. I tossed the veggies for a salad in a big bowl and put it on the island with a couple of salad dressing options. And I started eating - again. At least it was healthy food my body was used to consuming, so I didn’t feel so bad.
When the kids came in from outside, they didn’t ask for chicken, or ribs, or baked beans. They went straight for the fruit and bottled water and chips and pretzels. Within two hours, all of the healthy food was gone!
Now, I don’t know what any of this means, but I told my husband the next day (as I lay back in the bed holding my aching stomach), “I truly understand how challenging it is for some people to change their eating habits. If I lived in a house where the main food choices were good smelling, delicious looking, unhealthy food and there were rarely healthy options, I’d find it a real challenge to lose weight and stay healthy.” I think I have a better understanding of some of the challenges the kids and participants in my fitness classes and healthy living programs are dealing with.
I felt really guilty as I was continuing to cut bigger and bigger slices of lemon pound cake onto my paper plate. I kept eating even as I felt my stomach angrily growling and rolling over while I continued to eat the ribs and baked beans. I knew I was full and, yet, I still went back into the kitchen for more when the conversation in the family room ended. Stuffed to the max, I kept picking up chips from the dish on the table and munching on it as we sat around and talked about current events. If people feel like I felt those two days in Dallas every day, I can only imagine the guilt and frustration plaguing them.
Well, I’m back home now. I would like to report that I immediately went back to my healthy eating ways, but I can’t. My 12-year wedding anniversary was Monday and, of course, we had to celebrate. We had two different kinds of cakes and they were both delicious!!! But I only ate 2 pieces yesterday, and I haven’t had any today. I ran my usual 3.2 miles this morning and I’ve been busy in the office all day. I’m back on track with my eating and exercise routine, but I now have a better appreciation of the struggles to eat healthy.

Posted by Altheatized at 1:20 PM 0 comments

No comments:

Post a Comment