Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Knowledge is POWER!

birthday week 024

I have so many things to post--some fun little tips and recipes--but I wanted to share something that's been on my mind first!

This week is my birthday--and with birthdays comes all the birthday freebies, and big dinners and indulgent desserts. I felt quite nervous with it approaching--not really sure what to expect, and NOT wanting to gain weight or make bad choices.

I always go on special dates with each of my kids to use up some of my b-day freebies--and so when I went out with my daughter to Baskin Robins the other day, I did a little research--checked out the points in certain icecream, tried to decide what I was going to get. I was shocked to see that it was 8-9 points for most of the ice cream selections--but not so surprised when I saw the scoop in the bowl, because it really was substantially more than the 1/2 C serving size I would do at home--even for the one scoop. And I really wasn't willing to spend 9 points on a dish of ice cream.

My daughter offered to share, and I felt that was a good, happy-medium solution. :) So we shared. And the whole experience was more about our time together, like I wanted it to be, than it was about the ice cream.

Fast forward to Monday night--when we went out as a family to Red Robin for my free birthday burger. I had sworn off eating out at places like that for the past few months, knowing most everything was unhealthy. And while I know I could have swapped out my burger for chicken and gone without fries, I also know that I don't eat burgers often--and that it is okay to treat yourself sometimes! This was one of those times for me...

I had looked ahead at the nutritional facts (check out their site! It's super cool!!) and knew what burger I wanted. After plugging it in to my points+ calculator, and about falling off my chair with how many points it would be, I wrote in my tracker right then the amount of points it would be for 1/2 a burger and a serving of fries. I figured if I was still hungry, I would order a side of fruit. That allowed me to track backwards, so to speak. Knowing I would have a bigger dinner, and taking the points out ahead of time, let me know how many points I would have left for the day--so I chose lower point options like soup, and had a smoothie as a snack, because I knew it would help keep me full through the afternoon.

Dinner was SO delicious--and we all enjoyed ourselves. My husband had the other half of my burger, and I realized once I was there that there was NO WAY I could have eaten that whole burger by myself anymore. Half was plenty....if not more than plenty!!

It truly felt so liberating. to be able to eat out--whether it be ice cream or burgers--and know that while they are foods I don't want to eat every day anymore, I CAN EAT THEM, and I can still lose weight or maintain weight doing so--because I took the time to KNOW what I was putting in my mouth and decide how much of it I wanted to eat.

By the same token, some of those things you assume are healthy and couldn't possibly be very high in points, will often be shocking! It's ironic to think that a burger and a salad could be the same points+ values...but it happens!

Guess that's the key--knowledge is power--it gives you the information to make the right choices for YOU--whether to splurge, or celebrate, or just eat more than you thought possible in your everyday foods. You just never know until you find out!!

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Are you up for a challenge?

Look up 5 items this week that you don't know the pts + values of--whether it's a snack you used to eat or something you've sworn off because you assumed it wouldn't fit in on your weight loss journey, or a meal at your favorite restaurant...look up the nutritional information (many websites offer it, or you can often google it and get lots of great information) and figure out the points! I promise you will feel a great sense of freedom by not blindly guesstimating--and by being able to fit that forbidden treat in every now and then.


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