Tag Archives: holidays

the trouble with home-cooked meals

7 Aug

A multiple choice question for you.

When trying to maintain a healthy diet, which would you prefer:

A.  a home-cooked meal

B. eating at a restaurant

Prior to last week, I would have chosen (without a second thought) choice A.

With “A” I have more control and much less temptation.  There are no surprises, and I know exactly what I am about to eat and how that might affect my progress on this weight loss journey.

The sad realization is that there is a BIG problem with choosing “A”.  “A” not only includes a home cooked meal prepared in the safety of your own house where you can read labels and substitute less than desirable ingredients with higher fiber/lower fat alternatives.  No, what lurks in the “A” category are home cooked meals made by our friends and family.  Meals cooked with love and all the good intentions to leave you feeling satisfied.  Meals that unfortunately also  threaten to sabotage your efforts to eat healthier.

Think about this for a second, because this is a rude awakening that I had last week.  TB had family in town.  When family is in town that means one thing…a lot of  family meals and gatherings.  Restaurants, our house, his parent’s house, his brother’s new girlfriend’s house..you get the picture.  It’s what I could best describe as a “Taste of” festival of nonstop eating, drinking and reckless abandonment of the rules I’ve learned and the path I so desperately need and want to take.

By the time this love fest ended, I was left feeling sick and less than satisfied.

I hoisted myself onto the scale to see digits that had disappeared weeks ago.  Oh…SO NOT WORTH IT!

Which is why I am asking you guys this very important question.  What do you do when faced with a home-cooked meal at someone else’s house?  Do you just go with the flow in fear of insulting them?  Do you mention that you’re trying to eat healthier and imply that they clearly are not.  What an awkward situation.

I tried to make healthy decisions as much as I could, but honestly can say I was simply not prepared for what was transpiring.  The thought never occurred to me that having people in town could get me so off track.

The nights we went out for dinner at local restaurants were much easier than those nights of sitting around a table with Thanksgiving like portions of lasagna, cheesy garlic bread, caesar salad with loads of dressing and vegetables dripping with butter.  Good Grief!  Not to mention the desserts, wine, and sugary after-dinner coffees!

At least at a restaurant I can plan ahead, try to find the nutritional value of the meal prior to leaving the house and have a tight game plan.

The only thing I know now is that after last week this girl desperately needs an action plan for these dangerous home-cooked meals.  Anyone have any suggestions?

Longing for a way to see the glass half full, I did see one tiny silver lining in this past week.  I felt miserable.  I was bloated, my body ached and I felt absolutely BLAH!  It literally felt like I was hungover from food.  I know it may seem weird that I am calling this my silver lining, but it really is!  I’ve eaten like this before (too many times to count).  The difference…I can recognize that it makes me feel bad.  You see, prior to this journey I thought that blah, bloated feeling was normal.  At least it was MY normal.  Feeling sluggish and tired and just all together crummy was status quo.  This realization gives me hope.  I can literally feel the damage that I am doing to my body.  I feel as though for the first time I am aware of bad decisions and can hear my body talking back.  And believe me…it is NOT happy!

So, my point (600+ words later) is to warn you: Don’t be fooled by a home cooked meal.  They are not all created equal…and some are much worse than what you’d find at a restaurant.  But seriously, if anyone has any suggestions on how to handle yourself when faced with plates of calories and evil temptations…please let me know.  After this week, I’ve decided that I want a solid holiday game plan.  I know we’re months away from the holidays, but never too early to prepare!  I’m going to need some preparation and LOTS of practice to say no thank you, no sir and no ma’am!