It’s Thanksgiving week and I’m prepared to take a break from calorie counting on Turkey day. But today I had two papers due and a lot of stress around packing, checking pass conditions, getting the papers done, gas money, etc.
The morning started out normally. I ate two bananas and a granola bar throughout the morning hours and finished with classes at 3:00pm and was hungry. I headed down to the student union building to get my normal turkey sandwhich but as I walked in I inhaled the grease in the air from the burger station.
My first thoughts were “Just get the burger, you’ve been good, you deserve it. Don’t tator tots sound sooo good?” I wavered. Hmm not sure what the calorie counts are and don’t want to take the time to ask someone. My next thoughts were “Oh just don’t count the calories, just try to go easy with food later, who cares?”
I stopped dead in my tracks and realized this was the first significant test of my new eating lifestyle. It wasn’t the burger. I could have eaten the burger and tots and stayed under my calorie goal (just wouldn’t have had much for the rest of the day) but it was the attitude I had. “You deserve it” and “Who cares” were phrases that caught my attention. What I deserve is to be healthy and who cares? I DO.
I thought hard about the choice in front of me. I didn’t want to rule out the burger -there are no forbidden foods in my eating plan- but I also didn’t want to give up on thinking about nutrition and calories. I decided that I would enjoy the turkey sandwich and feel better about everything if I stuck to it and avoided the deep fried tator tots (fat bombs). I did enjoy the sandwich but still felt like there was something else… I thought really hard and tried to listen to my body. Am I hungry? No – the sandwich covered that. Thirsty? No, not really. What is my body saying?
As it turned out my body was saying “I am tired and I want something to comfort me on this cold stressful day.”
Ok now that I have heard my body what could I do about it? I had to go straight back to the computer lab and work on a paper that is due today. I really didn’t want to, most of my classmates are already on the road heading home for Thanksgiving and I wanted to be on my way as well. The brisk 35 degree weather would help wake me up as I walked back to the psych building but that didn’t seem like quite enough.
Finally I decided to splurge (financial splurge, not caloric) and get a tall non-fat latte. And it turned out it was just the thing! It tasted so warm and delicious, gave me a little caffeine burst, and was a comfort to me as I walked back to the lab.
The moral of this story is that I still need to carefully listen to what my body is really trying to tell me instead of just turning to my old standby – food.