Readers of this blog know that I don’t like the term “Cheat Days”. I don’t view my journey toward better health as something where I can cheat my way to success. I don’t think in terms of staying on a diet, or cheating it, because ultimately the only person I would be cheating is myself. My belief is that when I make choices about food – good or bad – that I have to own those choices and move on to a new day, or a new meal, or a new urge.
This weekend my wife and I went on our last camping trip of the summer. We were out with 3 other families, and 3 other friends that came along individually. Altogether there were 17 people occupying 4 campsites. As often happens in these kinds of gatherings, each family that was assigned a meal did their best to put out a great spread. The result was quite a lot of really yummy food. Some of it was quite friendly to the notion of losing weight, and some was not. And, with a gathering of folks around a campfire, there were also a few beers to be consumed.
I decided when I arrived on Friday night that this was going to be a weekend of indulgence. At my Friday weigh in I was down 84 pounds since the start of this journey. That isn’t my end goal by any means, but it is nothing to sneeze at. All too soon the leaves will change and the opportunities to be in the outdoors with this group will be overtaken by winter winds. With that in mind, I made some choices this weekend
- I decided that tasting the fantastic Apple Cobbler on Friday night was a very good thing.
- I decided that one tablespoon of ice cream with that cobbler wasn’t going to be the end of the world
- I decided that a few beers at the campfire Friday, and a few more while we played indoor games on a rainy Saturday was going to be fun
- I decided that home made chex mix was delicious and I was going to enjoy a reasonable portion of them on Saturday night
- I decided that the farmer’s breakfast I made in the dutch oven, and my wife’s pineapple upside down breakfast were too good to miss
- I decided that a bratwurst and some bean salad would be fine at lunch on Saturday
- And I decided that corned beef, potatoes and cabbage were a fantastic way to have dinner with these amazing people.
If I’d not been camping some of those meals would have gone differently. But, while I was on this trip I let go of my constant counting, and just enjoyed my friends and family. I came back home yesterday with the full knowledge that when I do step back on the scale I might not like what I see. When and if that happens, I will think back to the weekend and smile. I will remember the laughter, the love, the friendship, and the camaraderie. And, yes, I will remember the food.
There is this catchy little phrase that says that nothing tastes as good as thin feels. I guess it is true if the thing you are tasting is something you have every day. Being thin feels better than the taste of daily over indulgence. But for one, sweet, wonderful weekend, nothing will feel better to me than that camping trip. If it means I am up this week for my weight, then so be it.
I didn’t start this journey to deny myself of pleasure for the rest of my life.