Sunday, September 11, 2011

Football = Food

Weight Watchers is hard if you have any semblance of a social life. On days where I do nothing but go to work and go home, I rarely have a problem sticking within my 29 points. Sure, I still have to think about what I eat and make different choices than I would have a month ago, but I feel like I can generally still eat good foods and not feel totally deprived.

Days/nights when I go out are a different story. It is HARD to make good choices and to go without the foods that have become second nature to me to order. Weekly happy hours have become strategy sessions and pure tests of will power. Now that football season has started, that's even more the case. I go out to watch football with my friends nearly every week. And that involves beer, wings, burgers, etc. Foods that, to me, are as synonymous with football as turkey is with Thanksgiving. I figured out that last year, I averaged about 100 WW points in a single Football Sunday outing. That's a whole day's worth of points, plus the whole week of bonus points, plus almost another whole day. In an 8 hour span or so. Wow.

What I really like about WW compared to other "diet" programs is that you can eat what you want. There are no "forbidden fruits". No one saying I can't eat carbs, or fats, or chocolate, or whatever. And I like that. But going out and participating in the rituals that I've become used to has shown me that while it's true that I don't have to deny myself any of those things, they sure as hell add up. By halftime of the first game today, I'd already consumed 29 points. That's my entire day's points. With 5 buffalo wings and two pints of Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat. That's it. A whole day's worth of points. For food and beer that took no time at all to consume. What?? Yesterday I was home all day and had a hard boiled egg, a can of tuna with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, some homemade whole wheat tortilla chips, a buffalo chicken quesadilla, a fresh strawberry margarita, and a Weight Watchers ice cream bar for the same amount of points. Which is a better option? All of that, or what I consumed today in no time at all?

It's all about decisions and making choices about how best to use my points. Yes, I enjoyed my wings and beers, but because I'd already used up my 49 weekly points between happy hour and my friend's birthday on Friday, that meant that anything else I consumed for the rest of the day would be eating into my activity points. I earned 27 activity points this week, and wanted to save them so that any exercise was a bonus on top of my better eating and would accelerate my weight loss. I didn't want to touch them. But I did. I touched all 27 because of the things that I felt I "needed" to have to go along with a football game. And I ate two more points than I had. Which meant that when I got home, I needed to do a second workout today, just to earn a few more points and bring myself out of the negative. It's only week one and there's a lot of season left, so I've got to figure out how to balance the experience and atmosphere of watching football with some of my best friends with the knowledge that I cannot overdo it as much as I did this week. I'm hoping I didn't blow it for weigh in tomorrow, but even if I didn't, I may not be so lucky next time!

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