A happy-hour test

Tuesday, June 29, 2011

 I’M HOME AFTER a happy-hour session with some colleagues and former colleagues at a bar/restaurant near work.  I’m happy to say that, according to my calculations, I have managed to stay within my Weight Watchers point allowance. I went two points over my daily allowance but I still have plenty of my weekly points, so I’m not concerned about that.

I feel more than a bit of pride over that, but I’m also a bit concerned because I had planned to go on another bike ride after work today (I had forgotten about the get-together), and this means I’ll only have two long bike rides under my belt this week (tomorrow after work I go to the gym for a session with my trainer, and I plan to do some cardio work before and/or after, so that should ease the guilt a bit, but Friday night I’m going out with friends to celebrate a birthday, so no bike ride then either).

But I can’t obsess over the possible pitfalls and negatives. I need to celebrate today’s accomplishment. A huge one, because I know that events such as this are what have led to my failures in the past. I always tell myself that I’ll be able to do OK on Coke or club soda, or on just one or two glasses or wine, and that I won’t let one nibble of the happy-hour snacks lead to a gorging. It never works and I end up having drunk to much and eaten too much and then going home and eating some more because:

1)    Alcohol makes me want to eat more.

2)    I have failed once more so why not make it a full-blown failure? What in the world made me think I could do it in the first place when I know I don’t have the willpower?

3)    One night off the program won’t make that much of a difference and I can always start anew tomorrow.

4)    Man, I really blew it tonight and I do want to stay on program and I know I will do it – tomorrow – but tonight I want to blot out my sorrow over being a failure in more food and more alcohol.

5)    Or one of many, many other rationalizations.

It doesn’t really matter which one I pull off the shelf, or take out of my drawer; they all amount to the same thing: the end of the effort until, weeks or months later, I can’t fit into my clothes and I feel and look like shit and I drag my fat ass back to Weight Watchers.

But, somehow, tonight was different. Yes, I stayed for the full happy-hour session. Yes, I drank and yes I ate, but, as I have said, it was all within the WW program.

And it was possible because I planned ahead (I was actually planning ahead for Friday night because, as I said, I had forgotten about tonight’s commitment). I skipped the toast and jam for breakfast and I cut extra thin the slices of bread I used in my avocado sandwich, and instead of using half of the avocado (4 points), I used a third. I ate a bigger salad than I eat most days for lunch and in between meals I had veggies and fruits, all of which were zero points, so I still had a nice large number of points that I took with me to the happy-hour gathering.

I had two glasses of wine (you’d be surprised how long a glass of wine can last when you take small sips instead of gulping it down!) and a veggie, cheese and avocado sandwich. I also had a very nice gazpacho, which I almost sent back after it arrived looking like a tomato bisque. The waitress assured me, however, that it had no cream or milk and, sure enough, when I tasted it, it was pure tomato and cucumbers.

My friends had calamari, tacos, chicken wings and other enticing stuff, but I stuck with what I ordered.

And when I got home, instead of opening a bottle of wine or tapping into the bottle of Flor de Cana (Nicaraguan dark rum), I poured some iced tea into a tall glass and sliced up a peach and threw that into the glass, along with some blueberries, and that was my treat, my reward for being good.

And I sat down to write this, an added incentive to continue being good, because I knew that if I was writing about staying true to the program, I couldn’t very well go back to my old ways.

THIS DOESN’T MEAN that I’m not concerned about what the scale will show Saturday. I still have Friday night’s dinner party to deal with. I’m pretty sure I’ll do well there, but I guess I’m concerned because I’ve already used more of the weekly points than I normally do, and I may not have as many activity points as I do most weeks.

But if I don’t lose, and even if I stay the same or have a slight gain, I will know that it’s just one of the quirks of the program and the scale, that it will have little or nothing to do with my efforts. I have been true to the program and I have been true to myself. And for that, I thank all of you once more.



About juanzqui7

Former Texas reporter, columnist and editorial writer.
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