Saturday, September 5

Live healthy: living healthy and letting your hair down

What is the balance between living healthy and letting your hair down?

I've been letting my hair down a lot for past couple days.

My three brothers and I and some of their families got together Thursday night for the opening of the college football season. Not only was the food great, there was a lot of it that is virtually irresistible to me. There was a buffalo chicken dip that was amazing. Then we had bratwurst boiled in beer and grilled (I did succeed in having only one of those) with a side of tortilla chips and Rotelle. The drinks were Woodchuck green apple hard cider and Marietta Old Vines Red. Later in the night, we had brownie sundaes.

Needless to say, I enjoyed all of these foods quite a bit!

Then, yesterday was our anniversary. We had shakes yesterday and we're going out to eat tonight. I've eaten pretty moderately today, even passing up a drink at Starbucks this morning.

So, where does all this celebrating fit into healthy living?

One observation: the virtually irresistible sides the other evening were also virtually inexhaustible. It would have taken a ton of willpower to stop eating them. It wasn't like going out to eat where there is usually a limited quantity of food and I can pull the 'save half for later' trick.

But what I really want to say in this post is I think there is a place for letting your hair down and celebrating. In fact, if you're taking the new common model of 'how do thin people eat', they indulge sometimes.

Now, it will certainly slow down my weight loss, and I may certainly lament my celebrations later. The number on the scale this morning was not a good one. But it will start coming back down again soon, and a little bit faster at first, since I've been at 204.5 recently.

Over time, I'd like to get better at curtailing my celebrations a little bit, not overdoing it. I probably need to go into them with more of a plan. With the buffalo chicken dip and the the Rotelle, I really should have served myself some on a plate, enjoyed it and stopped when I was done instead of eating out of the bowl (obviously!).

And there is certainly a balance to be struck with not letting the emphasis on living healthy, including some celebrations and the de-emphasis on weight loss, become a rationalization. But I think this balance can be achieved and should be aimed for.

You can make a pretty good argument that such balance contributes positively to the maintenance of living healthy, that it helps make it more sustainable.

So, what do you think? Am I just kidding myself here? How do you living healthy with celebrations that include food?


deichmans said...

Never regret a celebration! You may be striving for healthy living, but you're not dead -- don't expect a perfect gradual slide into your objective weight. You should be perfectly happy with the minor speed bumps, knowing that you are in control and can reverse these minor, all-too-worth-it setbacks quickly.

Sean Meade said...

good advice, Shane!

Unknown said...

Hey, Sean:

Don't give up celebrating (a.k.a. indulging). It's a natural rhythm in life. Our problem generally in the USA has been to celebrate constantly. Moderation alternating with celebration is a very good thing. I heard a colleague say something that I liked related to this topic: "Everything in moderation, including deprivation."


Sean Meade said...

don't worry, Bryan. i don't think i could give up indulging if i tried. good advice :-)