Preparation is key July 3, 2007 at 12:35 pm

There is nothing like re-learning a lesson that I already learned to help drive a point home.  Over the last couple of weeks I had been sliding ever so slightly back into my old habits.  That just isn’t going to work for me long term.  When I try and wing-it I end up having less than desirable results.  Some examples are not preparing my lunch, counting on "meal replacement" snacks, and eating out.  In moderation none of the above would have a huge impact, but when combined with stress and emotional eating they are particularly effective ways for me to pack on poundage. 

When I don’t bring in my lunch to work I am at the mercy of the cafeteria.  We have a pretty good selection of food and I can avoid things like french fries and pizza without too much of an issue.  Part of this is I know what I will feel like the next day after I eat said crap.  The biggest problem is not knowing exactly what is going into my mouth.  Even when I just have a couple of chicken breasts cooked on the grill and a salad I still don’t fully know what is going into the meal prep.  That in and of its self isn’t a huge deal, but I still tend to over do it when eating out.  Proportions can be inflated and the conditioning to clean my plate still has an impact.  It is good in a pinch and it beats going hungry, but it isn’t optimal by any means. 

"Meal replacement" bars can be a double edged sword for me.  On one hand they are a convenient way to supplement  my morning or afternoon snacks.  However sometimes I can really over do them.  There are a number that I have proven just can not keep around the house.  Most granola types of bars can contribute to my over indulging.  I hate to admit it, but last week I was able to power through 6 BOXES of Odwalla bars.  That is over 72 bars.  I have NO doubt as to how THAT contributed to my weight gain over the last week.  The extended weekend before that?  I went through 3 full boxes of Clif Bars.  Before that I was powering through the PureFit bars too.  Given the time frame for the PureFit bars it would have happened with what ever I had around the house.  Over all, with all the extra calories I am VERY grateful that it didn’t cause even MORE gain!  I have to treat those things as a controlled substance around me.  They were MUCH better than cookies or ice cream, but still. 

Eating out is a problem area for me.  I know how to order well, but sometimes I just make poor choices.  Last Sunday was one of those days.  Over all and in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t nearly as bad as the Odwalla debacle, but I knew better and paid for my "sins" on Monday.  One Benefit of being in tune with my body is that I tend to recognize the impact that food has both on my mood and performance.  The four glasses of Strawberry Lemonade, Fries, and Chicken Burger tasted good going down, but I was zoned in the morning. 

My conclusion is that I really shouldn’t "stock up" on Clif Bars even if it is cheaper to buy them in bulk.  I’ll just stuff them down my neck in bulk.  Same goes for the other bars too.  I had a good track record with the PureFit bars until a few weeks ago.  I’ll give that one another shot some time, but for now I am just going to try and grab a few Clif Bar’s before my long rides and not keep them around the house. 

I am not happy with this turn of events and I am not getting complacent about it.  After experiencing close to skinny, I now "feel" the extra pounds.  Until recently I really didn’t have a frame of reference.  Now I do notice the extra 5-10 pounds.  I am certain part of that is the cycling clothes.  Jerseys tend to be a little unforgiving and I notice it a lot. 

So now I need to add snack preparation into my daily plans.  It is too dangerous (at times like now) for me to have certain food stuffs around.  I am better off having to plan the meals in advance.  Lesson learned! Again. 

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