• Lijing Cobb

Food: to eat or not to eat?

Now that I've made peace with 115 (see previous post), I had an interesting experiment yesterday with my food choices. My friends, I'm writing this post with a smile on my face and lightness in my heart. This is called foreshadowing (insert laughing emoji here).

My best friend was visiting with her two young kids and our plan was to take all our 5 kids to a bowling alley. While making the reservation, we made the shocking discovery that reserving two lanes without food was going to cost us $380, but if we took advantage of their "package" where the two lanes came with food and drinks, the price went DOWN to $280. It was almost a no brainer, although I did spend a few minutes pondering the conundrum of the price difference. Is the bowling alley telling me that they are paying us $100 to eat there?

When we got there, the nice young attendant asked us when we would like to have our food served. I was starving! So we said, immediately. When the food materialized, we had two cheese pizzas, a tray of chicken fingers, a tray of french fries, honey mustard and ketchup in two big bowls, two jugs of iced tea and lemonade, two jugs of water.

If you know me, you would know that I didn't eat pizza, chicken fingers, and french fries all at the same time. I would have been mortified if I had done it before yesterday. Every bite I take would have been encoded with the damning word "bad"(perhaps repeated to infinity) as the morsels travel through my digestive system. If pizza, chicken fingers, and french fries met me at a social, they would have kept their distance because of my stern exterior. The vibe would have been all wrong. It's best for everyone that we didn't mingle.

But my bet is that the trio enjoyed my company as much I enjoyed theirs yesterday. When we made the reservation I knew that those were the only items they served, that if I wanted to be paid to eat there I had no other choices but these. Yet before we departed for our noon reservation, I didn't eat anything the health expert would have approved of. Again, if you know me (check with my husband), you'd know that prior to yesterday I would have finished my healthy lunch before departure. I was ready to throw myself to the wolves.

The wolves turned out to be not so scary after all. As I approached the food table, all items stood on the table peacefully, harmlessly, waiting for me to pick them up, or not. I knew I would not enjoy the sweet beverages, so I chose water. Chicken fingers looked crispy and non-greasy, so I got a few pieces and honey mustard on the side (I love honey mustard!). French fries could be a hit (crispy) or miss (soggy), so I put just a few pieces on my plate to try. A slice of pizza.

When the trio met on a plate in MY hand, the vehicle my world travels in made a turn. We are now on a path to discover and enjoy new pastures.

The chicken fingers were delicious. Crispy on the outside, moist inside. I got more of those, several times. The pizza was also good, just the right amount of cheese and tomato sauce with a thin crust. I got another slice. The french fries were more welcome on the kids' plates than mine, so I let them be. We ate as we bowled and talked, and I drank plenty of water. When I felt full, I had two more tiny pieces of chicken fingers just to make sure, and then concluded my culinary adventure with a big smile on my face.

When we got home, my bestie and I treated ourselves to 67 minutes of yoga. Then I made a spicy stir fry of bok choy, oyster mushrooms, and bean curd puffs for dinner, which we devoured. While getting food ready for us to eat, I had a generous serving of pomegranate seeds for their fiber and antioxidants. Pretty standard stuff for a fitness professional.

But then we sat down for cards at 9:30pm, and the card game lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes. My bestie (a food scientist by the way) had brought a plate of brownies she'd just made, and it sat on the card table to the left of me with the patience of a saint. All that was separating the brownies and me was a thin film of saran wrap. We were all drinking a digestive tea. My husband was eating sunflower seeds. My bestie had finished her wine, and my daughter, who filled in as the fourth player, was happily learning the game. No one tempted me to eat the brownies.

I stood up from the table, got an unopened bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon and a shot glass, poured myself a glass. Bourbon makes me calm and happy. As I sipped away on my fiery drink, I peeled the thin film off the glass pan containing the brownies, and cut a small bite to go with my drink. My daughter joined me in the brownie consumption immediately. My other daughter came in for a bite as well. My husband took a few bites. The food scientist refrained (what the heck! What does she know that we didn't know???). By the time the card game was over (I won, by the way, hehe), the brownies had completely changed residence and moved into a happier place.

I laid my head on my pillow at 11:20pm. I was happy with my choices.

This morning when I got up and stepped onto my faithful scale, the number was 118.9. If you remember from yesterday's post, my dear readers, I weighed 119.1 yesterday morning.

Food: to eat or not to eat? My experiment yesterday was, in a lot of ways, antithetical to what I had learned and chosen to believe in and follow for the past 20 years or so. But these are extraordinary times when bowling alleys pay you to eat and food scientist bakes brownies to bring to you and doesn't eat any of it herself. Sometimes choices have to be made and it could turn out that you eat all the "wrong" things in the "wrong" way and still enjoy the heck out of it and lose weight (my math is impeccable as a Chinese person: 119.1-118.9=0.2 loss).

Here is what I distill the lesson of the day, and smart readers, you've already guessed it. Rules are nice to have in life. Knowledge is power. Knowing eating deep fried foods is not good for your health can save your life. And brownies at your elbow at 10pm most likely leads to brownies in your belly at 10:45. But when I laid my head on my pillow at 11:20pm, I was happy with my choices. I had no regrets or guilt. I fully enjoyed my day and would do it again.

I lived, my friends, a mindful day. A day where I gave myself permission, stayed in the moment, and enjoyed the story as it unfolded. I didn't plan my calories. I was respectful towards the food choices that presented themselves (you certainly cannot let the food scientist carry her brownies back home, even if she didn't eat any of it herself. What the heck?). I showed myself plenty of kindness, not violence. I loved myself.

That, I trust, is the secret to my weight loss (insert crazy laughing emoji with tears rolling down the cheeks).

Wait, did I mention that my daughter made chocolate chip pancakes yesterday morning while I typed away at my computer, and my son brought a couple of them upstairs for me? When they asked me if I wanted some, I had automatically said no, but then asked myself, why not? Upon hearing no good answer from myself, I yelled downstairs, "wait! I'll take one! Maybe two!"

Oh the trio!

Proof that there were two moms taking pictures at the same time. Not a good idea if you want all of them to look the same direction!

65 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All