It is so much fun to be in the grocery store loading up with green, orange, red, yellow, and blue nature-created foods. Sometimes they come in packages -- I'm a splurger for convenience -- but it is delightful to cultivate that feeling that I'm doing something so good for my body!
It's been a week of holding pattern. My indulgences have changed, though. I still haven't had any cakes, cookies, or ice cream, even when those all around me were having them, but with a spontaneous weekend getaway with DH and then with a conference, I discovered that my previous success at out of town dining was due to some good combination of circumstances. And I didn't have those.
On the trip with DH, I researched the vegan offerings in the town. I think we partook of all of them. We ignored the sweets shops as we passed them. I "indulged" by having an extra grain or corn serving, for instance. I also had some beer and wine, but even so didn't use those as an excuse for tons of processed food.
On the final day we stopped by a take-out place that served such offerings as steamed kale and hummus sandwiches. Again I had more bread servings than usual, and turns out some of the vegetable dishes had lots of oil. But I still cannot call any of this a true indulgence. We made good choices.
At the conference this week, I discovered that eating vegetarian (as I've been for over a decade) is downright simple compared to eating vegan. I asked the conference organizer the night before about the offerings for breakfast and lunch. She said she expected several vegetarians and just mention it to the server. Breakfast was fairly easy, just fruit. But lunch! Start with a salad, try to ignore the shaved parmesan on it. Accidentally ate a crouton that felt like biting into some rich Italian dish.
Then the server came with the chicken-n-pasta. I waved it off with a "no chicken, please" and he immediately said, "oh, vegetarian?" and was off again to bring me the richest, cheesiest lasagna I'd seen in a long while. One of my co-workers was sitting with me (he has lost 52 pounds this year himself). I don't want to be the difficult one, you know? I scooped off some of the fresh tomato sauce on top. Then I picked around inside the lasagna and found the few vegetables. I realized that wasn't going to cut it. We had to track down a server to come back, and I asked for a second salad. (I had a packet of fruit-and-nuts -- not the best thing in the world, but a small something I could add to the salad). The cake dessert sat on the table the whole time; I didn't even consider having it. I flagged down the server again and asked if I could just have a cup of berries. He brought them and they were delicious.
So I think I survived that okay. The reception that night included nothing that wasn't fried or cheesy or meaty. Even the asparagus had ham on it. I didn't eat. I did have wine. I was just at the point of contemplating the black bean quesadillas, cheese and all, when the co-worker bit into one and found shrimp. He's allergic to shrimp. Fortunately no anaphylactic (sp?) hospital trips, but I made myself content with the wine.
Wish I could say every night was that successful. I had some salty concoction that I'm not sure I even wanted, but I still avoided all baked goods.
Due to all this -- and the alcohol -- I basically held the same on the scale throughout week 4. I'm okay with that. I'm considering adding a week to the end of my six, so that I can feel like I did six full weeks of it, even with the weird week in the middle.
Now, I'm wondering why I'm putting all this down on electrons? I'm not looking for castigation or praise (please, really), but I'm just saying I'm human. This Eat to Live plan is a difficult path I've chosen, compared to the American way of life, and it's far more difficult than junk-food vegetarianism. Despite the numerous challenges, I still feel successful. Got my first compliment of a "you're losing weight" kind this week, too. And I feel victorious every time I check out at the grocery store with a cart full of mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, grapes, cherries, and broccoli slaw.