Friday, June 03, 2011

How I Overcame a Challenging Week for Weight Loss

In the past week, I have had to attend a retirement dinner, a post graduation brunch, an anniversary dinner and a post-graduation dinner.  With the exception of the anniversary dinner I did not have much control over any of the menus. Despite all the available fattening fried foods, I was able to stay on track every single one of those days.  Here's how I did it:

The Retirement Dinner
The challenge started when I realized we were having the retirement party at Mattito's, a local Tex-Mex restaurant that has some pretty tasty food. I had originally thought we were going to have a fajita bar and that I could simply get some of the grilled chicken with guacamole and veggies. I learned the day before we were having various appetizers, things like chimichangas, quesadillas, flautas and lots of chile con queso. I voiced my concerns to Rozana, one of my colleagues who had organized the event. She has been an avid supporter of my recent weight loss. She told me not to worry because she would call the manager and get me a special plate. So the night of the retirement party I managed to resist the queso (it wasn't easy because it looked so good). Rozana reminded the manager and out they came with a plate of grilled veggies and a grilled chicken breast. I added some guacamole and one cerveza with the meal and I still managed to stay under my budgeted points for the day. The key was the willingness to voice my concern and having an advocate to work out the details. Thanks Ro!

The Post-Graduation Faculty Brunch
I am in charge of organizing the faculty brunch after our school's graduation ceremony. Three years ago, with Mr. Palagonia's arrival as our new principal, we began having these faculty brunches at the Original Pancake House on Lemmon. The biggest challenge with planning to eat here was a lack of nutritional guide on their web site. (Note: I think will write a future post on some of the better restaurant's that post their nutritional guides on their web sites) Nevertheless, I knew they carried both egg whites and egg beaters as substitutes for all their dishes. Since we had to wait a bit before we were seated, I looked over the menu and determined I could substitute egg beaters for the eggs and still eat the migas without the cheese. Instead of ordering the regular pancakes, I ordered a small stack of buckwheat pancakes with sugar-free syrup. 

The Anniversary Dinner
I wrote in a previous post about the wonderful experience Stacey and I had celebrating our anniversary at Texas de Brazil. While the post may have suggested that we threw out point counting for the meal, we did not. For starters we both saved our "weekly points" for the special occasion. Secondly, we both ate low point meals prior to the dinner. Finally, I calculated the points for the cuts of meat I knew I would want to eat. I placed myself on a mental limit and when I hit that limit I turned the tab over to red and called it a night. I also chose to not eat dessert but instead enjoyed a bit more meat for the same amount of points.

The Post-Graduation Dinner
This Tuesday our youngest son Alec graduated from Calvary Christian Academy. We decided to celebrate his graduation tonight. We all gathered at our oldest son, Kevin's house. He and his wife Kate were wonderful hosts. The biggest key to success was communicating with Kevin in advance and asking if he could make his famous tacos with turkey or low fat ground beef. He opted for the 93/7 ground beef which got us in the ball park. Kate, having achieved her goal weight thru Weight Watchers last year, helped us by buying other WW friendly items like 2% Mexican cheese. Combined with these healthier choices, we made sure to also portion out reasonable servings and not create Dagwood tacos.

I am no expert and I have a long way to go to reaching my goal weight. I can only share the few things that have helped make this work for me. (My mantra has been if I can do this anyone can) First, when eating out, don't be afraid to ask for healthier substitutes. Secondly, plan ahead by budgeting points, checking menus and when possible look at nutrition guides. Finally, get friends and family to join in helping you. You might be pleasantly surprised at how willing they are.

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