25th July, 2014
The wonderful summer weather continues and there have been plenty of family-and-friends gatherings which Lovely Husband and I have attended over the past couple of weeks. My parents also came to stay for a week and, with the exception of four hours on Saturday, the sunshine has been non-stop.
It was a great opportunity to get some up-to-date photos for the family album (yes… we do have digital photos, but for me there is something very relaxing about having “hard copy” pictures and slotting them into “old fashioned” albums and the pleasure continues whenever I take the albums out to flick through.
However, over the past couple of years, I have featured less and less in the photographs, much preferring to volunteer to take the pictures to avoid actually appearing in them. Most of this is due to the fact that I didn’t like the way I looked and I didn’t like the way I looked because I was overweight.
Seeing the evidence of my expansion captured forever in a family photo was not pleasant but it did provide part of the impetus I needed to do something about my increasing “heft”.
Although I still have some way to go, I am now at the point where I will allow myself to be included in the snapshots – I am much closer to the shape I want to be (and the photographs provide good “physical” evidence that I am definitely on the right track). However, I do need to still take care; particularly when it comes to social events… which more-often-than-not revolve around food.
The past few weeks have presented the perils of barbecue; the “cold collation (a phrase I first came across when fancy lawyers wanted me to order a “cold finger food buffet”…. I thought it so pompous it was great and so the Hudson clan always refer to it as “cold collation” (said in our best Received Pronunciation) and, perhaps the most perilous of all for me… the cheeseboard.
In the past I have not exercised great self-control when it came to portion size at such events. More often than not I would not even have a plate; I would simply spend hours picking at the food spread in front of me, and as such had little or no idea of how much I had actually eaten.
I would wander round eating a burger and as soon as it was gone would find myself heading in search of a sausage in a bun... but if I happened to pass the sticky chicken wings en route ...I would undoubtedly help myself to them as well.
However I have learned that my past habits played a huge part in my weight increase and so my weight loss journey has been as much about changing those habits as it has been about changing what I eat.
I knew that the gathering for my Aunt’s birthday last weekend was going to feature a sumptuous buffet. I remembered past parties at my cousin’s house and recalled that they always featured a cheese board of mammoth proportions (with equally huge amounts of grapes; pate and biscuits-for-cheese).
I knew that this party would be no different but, with the benefit of WLR wisdom, I knew what to do to minimise the effect on the scales without taking away any of the enjoyment of the day.
I arrived at the party clutching a selection of cheese; biscuits and grapes which I had picked up at my local supermarket. All the cheese was the reduced-or-low fat variety; the biscuits were similarly labelled and I had enough seedless grapes to make up my entire five-a-day. However, once it was all out of the packets there was nothing to show that the food was “low-cal” or “diet so I made up the “secondary cheeseboard” and made sure it was placed close to where I was sitting.
I also made sure I had a plate. I filled my plate with WLR-approved cheese and crackers and grabbed a generous handful of grapes. I cut the cheese into thin slices or small chunks and ate it slowly. I didn’t feel deprived but I also had a good idea of exactly how much I had eaten.
I continued to minimise the calorie intake by remaining “on the wagon” (some of you will recall that I gave up % in drinks in support of LH who is still proudly a non-smoker). I brought grape and elderflower sparkling waters and poured it into a long glass with ice and a slice and a cocktail stirrer for effect. It was cool and refreshing and, as the temperature was nearly 30°, just what was needed. (And I have to admit that it was nice to once again wake up the morning after with a clear head, not feeling fragile and dehydrated).
We have another celebration to attend tomorrow. This time it will be a barbecue. I will be taking fishcakes and home-made coleslaw. I have learned that I do not need a “bread products” … a chicken skewer (with lovely roasted onions and peppers) and a generous helping of salad is food of the gods. I will ensure that it all goes on a plate and it will be enjoyed with more glasses of cooling cordial.
I will also ensure that the day is captured for posterity in a wide range of photographs and as well as being behind the lens... I fully intend to be in the front of some of the photos with a big smile on my face as I “say Cheese”.
Here’s to a wonderful WLR weekend for all.
With a hug