This past Memorial Day holiday weekend Danny and I took the kids on what I thought felt like a 20 mile bicycle ride on Braes Bayou and into Hermann Park. We loaded up our healthy snacks, water bottles/coolers and hooked up Zoe’s bike buggy to my bike. We set out for a family fun afternoon spending quality time together. If you live in Houston, you really need to check out the new bike and jogging trails along the bayou. It was quite an adventure for us. Although it was hot, we had fun exploring a part of Houston that we had no idea existed. There are bridges across the bayou, wide smooth concrete trails and most of all, nice picnic areas too.
The ride was a lot of work. Pulling a 25 pound 3 year old in a buggy behind your bike is not easy. Especially when you are going up and down hills from street level to bayou level. So although it actually turned out to be only 8 miles round trip, I have every reason to think it was 20. Considering our tough ride Saturday afternoon, we decided to treat ourselves to Southwell’s Hamburgers on Monday. Yes, I could have actually chosen the grilled chicken sandwish or the veggie burger, but I wanted a real hamburger. My goal is to eat healthy and clean, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy something not so clean once in a while. The key to that statement is “once-in-a-while”. That doesn’t mean that everytime we bike 8 plus miles I deserve a big greasy burger or a decadent piece of chocolate cake. It doesn’t mean that every children’s birthday party or holiday that I am entitled to pizza and cake. All those little life events add up. It does mean that you have to plan, set yourself up for success by not giving yourself absolute rules of sacrifice if it is a food you enjoy. If you tell yourself that you can never eat ice cream and you love ice cream, you WILL FAIL. I can guarantee it. There are a few tips to help you succeed (remember it is a lifestyle, not a diet):
1. find better bad choices to replace the really bad-for-you-foods (i.e. sugar-free/fat-free jello pudding with lite whipped topping instead of chocolate ice cream)
2. Plan ahead of time. If you know there is a big event that you are attending and you want to be a part of the food festivities, eat really extraspecially clean the day before and the day of. Plan an extra intense workout, or make a game plan before you go to the party to set your hard and fast limits (ie, I want dessert, so I am not going to eat the burger and hot dogs- I will eat a salad before I go or when I am there).
3. ALWAYS remember that just because you have endulged at that meal, you don’t have to lose control for the rest of the day or weekend and tell yourself, “I will get back on track on Monday”. You have to get right back on track for the next meal and pat yourself on the back for not losing control.
It takes time to build up habits. Pretty soon some of the foods you used to love, will begin to be not so appetizing. PLUS after a while your body will start to tell you that it doesn’t like that fatty food anymore. Good luck on making your better bad choices this week.