Hot chips, easter eggs, gnocchi and me

Sunday, February 23, 2014 Permalink

This post could have gone either way so, for the record, I’m very relieved THIS is the version you’re reading.


Last Thursday I was feeling very ordinary. My sleep patterns were screwy all week and I woke with sinus-like headache pain which wasn’t improved with diet coke (a rarity in my world).

It was a short day in the office – only about 4 or so hours and a couple of hours of my own stuff at home – so mid afternoon I went back to bed for a nap before heading to an early evening women’s networking event. If I’d been able to pull the plug on the outing I would have, but I’d RSVPd and would have felt bad not attending and paying my share.

I felt a little better after my nap but still very blah. The combination of my headache, a downtrodden mood from slow weight loss, guilt over not exercising and lack of dinner preparation for a late return home later left me ripe for corruption and waywardness.

It was in this fragile state I started fantasising: hot chips from the local takeaway? Not just a few but heaps! Or easter eggs? Long term readers will know I love (love love) Red Tulip easter eggs which must surely be in stores by now. Or maybe both: hot chips AND easter eggs? A big binge night to knock me out of my doldrums and reignite my enthusiasm for a healthier me.

It would blow my Weight Watchers ProPoints (my daily allowance) out of the water, but… heaps of other people skip tracking their food and points for a day, so why not me?! Indeed, the old me used to let-loose every so often when ‘dieting’.

There’s nothing like the excitement in the lead up to a binge. I was reminded of the anticipation once planning commenced, along with the nagging guilt and sanity which was already starting to seep into my mind.

I survived the event, happily networked and hopped in my car 90 minutes later. Do I go to the supermarket? I wondered. Or do I order my chips so they’re waiting? Or, do I order my chips from the supermarket while shopping? I felt depressed AND guilty over an act I hadn’t yet committed. It was a familiar feeling but one I’d not experienced for a couple of months.

As it happened I came home; driving straight past the fish and chip shop which was open and not busy (ie. calling out for my business).

I didn’t feel a sense of achievement, however. I felt depressed. Despondent. Hopeless (the idea of living in a world without-hope).

I got a piece of steak out of the freezer to start defrosting and ran a bath. Whether it’s because I live alone and have no one to talk to about this stuff, or cos I’m an oversharer, I tweeted and Facebooked my thoughts and feelings.

Screen shot 2014-02-23 at 11.07.56 AM

I didn’t actually see the responses to my cry for help rant until later, but appreciated them more than words can say.

I wallowed in the bath for a while, thinking of my defrosting steak that I was yet to cook. And then I remembered…

I had some gnocchi. Gluten-free stuff which had been in my cupboard for months. Although only my trigger foods are off-limits at home (hot chips, chocolate, rice crackers, biscuits etc) I’ve eaten no pasta and minimal rice since starting Weight Watchers because they don’t offer a lot of bang for the ProPoints buck. Half a cup of rice has 4 points, whereas I could eat 250 grams of potatoes for the same amount of points. And cos I love potatoes they win every time. As a result, the thought of gnocchi was quite appealing: not an ‘everyday’ food; but not a binge food or something to be avoided.

Of course I KNEW I would eat the entire package which would mean I’d go over my points allowance, but I was fairly zen about that.

My mood lifted. I microwaved some onion, garlic and tomatoes and added tinned tomatoes and herbs while the water for my gnocchi was boiling. When ready I sprinkled a smidge of low-fat mozzarella cheese on top and filled my LITTLE bowl.

I’m not sure if I’ve shared this before, but… in the last 7 weeks I’ve been using small dinner plates and small bowls for my meals rather than the gigantic ones of yester-month.

As a result only about half of the gnocchi mixture fit in the dessert / cereal bowl. “I’ll have seconds,” I decided and sat on my sofa with a glass of red wine to enjoy my feast.

The gnocchi was fabulous (the sauce could have used some bacon or similar, but #whatevs) and I realised I really didn’t need more. I was full. Satisfied. So, I put the remainder of the mixture into a small microwave dish with the sauce for lunch the following day.

I later pondered on my behaviour and – for a change – was very proud of myself. Moderation is a struggle for me, but…. I managed it. Perhaps I’m not a lost cause after all!

Screen shot 2014-02-23 at 11.08.45 AM

Are you aware of your thought processes when you’re about to make an unhealthy or unhelpful decision?

PS. Don’t forget to enter my competition to win some compression wear – perfect for extreme to amateur exercisers!

  • @Kanga_Rue
    February 23, 2014

    I am incredibly proud of you. Bravo!

    I somehow missed your first tweet – I’m so sorry!

    Big hugs, Rx

    • Debbish
      February 23, 2014

      That’s fine… sometimes I just vent or share to get it off my chest or out of my head and don’t necessarily expect a response! 🙂

  • Trish
    February 23, 2014

    I’m not overweight but I work [out] hard to stay the healthy weight I want to be due to the medications I take for breast cancer can lead to huge weight gains …maybe we eat more too.
    I remind myself when I do indulge it’s just one day, and I can live with that and work out harder tomorrow or cut back tomorrow.
    (Hot Chips are my ultimate weakness)

    • Debbish
      February 23, 2014

      Oh yes… LOVE hot chips! And yes, not letting one mishap ruin everything is an important lesson!

  • Lee-Anne
    February 23, 2014

    Very impressed and proud of you, Deb – such restraint and moderation! Plus I actually think gnocchi with tomatoes, garlic and herbs and a smidgen of cheese is healthier than a big piece of meat and certainly ticks more nutrition boxes… all washed down with a glass of anti-oxidant infused red wine – sounds quite virtuous. 🙂

    • Debbish
      February 23, 2014

      Oh absolutely! 😉 Although possibly not as yummy as red tulip caramello easter eggs!~

  • Tiff Comer
    February 23, 2014

    Awesome effort, I too am supremely proud of you. It would have been so easy to succumb you didn’t and look at how much better you feel for it!
    Baby steps Deb, do that a few more times and it will become habit.
    BTW, good idea on the small bowl, it’s funny how you can consciously trick youself!!
    My weakness is the bakery when I do the shopping…. Some sort of danish! It is never, ever as good as I imagine it will be!
    I’m on a sort if 12 week challenge though is am trying to be good ( as I’m sitting here having a vodka watching my kids swim!).

    • Debbish
      February 23, 2014

      Well, I’ve been out to a bar for afternoon champagne, but that’s okay I can budget for the ‘points’. And the night of the gnocchi I actually stayed within points in the end!

  • Jess
    February 23, 2014

    This is huge and hopefully a feeling of accomplishment you will have often!

  • Char
    February 24, 2014

    That’s huge. A win for sure.

  • Liz
    February 24, 2014

    Awesome work Deb! And so eloquently shared too.

    • Debbish
      February 24, 2014

      Oh, thanks Liz. Much appreciated.

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