It’s my new mantra.
I have to mutter it to myself 4-5 times a day, as I look at what my children have left on their plates.
This is a huge pitfall for parents trying to lose weight, I have learned.
It’s been about ten days, and I am still counting those calories. Thanks to some very sagacious advice from my godfather, I have also added some strength training to my fitness routine.
There have been good days and bad days. Some days I have too much, other days I don’t even eat all my allotted daily calories (rare), but I’m counting everything.
Some days, I feel perfectly satisfied.
Other days, I feel like I spend the day hungry. I’m convinced it’s psychological, because those days are the ones when I have less going on. I’m not as busy, hovering around the kitchen more.
Those are the days when my kids’ plates are especially dangerous.
We have one kid who simply doesn’t eat a lot, and another kid who is a picky eater. The Bug will taste pretty much anything, but he won’t eat lots of it. The Bear will flat-out refuse to eat things.
To mitigate the exhaustion and unpleasantness that can be mealtimes, we have instituted one simple rule:
One bite of everything.
Whatever foods are on their plates, they must take one bite of each. This can lead to faces, complaints and protests, but generally they comply.
The trouble is that whatever they don’t like gets left on their plates.
Often, the things they don’t like are the things that I love!
After eating, once they’ve cleared their plates to the counter, I have to steel myself before heading to the kitchen to start tidying.
It’s so easy to finish off what they’ve left behind! And it seems like such a waste!
(The worst part is that Chico can finish their plates AND have his own helping of seconds and never bat an eyelash. If I were to do that, I’d see the difference on the scale the very next morning.)
Building Up the Willpower
Different people have different approaches to this problem. I’ve heard of people squirting dish soap on their kids’ plates as soon as they get to the kitchen in order to avoid the temptation.
What’s helped me, though, is the knowledge that I must write everything down.
Today, the school-provided lunch was “pizza crunchers.” Basically, fried balls of mozzarella stuffed with tomato sauce. Neither of the kids liked them very much, and they left most of them on their plates.
The golden lumps of fat gleamed up at me from their plates. Their siren call was in their smell. They smelled delicious.
Just one bite, I told myself.
I picked one up, but instead of feeling a crispy crust between my fingers, all I felt was a soggy, smooshy lump.
That broke the spell. I dropped it back onto the plate (splat!), quickly carried it into the kitchen and emptied it into the garbage.
Whew! That was close!
Feeling Pretty Good
I managed to resist temptation. I was feeling pretty good about myself.
And then the boys and I baked brownies.