Friday, July 15, 2011

You had me at Pumpkin Juice . . . .

One upon a time, over 12 years ago, my youngest daughter begged me to read the first Harry Potter book (after her Godmother bought her the first four novels). I did not want to read it. I was not interested. . .  I had my own stuff going on . . . I had a business to run . . . . I was lazy and I was obstinate about it for  few months. Then one day I looked at my daughter's sweet little face and really saw how much she wanted to share this story with me and I picked up the first book. When I reached the part where Harry is having his first meal in the Great Hall, with magically appearing food and previously unknown foods like pumpkin juice, I was in love. 

Last night (actually early this morning) I attended the first showing of the final movie in the Harry Potter series. The characters and the actors have grown in many ways during the run of the series. So has the audience and so have I. When I took my daughter to the first movie 10 years ago most of the audience was parents with their children, after-school program groups and the occasional older fans. This time the audience had not one person under the age of sixteen. Most people there were 18-26 years of age. People came in costume - or at minimum wearing something "Potterish.": House scarves, house colours (British spelling), jewelry, eyeglasses, wands; perhaps eating Bertie Botts, chocolate wands and sugar quills. 

Speaking of sugar: When I saw the first 6 Harry Potter movies I was still in denial about my sugar addiction. I do not know what I ate for every movie but I know that before one of the later ones I attended a party with cauldron cakes and ate about four, not to mention pumpkin juice and butterbeer. When we got to the theater for that midnight opening I had a medium buttered popcorn into which I had tossed a movie theater-sized bag of M&Ms. I know I missed some of the finer points of that first showing because I was concentrating on finding all the M&Ms in the bottom of the bag of popcorn. 

For part one of HP7 my daughter was away at school and I had to work the next morning so I had to skip the midnight show. I am grateful now because last year I was still working through the idea of needing a plan of action before going to a midnight movie. If I had gone to that midnight show, by myself, without a plan for how to 'make it out alive.' I could have easily dived back into the popcorn and M&Ms or even worse. Instead, I went with someone in the afternoon, between lunch and dinner and neither of us got anything to eat or drink. After the movie I went home to my dinner. Last night I very much wanted to see the movie at midnight with all the die-hard fans who have enjoyed the past decade of Harry Potter. I just needed a plan. Thankfully I had one. 

I blogged yesterday and said I would eat a late dinner. I did that. I was going to walk for an hour, shower and go to the theater. Change in plan! My daughter called to say she and her friends were already on line (with our pre-purchased tickets), the line was LONG and they were being told they could not hold places on line or seats. This meant they could not leave to get dinner, which had been there plan. I offered to stop on the way there and pick up a meal for them. So, 90 minutes before I had planned to leave the house, I drove to Chick-fil-A and purchased three meals. The smell of the chicken and fries was very enticing. Thank God I had just eaten my dinner. I popped a piece of sugar free gum into my mouth and drove to the theater. 

By this time the girls (all aged 21-24) had gotten into the theater and gotten seats (saving one in the middle for me). Now it was 9:30pm and we had 2 1/2 hours to kill before the movie started. I cannot believe how fast the time went. When I sat down I thought I was going to be troubled by the smells of the chicken dinners but I got to talking with two of my daughters roommates and ever even noticed the others eating. I brought some reading material on addiction recovery and read that for maybe 45 minutes. I brought out my IPod touch and played with the Harry Potter Spells App. I read a chapter in a book I have from a Recovery App. I did an inventory of my feelings and sat back to enjoy myself. 

At 11:45 some of the girls in our party went back out to replenish their snack supplies. In the time I was there these skinny darlings bought themselves 4 different types of candy and popcorn, not to mention regular sodas. I noticed they bought the candy but never finished it. In fact, they barely touched the popcorn or most of the excess candy. If I did not have a commitment to refraining from sugar today, if that had been my candy . . . .  all would have been consumed and I doubt I would have offered any to anyone else.

Around 1:30AM I had my yogurt, raspberries and walnuts (Friday's breakfast), as per my plan. When the movie ended at 2:25AM I drove home. Just after 3:00AM I landed in bed, sleeping until 10:30 this morning when my husband woke me with a nice cup of coffee.  By the time I am done with my morning ritual, including exercise, it will be time for lunch. 

I had considered wearing my copy of Hermione's Time Turner, which would have allowed me to eat whatever I wanted and then just turned back the time so that I could stop myself from eating whatever I wanted before the damage was done but of course that is fantasy.  Instead, I had a plan and used that plan and the commitment to stick with it 'just for today' to get me through without mischief of the deadliest kind. 

How are you keeping the pounds off when fantasy comes into your life? How is fantasy helping or hindering your efforts?



E. Jane said...

Bravo, Jane. Very well done and quite an inspiration for many of us out here in blogland. Between you and Vickie, I'm learning how this is done. First I have to lose the weight, but I have faith that will happen. The second concern will be to keep it off. Thanks for the tips and inspiration.

Vickie said...

what a good post. Loved the contrast between former ways and current ways.

Awareness and planning are key, I agree.

I have tried popcorn a few times in recent years and it gets my hand to mouth thing going with fierceness. Even if I can afford the calories, I can't afford to get that mindless motion going. because with that type of 'food' I over eat badly and then am looking for more for several days. It is a line of dominoes.

My husband and I were just talking about that hand to mouth action this week. Why I avoid some 'foods' (actually they are non-foods) by whole category and don't even eat 'just one'.

I told him that the food is a big part of it. But the action plays a big part of it too. Hence the not even getting started with those non-foods which also involved prolonged hand to mouth. It is the combination of the two.

for myself, when I want to 'snack' somewhere, I use alternative food (and this really is food).

I now substitute green beans (the whole, long kind, not the cut kind) or brussel sprouts. And when they are gone, they are gone, no looking for more feeling.

The times I can thing of when I have done this - driving oldest to school his freshman year (I was back and forth a lot of times, about a 5 hour drive round trip). I was fine on the way there, with him, but had problems eyeing the drive thrus (alone) on the way home. I packed either green beans (lightly steamed, it didn't matter to me that they were cold when I ate them) or brussel sprouts (again lightly steamed, but cold when I ate them).

Yogurt/walnuts or yogurt/walnuts/fruit is one of my good take with me's too. And my husband now does this very same thing. He also packs peanuts/apple frequently.

good post.

Julie said...

Interesting post as always :) I realised I was indulging in 'magical' thinking when I refused to acknowledge that what I ate made me fat. I do realise to some (maybe all) other people that statement makes no sense and indicates I have the IQ of one of Vickie's brussel sprouts! Of course I intellectually I knew the truth but somehow while eating or standing on the scale puzzling how I hadn't lost/had gained weight I seemed to be eable to suspend any connection between what went in my mouth and that number on the scale. When I was at my heaviest I also spent a lot of time at the doctor's with innumerable complaints. I realise now I
was wanting her to find something on which to blame my obesity. Anything to absolve me from responsibility - that
could be fixed, preferably with medication and needing no
effort from me, and make me wonderfully thin. Similarly
events, such as going to movies, were a wonderful excuse
to 'have' to eat junk food as were children's birthday
parties and so on. It was a revelation to go to a movie and
not eat something. I now would not think of buying food or taking any into a movie. I have separated eating from other
activities. I do one or the other not both at once. I also
would 'celebrate' the weekend or holidays with overeating.
I, until recently, would have a high carb, much larger than
usual breakfast on Saturday to 'celebrate' not having to get up at 5am. Today I see the late start to the day, staying in my pajamas, reading in bed before getting up as the treat, the celebration and eat exactly as I do every other day. I admire your forward planning Jane and that you were not distracted by the short notice change in plan or having to buy take out for the girls. As ever, so much to learn from you and Vickie, I am grateful for your willingness to document and share.