Friday, April 27, 2007

The Morning After*

Debra posted yesterday about dream eating, and I had to laugh because I had one of those dreams a few nights ago. Mine often revolve around being at some big buffet, or food court, or a farmer's market kind of place with all kinds of booths, usually involving a lot of pastries.

The dream a few nights ago involved some kind of concoction that was part cookie, part scone, part cheesecake covered in sliced strawberries. It sure looked good in my dream! It was huge, the size of a big cheesecake, and I remember getting ready to buy it and savor it later.

I've already awoken from these dreams in a panic, fretting over what I've done, when I realize it isn't real. I wonder if these dreams are caused by hunger, by cravings, by anxiety, or just my compulsive desires invading my subconscious. Perhaps a little of each.

I didn't exercise this morning. I still got up fairly early but wound up doing housework instead. This wasn't the plan -- I was going to sleep in -- but when I let the dogs out and went to get them breakfast I discovered the dog food bag had fallen over during the night and sprayed bits of puppy chow all over the basement steps. So instead of crawling back into bed I was sweeping up kibble, then decided to go ahead and empty the dishwasher and take the garbage out, too.

The reason I didn't work out this morning was because my neck really had me worried yesterday. It was so tight I could hardly turn my head, so I spent the majority of yesterday afternoon with a heating pad wrapped around my neck and shoulders while I caught up on some of the shows I taped and haven't watched since I've been walking outside. Last night before bed I gave my neck, shoulders and back a thorough going-over with my big massage wand and laid down with my heating pad again (don't worry, it has an automatic shut-off, so there were no concerns of burning myself up in my bed).

But this morning it does feel a lot better. I'm thinking my problems are muscular and not my spinal reconstruction breaking down on me, because all the relaxing and stretching techniques I used seemed to have made a difference. It's still not back to normal, but I'm not worrying as much about it, either.

This afternoon I'll be busy with housekeeping/mother duties again. I have to clean up our very messy den and take boxes up to the attic, and while I'm there find Mabel's sleeping bag, because she's got a Brownies sleep-over tonight. I'd call it camping but they're sleeping indoors in a local lodge, but they'll be hiking and making trail mix and other scouty things. The leaders gave us a huge list of things to pack, so I've got to get that all together and ready for this evening.

If Hubby's game is called off for rain (which is very likely), I think we'll be having a date night. We've been trying to make more of an effort to do this, because we really do need time on our own once in a while to remember we're married and not roommates. This leads to the big question: do I work hard to eat healthy on our "date," or do I throw caution to the wind? Despite my dream earlier this week, I'm really not in the mood to stuff myself like our last date night a few weeks ago. We did Italian then and it was a carb-filled night with Italian bread, pasta and deep fried eggplant (which I have to confess was fantastic -- sorry for the food porn).

The problem is, I often have trouble remembering the unpleasant feeling of being too full when I'm perusing a menu and looking at all the endless possibilities. I get that "oh, come on, it's a special occasion" mentality when at a nice restaurant and I start splurging and "treating" myself. But then the next morning I pay the consequences when the scale displays the bloat my eating has caused. It's then that I have to remind myself of the great feeling I get when I choose wisely, eat sensibly and see it pay off on the scale the next morning. There's always that sense of accomplishment and success that makes the whole rest of the day better.

It all comes down to how I want to dole out my pain and pleasure. There's the temporary pleasure of eating comfort foods that is followed by regret, or I can cause a little discomfort at first by holding myself back from overeating, which is followed by a feeling of pride and a boost to my self-esteem the next day. When I think of it that way, the latter choice makes a lot more sense, doesn't it? In both instances my feelings the morning after are the ones that stick with me the longest, so it would be logical to make the positive feelings last longer. But we aren't Vulcans, and unlike Mr. Spock, our emotions often lead us to very illogical choices. I'll just have to do the best I can and keep trying to make the right decisions.

*Darn, now I've got that Duran Duran song stuck in my head! I was such a huge D2 fan in my preteen days -- my biggest debate was who I loved more, Simon LeBon or John Taylor.


Lori said...

It's interesting about your question of date hard to eat healthy or throw caution to the wind.

Maybe there's a compromise. Maybe you can change it to "I will order the most extravagant thing on the menu that's healthy." Like lobster.

I'm remembering when I got diagnosed with high blood pressure and had the "no salt" edict issued. We went to a very nice restaurant here in town (not a chain which probably makes a difference) and told the waitress that I couldn't have salt. They were very accommodating and I remember it being very delicious (and expensive) with gigantic scallops for my meal.

Maybe you can think of the restaurants in your area and come up with a mental list of things you love there that are red light food, yellow food and green light food and come up with a plan that satisfies you.

(And yes, I've had dream eating and for some reason it usually involves Oreo cookies. I wake up in a panic and it's so silly. I've only had Oreos here at this apt just once and that was to make a cheesecake with it for work.)

Beula said...

Is the bolstered self-esteem based on the respect you feel for yourself for eating healthy, or the scale descent? I am struggling with this. If I eat healthy and the scale does not move will I still respect myself in the morning?

Anonymous said...

ahhhh Duran Duran. I saw them in concert here in Denver about 3 years ago. I cried when they came on stage, CRIED. Along with a lot of other women in the audience!