Today is one of the days every addict faces when life’s road seems determined to detour your best efforts. Because today is day ten of our 16-day, clean-eating challenge/detox/ break-the-addictive-compulsive fixation on chocolate, dessert- and other-shit-that-makes-me-fat day.
It’s also The Bride’s birthday, which begs for things like Tony’s pizza and a massive chocolate cake with homemade peanut butter ice cream (none of which The Bride wants because she’s nearly as insane about this clean eating challenge as she is about the insanity workout she’s doing).
But see, I’m planning the birthday, so I have plausible deniability if I want to run us right off the rails into a combo pizza big enough to satisfy a Roman god.
Then to make matters worse, part of The Bride’s present today is one of the simple greatest pleasures on this green ball of humanity hurling through space: a day baseball game at ATT Park in the PLAYOFFS with our beloved Giants embarked on another of their tortourous runs to the World Series championship. It’s especially meaningful for me because the first time they won in 2010, I watched alone in a day room of a drug and alcohol treatment facility I was in, while my family made plans to attend the parade back home in Downtown San Francisco.
Needless to say, we’re going to the game today. Day baseball? The Giants? Discount nosebleed seats? Check, check and check.
But interwoven in that check list is also, chili dog, garlic fries and Ghirardelli chocolate sundae. Check, check and DOUBLE check!
eh hmmm… the Bride said a few moments ago. Not so fast.
“I already gave up beers at a game, so I’m not giving up the hot dog. But it will be a plain dog. No extras. And I won’t even order the Garlic Fries!”
I applaud her commitment (outwardly) even while I curse her inwardly. Say goodbye my lovely Ghirardelli. Sigh.
So day ten of this challenge is truly the first that officially BLOWS. We ate our morning omelette, packed a snack of peanuts and fruit and will swap in only a hot dog. The Bride already worked out. It’s my rest day, so I’ll be back on the road tomorrow. We avoid my secretly desired detour and will finish the race.
But you know what? It’s been great. I don’t obsess about chocolate at night while unwinding like I was. The Bride feels so much more energetic. We both feel like we’ve stopped the waistline creep dead in its tracks. And mostly, and this is the most important reason of all to do this challenge, we’ve recalibrated our meals. We’ve gotten into a routine of five small meals. We’re eating smaller portions again. We like the creativity of the menu ideas, which is helping me break out of the menu standby ruts. Not everything works. Some dinners are like more lunch (lots of salads, which get old) and some dinners are more like the side dish, as if the main course got lost on the way to the plate. It’s not perfect by any means. It’s not even completely sustainable. We will eat SOME bread and A few desserts now and again. Their will always have to be room for Tony’s Pizza. But the framework of sustainability is there and most importantly, we feel back ON track after several months of eating drift.
In short, I may bitch (alot) and I may grouse about a birthday at the ballpark in the playoffs with less than exciting food, but I couldn’t recommend this challenge more, especially before the holidays, before things get really out of control.
Balance. It’s the key to everything. I lost it before this challenge. Now I see it coming back. Follow the Bride on Twitter today at the game. It’s sure to be interesting!