We enjoyed a family day out at Canobie Lake Park yesterday, a local theme park in Salem, NH. As my husband and I were on the aerial skyride, we passed over the picnic tables in the corporate catering area. I was reminded of our first visit to Canobie, back in about 2001 – I know it was certainly before we had kids. It was on a catered company outing with my husband’s colleagues.
This was back in the days when I was pretty fanatical about following Weight Watchers, and subsequently petrified of any “eating out” when I wouldn’t be in control and wouldn’t have an accurate idea of the Points I was consuming. I remember scouring the menus online in advance, trying to gather any snippets of published nutritional information. I was very stressed out about “having to eat a burger” and there being no healthy options. I don’t think I was very fun to hang out with back then. My husband would agree. 🙂
Flash-forward to today, when I ate like a “normal person”. No huge pig-outs, but no stress either. For lunch I had some chicken tenders and garlic bread. I guesstimated the points, wrote it down, and moved on. I drank water, because I still prefer to eat my calories rather than drink them.
For an afternoon treat, faced with an array of tempting options including ice cream, cheesy fries, cotton candy and popcorn, I decided what I really wanted was a latte and some Oreos. I wasn’t deliberately practicing restraint, I was just listening to my body – which needed a jolt of caffeine to make it through the drive home!
Moderation in all things is such a key mantra for me now. It even applied to the kids’ choices. They wanted Gatorade, but we didn’t have enough cash to buy two big bottles, so we persuaded them to share one. They still got a treat, but the amount was sane.
This morning the scale was up 0.6lbs, but I am totally fine with that. We walked a lot and indulged a bit. It was one of the more enjoyable family days out we have had in a while, and upon reflection, my lack of anxiety around food was at least a small factor in that.
Sure, I would still like to weigh less than I do – but the increased mental peace I feel about food these days is also very valuable to me. I’m starting to think that skinny isn’t always worth it, if it comes at the expense of mental calm, relaxation, and shared family enjoyment. I’m seeking balance.