You can run but you can’t hide

During Round 3 2011 I only had one Red Flag day – and that was on the Saturday of week 12.  So I didn’t really have to worry too much about Red Flag days.

Now from the first day after Round 3 finished to Boxing Day – there were many Red Flags for me.  But I have to admit I was a little slack and didn’t worry too much about them.  I tried to make good choices when I could – but for those two and a bit weeks I really loosened the reigns.  I don’t believe in regrets, but I know for sure I won’t make those kind of choices in December 2012.  No regrets, just learning and moving on.

So yesterday was my first Red Flag day of 2012. Once a year Mr G and I take the kids to Jamberoo Recreation Park.  For our family it means eating out all day – yes even breakfast.  So I decided to track all my calories and do my best to keep it close to 1200 calories.

Breakfast – wait for it – McDonald’s – eeeeek!  We’re on the road early and we live more than 20 minutes from the nearest McDonald’s – so its a special treat for the kids.  Now, I know I could have eaten breakfast at home or taken in an apple – but I made the choice to join my family for the treat.  I was hoping to have the porridge and a skim cappuccino.  But the porridge is no longer on the menu.  Second choice was the yoghurt – sold out – yikes!  Considered the hotcakes – especially as there is now the “healthy option” with the hotcakes – berries and yoghurt.  Can’t remember the exact kjs – but not much better than the regular hotcakes with butter and syrup for 662 calories.  Settled on an Egg and Bacon McMuffin for 297 calories with a skim cappuccino for 71 calories.

Next stop is the petrol station.  Old habits die hard.  While paying for the petrol I pick up a packet of what we call “jelly lollies”.  Now in the past I would have bought two or three packs – but I just settled for one pack of Snakes.  Further along the journey I open the pack to share with the family.  Instead of just shovelling one in my mouth, I decide to check the calories first.  EEEEK!  Bit of a shock, after all they are fat free!  Decide to indulge in two – and only two – during the journey to Jamberoo.  Total calories – 50!

Lunch is next.  We discovered a food outlet at Jamberoo which is a well kept secret.  It’s called “The Loft”.  They have a few salads and wraps on offer as well as the usual suspects.  They also have beer and wine.  I had decided to make it a treat meal and indulge in a nice cold beer.  Haven’t enjoyed a beer since August last year.  I chose to have a Caesar Salad with chicken.  So beer = 105 calories and salad probably = 370 calories.

However, the big mistake I will never make again was choosing a Tonic Water.  I was thirsty, but didn’t want to guzzle my beer to quench my thirst.  So I decided to get a bottle of water to do the quenching first.  There was no Sparkling Mineral Water (my favourite treat) and no Soda Water.  But I spotted the Tonic Water.  I knew it wasn’t calorie free – but how bad can it be right?  75 calories bad – that’s how bad.  I love the taste of it, and thought because its not overtly sweet it must be low in calories.  Seriously – its not that far off the Light Beer I had!  Won’t be doing that again.

The day so far: Breakfast 368 + Snack 51 + Lunch 550.

Afternoon tea time came and I have to admit I was tempted by the icecreams the others were having and the “healthy” gigantic Honey & Oat cookie.  Pleased to say I resisted and just had another regular size skim cappuccino.  71 calories.

On the way home Mr G and kids just had to have a Frozen Coke from McDonalds.  Not in the least tempted by that.  But normally I would have a Coke Zero.  But I am committed to no more of that for me.  So I happily settled for a green tea and bottle of water – not Tonic  Water!  2 calories.

It was getting late – and no one felt like preparing dinner when we got home – so the decision was made to eat out.  I voted (and my vote carries a lot of weight) for The Coffee Club – since the kjs are on the menu I could make the best choice possible.

I was tempted to go for the Grilled Salmon and Vegies – one look at the kjs for that changed my mind.  Its surprising how the foods we associate with being healthy choices can sometimes be so high in calories.  I opted instead for the Greek Salad with Smoked Salmon – 284 calories.  I did indulge though – remember I didn’t know about the Tonic Water surprise yet – Mr G ordered garlic bread and I had one piece.  110 calories.

So, the entire day added up to 1,436 calories.  236 calories over what I really should have.

But here’s the good news for future Red Flag Days.  Take off the Tonic Water and Garlic Bread and I’m only 51 calories over.  Substitute a Sparkling Mineral Water for the Snakes and I’m exactly 1200 calories!  I would not have been hard to forgo those three items.  And then I would have eaten out for an entire day, feeling satisfied and indulged and not gone hungry and still stayed within my calorie quota.

So I learned that by making careful choices on Red Flag Days I can enjoy eating with others, stay healthy and stay on track.

When I got home – I logged onto http://www.myfitnesspal.com and entered everything I ate and drank.  This was actually the impossible task I had set for myself for the day from the 30+ Crew 8 Week Challenge.  In the past on other diets if I had a Red Flag Day I would just pretend it never happened, bury my head in the sand, run and try to hide.

But the truth is you can run and hide.  You are what you eat.  And if you are honest with yourself about what you are choosing you are going to be further ahead than if you pretend the “bad days” don’t count.

So how can you benefit from my experience yesterday?  Be aware that you can eat out all day for 1200 calories or 4800 calories or more.  Its your choice.  And be aware that most of your Red Flag Days will probably only involve one meal.

I’m not so worried about Red Flag Days anymore. Luckily, as my next one is one Friday.  But, I’ll be dealing with that one a little bit differently after my experience yesterday.

And I won’t be drinking Tonic Water.  I will be remembering that by saying no to somethings, I’ll be saying YES to something far more important to me.

When is your next Red Flag Day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sandra
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 08:50:04

    You know, Leonie, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing on Red Flag days…”ignoring them”…I am amazed at some of the calories you uncovered in those particular items…and why is the porridge/oats no longer on the McDonalds’ menu? We stopped in last night on our way to the in-laws, and I had a toasted sandwich and a sip of a Coke Zero…and after just over a week “off” any diet soft drinks, I just didn’t have a taste for it. Very informative post, Thank you.

    Reply

    • noni22
      Jan 05, 2012 @ 15:27:59

      Hi Sandra 🙂
      I think the most important thing I learned from this day for me, is that there is no need to ignore the Red Flag days anymore. I have proven to myself I can still indulge all day and come pretty close to the 1200 calories. The danger for me in ignoring the the calorie intake is that I end up saying – I’ve blown this week – won’t worry about it until next week. I still can’t get over the kj content of some menu items which are regarded as “healthy”.

      Leonie x

      Reply

  2. kristi
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 15:24:08

    Well done for not ignoring your red flag day! What a great learning opportunity and you seem to have used it really well! I think you’ve done really well- and hey, admit it, you knew the jelly snakes weren’t THE BEST choice, but once you’d committed to them, you only had a couple- that shows A LOT of strength! What a difference between 1200 and 4800 calories, congratulations on being so close to your goal! xx

    Reply

  3. noni22
    Jan 05, 2012 @ 15:32:26

    Hi Kristi 🙂

    Thanks Kristi. Yep – the old me would have inhaled a packet of snakes, and then justified it by saying they are fat free. When I looked at the nutritional panel on the back I thought to myself – I don’t like them that much. I think from now on I am going to be so much more choosy about the treats I have.

    Leonie x

    Reply

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