I was thrown a dieting curve ball yesterday, with a simple emailed notice from our favorite local restaurateur.
We have a very unique local neighborhood restaurant, that grills everything over hickory wood. No fryers, no oven (except the wood-burning pizza oven) ... the food is delicious and fresh. The chef is a master at making unique combinations and the food is savory and mouth-watering.
The owner made the announcment yesterday (my curve ball), that they are going to close down after Friday night's service.
We're devastated. Even "modified" - for my diet - the dishes there are fantastic, and there is so much I can eat on plan. Mostly, though, it is home to my all-time favorite sandwich on earth. It is a vegetable concoction, with peppered goat cheese and balsamic vinegar ... it is just a big plate of love - and all for just over 400 calories, if I go for the wrap version (without the cheese, of course).
The sandwich, as it was intended (with crumbled peppered goat cheese) is my ideal sandwich. I've been having the modified version of it, knowing I can always have the full monty - as a treat - once in a great while (eventually). Well, that is, as long as the restaurant remained in business.
That is my curve ball. We plan to dine there this evening, a chance to say good-bye to people who have become friends, and half the neighborhood will be there today and tomorrow.
So, what do I choose to do? Do I have my modified sandwich, as usual, or do I order it full monty, the way it was originally created - for one last taste of my all-time favorite sandwich?
The question I am asking myself today is this: Do I indulge in my favorite sandwich, with cheese, knowing I can't have it again? Or do I remember the higher priority of my health, and have the modified version?
Not so easy to answer, knowing how long forever is, and that this is just one single meal and a one-shot deal. How will I feel afterwards? Food is never that important, after the fact. That bears keeping in mind. Still, no slam dunk resolve is forthcoming. Forever is a long time, to never enjoy a favorite anything.
So, I turn to math. There simply isn't much goat cheese used in the wrap. Less, in fact, than an inch-cube, crumbled into the masterpiece. I looked up what a 1" cube of goat cheese has for nutritional value, just to be conservative. Perhaps I can compensate elsewhere for the added calories ...
I am on a low-fat diet, so I know the added bit of fat won't be bothersome. I remain way below the maximum allowed of fats on my plan. The calories are, conservatively, 100, but even if I double that number, I can compensate for that readily. No issues there.
The bigger picture will be, can I handle introducing my beloved cheese back into my diet? In other words, will just one visit to Cheese Land do it for me? I don't need a taste sending me to Cheese R Us tomorrow, to stock up my arteries.
How well do I know myself? No BS, no justifications. I'm sitting here, deciding how to handle this little test. I think my resolve is quite strong. It is actually getting easier, as time goes by, to pass on certain things. I got past my birthday without my favorite (off-plan) birthday meal. I didn't even have a sip of wine on our anniversary. (I toasted with water, what else?) I didn't have a single bite of candy during Halloween weekend, despite the perfume of chocolate filling the air at every place we went. I did have traditional Thanksgiving food, but in a much more health manner - still lost weight that week too. I even passed on the fattening food and traditional treats of Christmas, with a meal of homemade vegetable soup. Healthy won again! But this? This is forever. This is a one-shot, do-I-do-this thing.
I believe I can manage it, objectively. I know it won't derail my week, diet-wise. And I have only consumed 470 calories today so far - plenty left for tonight's meal, whichever way I go.
In the end, I decided to get my favorite sandwich full monty tonight (that means, with cheese). We'll dine earlier than usual, I'll keep calorie counts in close check, and that will be that. I'll savor my last taste of my favorite sandwich, and it will be gone - just like some of the beloved family recipes that died with the passing of my grandmother. I'm confident it won't lead to any off-plan behaviors, and that is the key for me. I don't use food rewards, and this isn't some compensation or rationalization for my diet.
When you are eating healthy foods, in correct proportions, consistently and persistently, these types of opportunities can be enjoyed. If I had indulged in other areas throughout the week, this opportunity wouldn't even be an option for me. As it is, I have 730 calories to play with, in a sandwich plate that will probably barely kiss 600 calories. The math was my friend today. So, I get to send my tastebuds one last heavenly tasting sandwich. I hope they appreciate it. LOL