Well, I sure know how to pick a great day to start the #DrinkAndDropChallenge …

A friend was celebrating her 40th birthday last night … at a place with a pretty solid tap list. And really good ‘bar food.’ THIS is exactly the situation that typically laughs at my feeble willpower, scoffs at my well-intentioned “I’ll just have one” thoughts … this is real life. Can I go to a festive gathering, surrounded by friends, food, beer and still maintain some level of resistance?

In short … yes. These situations are when we turn to little tips and tricks to help make it through those temptations. Borrowing another lyric from a U2 song, Running to Stand Still. “Sweet the sin, but bitter the taste in my mouth.” Yes, the sliders, wings, nachos, and potato skins sound, smell, and look delicious. Of course, I would enjoy them. But how would I feel later tonight … tomorrow morning? Not just physically. How would I feel mentally, knowing that I lost yet another battle with temptation?
The tips and tricks:
– Accountability partner. I don’t care if they publically shame you, slap the food out of your hands, lick the whole bowl … we all need someone to KNOW how to get us to walk away. For me – it’s my spouse, my rock, my smokin’ hot wife.
– Be the DD. This is the gift that keeps on giving. On one hand, you’re the rock star that takes one for the team and offers to get everyone to/from safely. And on top of that, you have a built-in accountability, knowing that you have to stop at one or two so that you’re in good shape to get home. (At least, I hope you have that built-in accountability.) Bonus: it can be quite entertaining to sit back and enjoy the show when other people get a little too “happy.”
– Train Your Brain. This is a long-term solution. But the thought is to continue to tell yourself that the guilty stuff that you love is actually something you don’t like. Easier said than done, I know.
– Eyes on the Prize. Find something tangible to remind you of your goals. If you’re trying to lose twn pounds, write a 10 on your hand. Reaching for the queso, you’ll see the 10 and remember to focus on the goals.
– Don’t Get Discouraged. We all will likely succumb to temptation from time to time. The single most important thing to remember is to not lose focus. One bad decision does not need to lead into a “well, I’ve blown it now … might as well finish the whole bag of Cool Ranch Doritos now” mentality. One decision should have NO bearing on future decisions. Okay, so you had a second pint of stout. BFD. That doesn’t mean that the night is a loss and you can jump into the deep end of the fryer. It’s okay … smile and move on!

Day One – how did I do?

  • Breakfast – a Fiber One Caramel Nut protein bar worth 140 calories.
  • Lunch – I’ll call it a deli sandwich. Swiss, ham, turkey, salami, Dijon mustard. I’m calculating 525 calories.
  • Dinner (at the aforementioned birthday extravaganza) – not so great. I had a much smaller volume of food than I normally would, but the health-quality was not the best. This was pre-ordered food for the party, so I didn’t have much in the way of options. (I know I could still choose to eat something better before I arrive. Lesson for another day.) Two chicken fingers, a few tater tots, and a mozzarella stick. My best guess from MyFitnessPal is about 400 calories.

The Beer

I had three beers … and that still fit within my daily calorie window. I had two Cherry Street Coconut Porters and a Scofflaw Basement. Pretty solid Friday!

And Fitbit says I got in about 5,000 steps. All in all, I think I managed day 1 pretty well. But that’s just Day 1 …

NOTE: I promise every post won’t be this long. When I have more stuff to say about the journey … I’ll share.

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington