It’s one of those days when you know you’ll be bad later in the day, but you’re just not sure HOW bad. How do you budget calories for a questionable evening, not knowing how questionable to will get?

I think the answer lies … again … in moderation and limitations. I have to be good at monitoring (and cataloguing) calories throughout the day. Knowing where I stand and what I have left in the budget for the day allows me to make informed decisions. If I look back after the fact and forget about the two cookies I snuck in at lunch, I’ll be over budget. Strict adherence to the calculation is THE ONLY WAY to succeed in this game. At least for me.

My kid is apparently 75% Italian. He had a meatball sub last night; asked for lasagna tonight, while knowing that he requested his favorite Italian joint for tomorrow night … so that we can have lasagna. So, I’m eating lasagna tonight. Ugh. I do like cheese. Lots of it. The gooier the better. I NEED to budget properly.

At least I was able to suck at tennis for a few hours in the middle of the day to get the blood flowing. 🎾

Breakfast – 🚨 NEWS ALERT 🚨 I did NOT have a Fiber One bar this morning. I had a cinnamon roll (as birthday treats continue for lots of days in our house, apparently.) And I avoided the doughnut. Small victories.
Lunch – tennis courts. I don’t eat much when I play. I had two miniature chicken-salad-on-croissants and a turkey-provolone slider. That’s it. Oh yeah … and a few Peronis.
Dinner – lasagna. But I ate the version made with zucchini noodles instead of normal delicious noodles. So, maybe it was less bad for me? I even avoided having any of the Texas toast. Again, small victories. (And FYI, according to Fitbit, I added 1400 calories to my allowance for the day by playing tennis. Not that I think I should use all of those. Just sayin’.)

And now for the beer …

– Yup. Continuing with the Italian theme, our opponents brought Peroni as part of the spread. Since I was so miserably terrible on the courts today, I thought I should take two beers of theirs.
– As my pre-dinner ritual, I had a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. Uhhhh, yes. Delicious
– And with dinner, there’s a chance that I had a giant bottle of a very cool VariantPontoonGate CitySprayberry Bottle Shop collaboration. It’s called the Wolf Pack. Sharing from the official description, this Imperial Sweet Stout was aged in Vanilla Bourbon Barrels for six months on rich chocolate, toasted coconut and Tongan vanilla beans.” Yes. All of the yes on this one. The birthday finally arrives tomorrow. More Italian food for us … and this time with unlimited salad and bread-swimming-in-butter.

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

I got lucky. Or maybe it’s because I knew deep down that I earned it. Long story short, I kinda went nuts today. The luck part comes in when I tell you that Sunday afternoon included a long tennis match followed by coaching my kid’s baseball team for two hours. Yes … I ate some garbage at Super Bowl time. And yes, I had more like 4-5 beers over the course of the day. But I feel like the 18,000 steps I put in allowed for some indulgences.

Breakfast – My requisite standard Fiber One bar.
Lunch – Not a lot, truthfully. When I play tennis, I don’t eat too much before, and then snack it up a bit after. A few chips … a meatball or two. That’s about it. The bananas weren’t close to ripe, so I didn’t add one of those but should have anyway.
Dinner – Super Bowl. It was a smorgasbord. Dips here, wings there, hot dogs and hamburgers o’ plenty. Not gonna lie. 1) I wasn’t the best at making solid decisions. 2) It’s almost impossible to catalogue everything I ate, because it’s a bite here and a chip there. Suffice it to say that I ate a bunch of crap and don’t feel 100% this morning. I feel like there’s a correlation. The only miniscule saving grace is that we made wings in the AirFryer and in the Instant Pot. So, they weren’t technically as bad for you as fried wings typically are. I know it’s still a fatty meat … small victories.

And now for the beer …

Among others*, I enjoyed two fantastic beers. Thanks to Sprayberry Bottle Shop for always stocking beers that make my wallet go empty.
This weekend, I went out to re-stock the beer fridge and picked up some winners. Back to tennis for a second. I’m not good at that whole “hitting the ball over the net” thing. I’m there for exercise and camaraderie. And there’s always beer. I typically like a pre-match beer, just to calm the jitters. I was completely excited to try Wild Leap’s latest in the Alpha Abstraction line … Vol. 5 (pictured above). This may be the best one in the series.
Once back home and getting everything together for the festivities, I popped open a Bearded Iris Homestyle. Again … so good.
* Yeah … as the game dragged on, I had a few. The commercials were flat, the halftime show was underwhelming, and the game was a yawn-fest. I had some beer. It made everything slightly better. Back to normal life tomorrow. Everyday routines and more normal-ish scheduled and eating habits. (Note: I know that I need to grow as a person to the point where I still make those good decisions on weekends. Again, I say … baby steps.)
Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington