Your day off, your cheat day etc. Anyone who is on a diet has heard of these. The idea is, dieting is mentally exhausting, physically difficult, and taking a day completely off can be super helpful. Apparently, when dieting your body gets a bit out of whack–chemically, and taking a day off to “reset” can help your diet efforts. That’s what the smart people with the degrees keep telling me. (Steve and Phil)
I usually take a “day off” each week. I refuse to call it a cheat day. My “day off” has never been planned, I will wake up one day, hungry as effing hell and eat everything that isn’t stapled down, feeling guilty about it the whole time, until at some point I think, “Well, the last time I did this was 8 days ago, it’s been more than a week, today can be my day off.” This really doesn’t help me mentally because it isn’t planned, it isn’t something I can look forward to, and I feel guilty when I shouldn’t.
With the new Hal Higdon plan our long runs are on Sundays. Phil is amazing when it comes to his concern about my eating habits. I didn’t grow up with healthy eating habits, I didn’t understand them, and until recently I didn’t want them. He is helping me unlearn all of the BS I grew up with, so he suggested that Sundays be my day off from dieting, because I would probably feel less guilty eating more on a day when I would be hitting my workouts hard. GENIUS. Even though I wasn’t PERFECT with my dieting this week I decided I needed to start taking one day off a week to mentally recharge. First stop on my day off?
Phil, Amanda and I decided to grab brunch at R Gang Eatery in Hillcrest. This place is amazing, stuffed french toast, GIGANTO cinnamon buns etc. I checked the menu a few times before we went, trying to decide how to best enjoy my day off, what I should get, if I wanted to split something with Phil and when we got there I ordered cottage cheese and fruit (dammit)… I totally didn’t cut myself any slack. Today was supposed to be my day off, but thinking about all of the calories and crap that I wouldn’t be able to control going into my food made me freak out and fall back on something simple and familiar. The food was amazing, I tasted Phil’s and ate mine and enjoyed the company which is what brunch is all about anyway. We hadn’t seen Amanda since she hand delivered cupcakes to my old office, so getting to catch up was amazing, and I definitely want to go back to get stuffed french toast zomg.
Philly Cheese and I love Hillcrest so we headed to the farmer’s market and I snagged one of my favorite 50 cal lemon bars from the guilt free dessert ladies, and sampled at least 4 different varieties of pluots because they are my fav.
My next attempt at relaxing and taking my day off:
I suggested to Phil that we get crepes since cottage cheese and fruit wasn’t going to cut it for me on our run. Phrench Phil loves crepes so he was totally on board. We walked into Chocolat (best crepes in Sad Diego proper) and I had a mild panic attack while looking at the menu, so we left. I finally spilled my guts about food anxiety on my day off and Phil listened patiently. He smiled, told me I deserve a day off, and then started to pick my brain about what foods I would want. I settled on a sandwich, one with meat, and cheese, not just veggies, and eff it, maybe I would throw some mayo on too… ok ok I didn’t get mayo, one step at a time, people.
Which Wich, Cordon Bleu Sandwich on Wheat with Swiss and Dijon and lots of fun veggies. I had to take a few deep breaths (I know I sound crazy, but I have wicked food anxiety, I have been beating myself up over it since I was 6 so screw it, I will be the crazy lady Lamaze breathing over her sando until I get past this) BUT I enjoyed my lunch and learned a few things. Deli meat is still salty and gross so next guilt free sando? CHEESE and lots of it, but hold your salty meats, yo.
I knew that there was one more big hurdle to overcome on my “day off”. Dessert. I love dessert, I stare longingly at cakes and pastries and love looking at the fancy desserts that chefs put together, I think gourmet cupcakes are adorable and… I NEVER let myself eat dessert without feeling terrible about it. Well not today, I have heard amazing things about Extraordinary Desserts ever since I moved to Southern California so what better day than today, when I am only 3 blocks away, to try it? P and I split a marzipan filled lemon, blueberry strudel. ZOMG right? It was amazing, and beautiful and I made Phil eat the flower. I had a brief moment of stress when I logged my food for the day on my MyFitnessPal app, but by this time it was after 4 so I knew that after an 8mi run I would be in ship shape (I track net calories) and I probs wouldn’t be hungry for a big dinner tonight anyway. We sat in the sun over a gourmet dessert, talking about our amazing day, our future, friends and family, and for once I realized I was relaxed around food. I wasn’t guilty, I had just eaten 600calories in pastry–sugars and carbs, and I was good. I looked over the table and I saw that Phil was relaxed, he wasn’t anxiously waiting for me to burst into tears over my guilt, he knew I totally had this. We got to be Ash and Phil, just us, for an entire day with almost zero interruption from my food issues. I could get used to this.
As soon as my marzipan delight settled in my stomach we headed to Balboa Park to get our run in.
Sunday workout: 8 mile run, super relaxed pace, 11:15 minute mile, lots of chatting, Balboa Park
Dinner tonight? 140 cal protein shake and a tangerine, total cals on my day off 2002(ish) net cals 1202, net cals needed to gain weight 1500(ish). Yes, that’s right, on my “day off” filled with dessert, giant sandwiches and even a little bit of a banana milkshake, I came in at a deficit. I’m proud of me.