Justified Calories: Eat what you love and don’t apologize.

My parents have a regulation size bocce ball court in their backyard. I know, so Italian. For the past 4 years they have hosted a huge party that’s also a bocce tournament. {Shout out, my husband won this year.}  This past weekend was their event. Like most Italian family functions, it’s a small wedding of over 100 people. So, I walked into my parents house Saturday afternoon and of course, to feed over 100 people, there was an array of high fattening and amazing foods. I was immediately overwhelmed with excitement and fear.

Here’s my issue with daytime events, whether it be a BBQ, bridal or baby showers, ect. They are right smack in the middle of the day. So in anticipation of a high fat eating day, I barely eat breakfast, since I’m eating so soon.  I get to the event, eat the largest amount of food ever in one sitting and then go home. I get home and am  in this weird place of do I eat dinner? I ration that I shouldn’t because I ate so much at the event, but I should because I technically only ate one meal that day. The struggle is real.

On this day, I actually ate a nice breakfast so I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed when I walked into the house. So I was already playing a little food defense. But I was still thinking about what I was going to dive into first. There were trays of those big chocolate chip cookies from Costco which I love. There was appetizer Sicilian pizza which I also love.  Trays of sausage and peppers. Just to name a few. As I was about to jump in, I noticed 4 loaves on Zucchini bread on the counter. Almost hidden. I literally hadn’t had that in 10 years and it used to be one of my favorite things ever. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s packed with sugar. My mom used to make it all the time. I got so excited. My heart filled up. I started there for the day and honestly didn’t deviate. I had a piece as my appetizer, a piece as my dessert and a piece to end the night. Because I loved that so much it was as if nothing else was even worth the calories that day. Store bought cookies and cakes didn’t compare to my Zucchini bread so I avoided them.

I made such a big deal of this bread, talked about it so much, that the next morning my little nephew referred to it as “Coco’s bread” I’m Coco, btw. And he’s my perfect little human who makes every word and phrase even more adorable than possible.

I didn’t even realize I was avoiding the other foods at the part until  the next day when all the leftovers were out to snack on during the Sunday football games. I naturally would have picked on the extra cookies and candy and chocolate  all over the house but knowing I had my leftover slice of zucchini bread, I didn’t want to ruin it with any calories not as special. I probably ate  a whole loaf of the 4 loaves by myself. In the past I would have been angry, mad and regretful. But I literally had zero regrets. I not only enjoyed it, I knew how special it was. AND it saved me from pointless calories.  I actually ate less because I ate more. Mind blowing.

We often justify eating certain timely delicacies. Candy Corn around the holidays. Girl Scout Cookies  when our co-workers come around with the sign up sheets once a year. Peeps at Easter. Pie at Thanksgiving. Cake at birthdays. Certain calories are justifiable. But certain aren’t. I think if we really take the time to internally analyze just how special certain calories are, we’ll eat a more mindfully, unapologetic and without regret. Now that’s living my friends!!

IMG_9828Penelope ready for her first Bocce Tournament.

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