Anyone who has ever moved knows that moving is THE WORST. In total I have moved 11 times. This week I began my 12th move. I should be a pro by now. I have to admit that I have always had this fantasy of a move being relaxing and exciting. I’d take my time moving in and enjoy the process. I’d set up each room one at a time and stretch this joyous project over a couple weeks. But that has never happened. Somehow when the move date finally arrives you have less time and more stuff than ever before.
This week my husband and I are moving two miles up the road in our current city. After heart palpitations over closing costs we found ourselves doing this move without the help of professional movers. We began our move on Thursday evening of this week with the gracious help of my in-laws. We started the move by packing up the kitchen. We packed up about 10 bins of items, lugged them down two flights of steps in our current apartment, played Tetris to fit every one into the car and drove to our new place to unpack. Round 1 was complete and it felt good. We turned around and came back to start Round 2. We agreed to fuel up and order takeout dinner in the meantime. Not wanting to be difficult (which is rare) I compromised that I would share a pizza with my husband if, and only if, he ordered us a vegetable pizza with extra vegetables so I felt like I was eating salad.
The takeout arrived. We stopped for a brief 20 minutes to eat and chat and then got back to loading up the car to drop off the next round of items before we called it a night.
Friday morning I woke up and took my usual 6:00 am barre class. Stopped at Starbucks for a banana and a coffee afterwards and headed back to my apartment for the day to tackle packing up our bedroom. Around 9:30 am I felt that first stomach growl of hunger. For me there is no such thing as gradual hunger. I’m either not hungry or I’m starving, using irrational words and phrases to describe my hunger and justifying my actions as a result of my hunger. I went to the kitchen to eat breakfast and remembered we had moved the whole kitchen, including the pantry, to our new house last night. I assessed my three breakfast options: Chocolate rice cakes with almond butter left in a gym bag, the leftover takeout pizza in the fridge or starve. As I listened to my head and began spreading 2 tablespoons of almond butter on 2 chocolate rice cakes I longed for what my heart wanted: one of the three leftover slices of pizza in the fridge.
I began to do the math, not because I am a crazy calorie counter, but because when you have struggled with dieting your whole life these numbers are engrained in your head.
Breakfast Option 1:
- 70 calories for the 2 rice cake (45 calories each)
- 180 calories for the 2 tablespoons of almond butter
- Roughly 100 extra calories because I’ll inevitably allow myself to lick the spoon as a reward for NOT choosing the pizza.
Total: Roughly 350 calories
Breakfast Option 2:
- 230 calories for 1 slice of Cold Vegetable Pizza
Total: Roughly 230 calories
I ate the cold pizza. And it was fabulous. I sat on my couch with my cold pizza on a beautiful Anthropologie plate and ate it slowly like it was any other conventional healthy breakfast option. And I am not going to lie that whole day I seriously felt like I was wearing a sign on my chest that screamed, “I ate pizza for breakfast!!!” That’s how uncomfortable doing something like that felt for me.
After I ate that slice of pizza it made me really start to think… What constitutes a good day of eating and what constitutes a bad day of eating? I have always viewed pizza as a “bad” food. A food that was off limits for someone like me. So if I eat pizza I am automatically having a bad day. And I am automatically bad.
I believe a lot of us who have struggled with dieting and weight have subconsciously put food in two categories. Good and Bad. The minute we eat a bad food we let our day go to shit (for lack of a better word). This leads us to spend the whole day, or week, eating everything in site until we start our diets again on Monday. Because of this we actually become our own worst enemy. It’s unbelievable how quickly a food we have labeled as bad can start the downward spiral. It’s the all or nothing mentality that has been our biggest roadblock.
The next morning I drove 3 miles to a bakery to get a large crumb filled blueberry muffin (another bad food) for breakfast and again spent the rest of the day working very hard to not let me day go to shit. The struggle was real but it was worth it to remove the “good” and “bad” labels that do more harm than good.
Let’s all try to remove the labels we put on food and ourselves. When we do this we instantly become our own best allies. AND we get pizza for breakfast!