I spent this past weekend up in Providence Rhode Island, visiting our eldest son, Paul. It was so nice to be with him—walking in Roger Williams Park, watching the swan boats take leisurely turns in the small lake. It was nice to have the luxury of talking, not just about what he was doing, but also hearing his thoughts on a variety of subjects. He is a good and kind man, our Paul, with a silly sense of humor and a big heart.
The weekend was a bit of a challenge from a food standpoint. Friday’s fairly easy “one stop” plane travel got decidedly more complex when the first plane had maintenance issues. I was supposed to get to Providence by 12:30 and ended up getting to Boston by 4:30. Paul picked me up at 5:30 and it took us a full two hours to drive back to Providence where we enjoyed a late—and very rich—dinner.
So, I didn’t turn down the “plane cookies”—who knew when I would eat again? While I tried to parse out a reasonable portion size at dinner, the size of the plate made my guessing a bit less scientific as usual. Saturday was another challenge. We went to a tapas place, and I always struggle with those to find the right balance of healthy and indulgent, and to take small portions of what I do eat.
Monday morning I was at the top of my weight range. For the past couple weeks, I have been in the upper half of that range rather than the lower. Yes, it’s in the range I set for myself, but I would sure rather be at the median than the top quartile.
As I have thought through what I’m doing differently, I come back to portion sizes. I am very confident in my ability to limit what foods I do eat on a daily basis—like avoiding any starches at dinner. I am less confident as I think back to the servings I give to myself. I think I am facing a bit of “size creep.” As we move towards the colder months, where our fare is less about grilled meats and veggies, and more about soups, stews and braises, it’s time for me to figure out an approach.
The thing is, I don’t want to spend my time measuring everything I put in my mouth. One of my joys of this lifestyle has been my ability to not have to do a deep dive on everything passing my lips. I don’t want to put my intake under “Martial Law,” I just want to tighten things up a bit.
The middle ground on which I’ve decided is to measure my food one day a week. Since my life has always been enriched with alliteration, this will be “Measurement Monday.” Of course, since Monday is already Meatless Monday, it can now be Meatless Measurement Monday—or 3M! Surely no one has used that name before! (I am still a bit miffed that someone stole the word “fattitudes” in advance of my using it to describe my inner hidden beliefs. Who knew it was a movie? I was robbed!)
Once a week, on 3M, I will measure my dinner serving. No more than 1 ¼ cups of soups or stews, no more than 3 oz. of protein. I will use that measurement to set up my reminder parameters in my head for the rest of the week.
It’s another tiny test of change, a way of getting myself back on track without being too rigid. I will need to adjust if my Monday dinner is a meal where I am flexing—wait a minute, no I won’t. That would probably be reserved for Flex Friday!
I am kidding, I assure you. Well, mostly.