It’s a thorny question amongst diet gurus: do you completely avoid fast food, or just try to keep it in moderation?
Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s no easy answer. And today, I had my first (but not last, I’m sure!) major food temptation since starting this calorie counting stuff.
See, there’s this wonderful oil change place wayyyyy out in Eagle Rock, California (45 minutes from my home, on a good day), who’s been doing my oil changes for about – wow, 20 years now, I guess. (They’re REALLY good, and no, I’m not telling you who they are, ’cause they’re MINE ALL MINE!)
Anyway, I only go there about once every 5,000 miles, or 6 months, whichever comes first. And last time I went there, I hadn’t started doing this calorie counting stuff.
But today – well, let’s just say that while I was sitting there, waiting for them to finish my oil change, I started thinking about … fried chicken.
And not just ANY fried chicken – but the best fried chicken in the known universe:
See, I used to go to Church’s ALL THE TIME when I lived in Altadena, many, many years ago. This particular location, in fact. And it was always sooo good – juicy, crunchy, mmm mmm. (And no, this isn’t an ad for Church’s Fried Chicken – I’ve had the same issues with KFC and Popeye’s. Just not recently, and definitely not today!)
Anyway, I sat there thinking about it – and thinking about it – and when my car was ready, and I got in, somehow the car TOOK OVER and insisted on driving into Pasadena, to that Church’s, and FORCED me to buy their Thursday 3-piece chicken special for $2.99! It was horrible, I tells ya!
Heh heh. Okay – of course, the car didn’t “force” me to do anything (other than shell out $35 for the oil change). And of course, I was in complete control at all time.
But the thing is, since I’m counting calories, I knew it was up to me. I have 1,500 calories per day to “spend” on whatever I want. So far, I’d used 300 calories on breakfast. So if I wanted to give in to my “food nostalgia,” and spend up to 800 calories on a gooey, juicy, crunchy fried chicken lunch, that was up to me.
Fortunately, there were a couple of mitigating factors, which I hadn’t been aware of the last time (times!) I’d been here:
- Church’s has calorie information right on their menus now (and on Google too), so I could get a better idea of exactly how many calories I was getting.
- Even if they didn’t, lots of folks at MyFitnessPal.com and other calorie counting apps have put that information out, even providing calories per drumstick, thigh, wing, etc.
- A very sensible person named Shannon Sorrels, whose book, “Then Just Stay Fat,” inspired me to do what I’m doing now, points out that just because you *buy* the food doesn’t mean you have to *eat* all of it. It’s OK to throw it away. What a concept, right? Throwing away food – almost sounds sinful!
But she’s right – and after looking up the calorie info on the three pieces I’d bought, I kept the two drumsticks (which totaled about 300 calories) and tossed the big giant (yummy looking) breast without a second thought. (OK, without a third thought!!)
- And finally – there’s always EXERCISE! Even though I was reasonably sure I’d kept the calories down to a manageable level, I stopped on the way home at beautiful Griffith Park, and worked off about 100 calories on a leisurely stroll through Travel Town.
So, it all worked out OK. But let me tell you, if that’s a preview of the kind of temptations I’m going to be dealing with, I’m either going to have to develop WAY better willpower – or find an oil change place closer to home!