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Maintaining the Lifelong Low Fat Marathon – 6 Months After a Heart Attack | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Maintaining the Lifelong Low Fat Marathon – 6 Months After a Heart Attack

muffin

A breakfast sandwich compromise

It’s easy to embrace a lower fat lifestyle. The biggest challenge long term is keeping it.

It’s 6 months since my heart attack. I have lost 31 of the 51 pounds I need to lose, and find my biggest struggle is resisting temptation on a daily basis. Cardiac rehab is over, and I no longer have to weigh in with a nurse right there 3 times a week.

Add to that challenge I love food. I grew up loving fatty foods too. This week, I worked to meet some challenges.

One of my friends (thanks Nibby!) is very good when he sees me about to back slide to remind me, “Not on your plan, Mary.”

A reason I’ve gone public with my challenge to eat lighter is just so friends can help me stay on task – and also so I’m aware that people are watching to see if I practice what I post and write.

Yesterday was a challenging day. Just before my heart attack, I was elected President of our county’s 4-H Leaders. Yesterday was one of our fundraisers that helps purchase manuals for 700 kids in our county – we were selling concessions for breakfast and lunch at an event.

Breakfast was my gauntlet of biscuits, gravy, and bacon.  For a week, I had pondered our biscuits and gravy, which was one of my favorites.

I hadn’t touched gravy since my heart attack. I’ve eaten one biscuit. But I adored my standby feel-good breakfast. How would I resist temptation? All week, I thought about how good my former favorite breakfast was.

I decided not to volunteer until the tail end of breakfast to reduce my temptation time. The less I was around it, the less likely it would be I would fall off the wagon. Then I decided to take just a bit of our biscuits and gravy so it would get out of my system. When I arrived, I made a plate with a single biscuit, a small scoop of gravy that was half the amount I usually used, and a single sausage patty.

It didn’t taste as good as I remembered. After I ate it, I smelled the fat of the gravy and was repulsed.  I felt heavy and bloated.

The days of my adoring biscuits and gravy have ended. After 6 months, my taste buds have changed.

Then came the lunch shift. We serve fantastic grilled pork chops and chicken, with the meat purchased from a local butcher. It’s top quality product. Our side dishes included sweet and sour slaw, German potato salad, baked beans loaded with bacon, and desserts of Texas sheet cake and fruit crisp. We added healthier side choices last year of veggie packs, apples, bananas, and light yogurt. We saw a huge uptick in the interest in the lighter side items last year, and this year they got to help me.

I chose one of the pork chops, the slaw which has a vinegar-based dressing with no oil, and a yogurt. And I did indulge in a single piece of the chocolate cake. It still tasted fantastic. But I knew at one piece my quota had been met – once I ate it, it got out of my head.  When someone volunteering complimented me on staying on task with my food choices, it helped me resist temptation.

The final challenge comes with leftovers. I don’t waste food. We distributed some leftovers, but I came home with a few leftover sausage patties, egg squares, and biscuits. My family would enjoy some of those items. For my breakfast this morning, I worked to help go through the leftovers but stay on path.

I again compromised. Our local bakery thrift store sells wheat English muffins that are low sodium. I ate one of the sausage patties on that muffin, with an Egg Beater portion (measured), a whopping portion of organic spinach, and a slice of fat free cheese. Combined, it was like a McMuffin sandwich with a lot less fat. I could enjoy my new equivalent of the type of breakfasts I used to love.

Yes, it would be better if I only ate whole foods and avoided the fat free products made with chemicals. However, I know myself well enough to recognize if I try that, I will fall off the wagon completely, and it will be harder to resume the better choices.

Finding ways to make a few compromises is helping me stay on the lifetime lower fat lifestyle. They help me last the endurance test long term.

 


Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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