Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A (Chinese) New Year

Ok, so technically, Chinese New Year was the day before yesterday, but I've taken the last couple days to ruminate on some things: a.) I've totally fallen off the first new year's resolutions wagon, and b.) I haven't been keeping this blog. At all.

So I'm going to start with a few basic resolutions both food-oriented and not.

First of all, I very enthusiastically jumped at Just Bento's 5-Week Challenge and managed for a week. In fact, no only did I manage for a week, but I completely surpassed the goals for the week -- I didn't just make one bento, I tried to have a bento meal at least three or four times in that first week. IN FACT, now that I'd gotten on the healthy-eating kick, I also decided that I was going to start doing the exercise bike for half an hour every day. This new attitude of not-dieting, exercising, and eating awareness led to the download of a very sophisticated calorie calculator for my new very sophisticated android phone. And two weeks of obsessive calorie-watching later I was so sick of the neurosis and disappointment that came with eating something outside of the numbers and then not exercising to make up for it because I was ALREADY depressed that I stopped altogether.

This is not a healthy way of going about this, folks. I don't even need to be a psych student for that, which is funny because I am one. Except that this is actually very common with going to extremes in changing lifestyles. Does this cycle sound a little familiar?:

- I set incredible goals for myself to be a better, healthier person.
- I do a great job meeting my goals for a little while. I feel awesome!
- I kind of miss being able to eat certain foods, relax a little, or just stop thinking about the numbers for a day.
- I go ahead and treat myself to something awful. I know what the calories look like but I'll do extra work to make up for it!
- I don't do the extra work to make up for it. Oh well, I'll do better tomorrow.
- I didn't do extra work and on top of it, I got so upset I ate more than/things that I shouldn't!
- I feel horrible about myself. I'm completely off the wagon. This whole thing is overwhelming now because I'm so behind.
- It's not worth it: I give up.

Setting yourself to a really strict diet, or an unrealistic set of goals, right away, is such a bad idea, and yet it's so common around the new year. Watch all the dieting and exercise and weight loss companies capitalize on it. Hey, even fast food got in on it this year:

So now you can have your fast food and still get long as you also pursue an independent, healthy lifestyle. Fine print, we love you so.

The fact of the matter is, balance is best. Knowing what you're eating is key. And portion control is essential. These are also some of the keys to the Bento Challenge. So I'm going to go ahead and try that way the challenge goes, not "Jo's Super-Awesome More Extreme Variant on the Bento Challenge."

I'm not so sure about whether or not I'm going to keep logging my calories though...any thoughts on that? Maybe instead of being accountable to the calorie counter, I'll try being accountable to my readers: Bento Challenge requires that you post your bentos as evidence of sorts.

So the foodness of the blog is going to kick off with some hardcore lazy bento-making, because if I was making it, say, for my girlfriend, it would be very pretty and well-made. But I'm the one eating it, so expect less cute and more food.

I have to say though...celebratory Fay Da Bakery goods are great for Chinese New Year's, but not very balanced whole every meal.

Next post: my Bento basics