Like many dieters, nighttime hours are tough. Sometimes I sit here and imagine how many calories I could rack up in a single day if I hit Walgreens' candy aisle and put everything I wanted into the cart: Kit-Kats, Butterfingers, kettle corn, Hot Tomales, Mike & Ikes, Reese's Pieces, the list goes on.
I hadn't had a problem combatting such thoughts until last night. I have several friend/family special occasions coming up (birthdays and the like), and I bought candy at Walgreens to give with cards. Mistake No. 1: The events aren't for at least a few days, meaning the candy just sits around in the house. Mistake No. 2: I hadn't eaten dinner by 8 p.m. so I was quite peckish.
Well, long story short, I ate candy. A lot of candy. This was the first time since I started this whole thing that I had a moment of total willpower meltdown.
Here's the reason I'm not worried about what happened: In the middle of chowing down on Starbursts and Almond Joy Pieces, I turned the packages around, read the nutrition information and calculated exactly how many calories I was consuming. I NEVER would have done that before. In the past, if I didn't know how much I was eating, then I couldn't feel as badly about it. This time, I forced myself to compile that information, open up my food journal, write it down, and total up the damage.
The rest of the day I had eaten: two clementines, a bowl of pineapple, beef jerkey and a 6-inch sweet onion chicken teriaki from Subway. All of that was 870 calories. This is the embarrassing bit: The candy total was an additional 800 calories. (Trust me, it does not take a truckload to get to that number. Sugar is very caloric.)
So, at the end of the day, my total was 1,670. My daily goal is 1,200, so certainly, almost 500 calories over is not a good thing. But it could have been much worse had I not armed myself with information.
So, honestly, no guilt today. I've said this before, and I mean it: It's OK to mess up once in a while. It's what you do after you mess up that matters. And today, I'm heading to the gym.