Treating myself

I went to Sonic today.

No, I didn’t cave in. No, I wasn’t in the car with someone who wanted to grab a quick bite.

I was with my wife and we had just left the doctor’s office where I had the kind of simple procedure that many men have after they and their partner decide they don’t want kids anymore. The doctor recommended regular icing for a day or two and I really like the little cubes you get from Sonic.

As my wife pulled into the lot, I joked that we should just get our breakfast here since I held off on eating until after the procedure. We were both starving and in our old lives, fast food’s convenience almost always won over the cheaper and healthier option of eating at home. The thought of at least treating myself to a Diet Dr. Pepper with low-cal cherry flavor did enter my head. I used to drink 100 ounces or more of pop a day after our son was born and we were fighting the fatigue of raising a newborn while dealing with my wife’s separated pelvis from childbirth. Every little thing like that felt like a treat for us that we deserved.

About four months after our son was born, we changed to a plant-based, whole food diet after watching Forks Over Knives and reading the Engine 2 Diet. Meals that have a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts are the best way to directly get the micro-nutrients our bodies need to fight disease and maintain a healthy weight and we decide not to eat much of anything else.

I went from 274 pounds since I started my diet to 218 pounds now for a loss of 56 pounds. I’m a few pounds away from falling out of the obese BMI range into the unhealthy range! My wife is already below her pre-pregnancy weight despite spending much of her postpartum life in a walker or wheelchair and we both have cholesterol below the 150 mark that most doctors consider amazingly healthy.

SonicThe pictures hanging on the wall along the drive thru of bacon cheeseburgers, tater-tot burritos and the 1,000s of drink combinations Sonic offered didn’t look the least bit appetizing to us. We paid for our ice, went home and I began to ice my marbles. About 12 hours post-vasectomy, and I’m pain free, by the way.

I was craving a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when we got home and my wife toasted one on our Ezekiel whole grain bread. It’s become truely amazing how little I crave the junk I used to eat and how much joy I find in eating real, whole food.

Whether I was coming home from a late night at work, or we wanted to celebrate our last night together before I had to leave on a  basketball road trip, my wife and I used food a lot to treat ourselves from the stresses of our lives. Usually it was fast food meals or fare from a feel-good family restaurant like Denney’s.

We did eventually treat ourselves tonight. My wife stayed home with me all day and when she went to pick our son up from daycare, she stopped and got some Boca vegan burgers (it’s actually a shame that Boca’s veggie burgers are not vegan unless they specifically say so…). She also got tomatoes, avocados and Ezekiel buns and we added some greens from our fridge and had burgers stacked just as tall as the burgers pictured on the fast food ads. Without bacon, mayonnaise, cheese and meat, I don’t have to tell you how much more beneficial they are for our health…

Food should not be used as reward or punishment for ourselves. Instead, we should reward our bodies everyday with the nutrition it needs to get and stay healthy.

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