It's that split-second decision I have to make when I'm measuring out my 1/4 cup of dried cranberries for my morning yogurt - to not make the measurement "heaping" but rather, "level" - to remember that I am not running at the moment, and therefore am not burning calories like crazy so I can't eat like that. And honestly? Even when I'm running, I don't need to eat like that.
I don't have it all together. While I'd like to think I'm on autopilot when it comes to most of my food choices, the fact is that I still fudge my measurements...oftentimes I *think* I need more than I actually do. It's that kind of thinking that got me to 256 pounds in the first place - and I am all too aware that if I'm not careful, I can easily head in that direction again.
I still count out a certain number of turkey slices for my sandwich, I scoop peanut butter into a tablespoon before I put it on my English muffin, I employ the 100-calorie packs of guacamole to help keep me "on the straight and narrow" as my mom would say. And even with doing all of this, it's still a conscious choice to measure correctly. For example, I keep a set of measuring cups in my pantry (no excuse for not parceling out the correct portion this way) - and yet, every morning when I'm preparing my Greek yogurt/cereal/dried cranberries, I have to make the choice to keep my scoops level:
I plop 6 ounces of Fage nonfat plain yogurt into my bowl and then add half a cup of Fiber One cereal - I use the 1/4 cup measuring cup twice, since I'll also use it for the dried cranberries.
Level scoop. Not heaping - I will admit that the cereal is no great shakes in terms of taste, so I'm not usually tempted to add more. It does the trick with bulking up the yogurt and adding a nice amount of fiber with not a lot of calories, so that's why I choose to eat this brand.
Mmmm, Craisins! We buy a gigantic bag from Sam's Club and I decant some into a plastic container - this way I know I always have some, even if the rest of the bag has disappeared.
A normal, fairly level 1/4 cup serving.
Some days, I scoop out this much - most of the time I come to my senses and shake off the excess back into the container...
Just curious, I swiped the excess off the top and measured it - that's about 1/8 of a cup of extra Craisins, or about 50 calories!
The finished bowl, covered with a dusting of cinnamon - all this, measured correctly, comes out to about 247 calories. If I went with my heaping scoops, I'd easily be well into the 300s - not horrible, but think about this...
If, on every meal or snack, I fudged a bit on the portion size, I could add an extra 300 to 500 calories a day. Again, not horrible, but I'm certainly not going to lose any weight doing that, and over time, it WILL add up to extra pounds.
I guess this is what life will always be like for me - well, IF I want to maintain my weight loss...which, of course, I do. It's definitely a choice, and one that I am willing to make.