So Friday night I went to the Washington County Fair…
Whether it is a local carnival, a county fair, or the big state fair these situations tend to be very tricky for people to navigate when trying to eat healthy. As you can clearly see in the background of this photo of myself just outside the midway of the Washington County Fair, things like corndogs, ice cream, cotton candy, funnel cake, deep fried cheese curds and mini doughnuts are scattered like landmines throughout the entire event. Navigating to the healthy choices can prove to be difficult, but it is doable… but let’s be honest… it is an event. However when going to the fair… for me at least food is not the event. I love taking the camera and shooting photos of anything and everything. I take photos of animals, people, rides, abstract colors, anything that catches my eye. I also get a workout in while I am at the fair. By the time I left the fair yesterday I had over 13,000 steps logged. (I aim for 8000-10,000/day.)
So what is a person to do? Go all out balls to the wall and indulge in EVERYTHING? That will surely lead to disaster… that choice leads down a road of destruction that just derails progress. I like to head into these situations with a plan in mind. It is okay to deviate from the plan, but if you go in with a plan in place it is okay. I planned on having a funnel cake for dinner. It has been YEARS since I have had funnel cake, I am a bit fussy about it to be honest. It needs to be big fat tubes, only have powdered sugar on it. It needs to be fresh… yeah… otherwise it’s not worth it.
I planned for funnel cake… I didn’t have it. I DID have… gluten free cheese curds from one of my favorite food trucks. Sadly the truck is up for sale… I felt like it was a sign from the universe… one to have them before I can’t anymore, and two… I need to buy the truck. (Kickstarter anyone?) I split my spicy cheese curds with my friend Jennifer who I was attending the fair with. I ate a good 1/4 to 1/3 of the order, and once I felt that my craving had been satisfied… I stopped. The cheese curds tasted amazing, I wanted to continue eating them… but I know what they do to my body.
I knew as soon as I decided to have the curds that the funnel cake was not a priority for me any longer… In fact it is entirely possible walking into the fair that it was off the proverbial menu. I practice this strategy, and it works pretty well for me, so I figured I will share it with you. If I really want something, like I can’t leave it behind or I will feel regret about not having it, I will get it and enjoy it. No biggie right? If I am only feeling so-so about something I tell myself I will just get it next time. I know I will be going to the Great Minnesota get together in a few weeks (the State Fair) and that there will be funnel cake there… but there will also be OTHER things there that I might want to try. So if I simply defer my desire for this food until it is more intense by telling myself next time, and then forgetting about it until the event approaches again I have navigated around the landmine.
I am all about doing what works for you, for some people sharing these high calorie foods is a great option at the fair… some people can eat two or three bites and throw them away (I was prepared to throw away cheese curds). For others avoidance is the only thing that works… if that means not eating at all during the fair, that is acceptable. If that means not putting yourself into a position to be tempted by the foods at the fair or carnival that is okay too. I think it is perfectly okay to make the decision that is right for you.