This has been an interesting week. I realize that use of the word "interesting" can imply nearly everything imaginable, but I suppose that is my point. It has been unique in that I'm in a new office some different co-workers, have a new route to work, and I have to pull it together in the morning so that I'm not tragically late. I have to keep up with a thingy that lets me in the gate to the parking deck, have to have my gym clothes with me so that I can change before I leave so that I won't freak out if traffic is horrendous, and there's a new cafeteria in the basement of the glorious new workspace that serves both breakfast and lunch.
Yeah, that last one is a bit of a challenge for me. I wandered down the other morning to get a cup of coffee since that is a luxury currently not available on my floor and the the constant 72 degrees in the building was feeling a little more like 52 instead. I clutched my wallet close to me as I passed a buffet of eggs, grits and every imaginable sausage (I averted my eyes at the bacon) and found my way to the coffee machine.
It took every fiber of my being to stay out of there today.
At lunch there are lovely selections that are either semi-healthy (salad) or anything but (fried catfish). I can bypass the desserts with my nose in the air, but the chicken salad? That was tougher.
Needless to say, I have absolutely no business going in that cafeteria unless I'm accompanied by an adult. An adult that says "NO" a lot. At the very least...someone who will hold me accountable.
It has been a week of major temptations...I have encountered everything from World's Finest Chocolate (a/k/a "band candy") at a teller window to Great American Cookie Company (Brian's birthday was this week but I left my favorite white chocolate macadamia nut cookies at the store) to bacon AND sausage at church last Sunday.
It's like that you know...when you are focused on not eating certain foods for a period of time. You'll hit a point where it is possible to delude yourself into thinking that you can have just a bite. A tablespoon of peanut butter turns into eight tablespoons if you don't watch yourself. And no, it is not healthy even if you are smearing it on an apple. Okay, FINE, the apple is healthy.
Part of the problem is the awareness that you've been without for a long time...but the other problem is sabotage. Anyone who has ever dieted has encountered the emotional issues with eating. Feeling thinner than you are because you are so grateful to have clothes that are too big for you. Justifying a little fudging of the eating plan here and there because you work out like a lunatic.
Folks, I am in no position to be sabotaging myself. But I'm aware that I'm in the danger zone. Specifically, I am within three pounds of the lowest weight I've been in recent memory and the temptations are coming at me harder and faster than they have for the past four months.
I've thought about it a little bit and wondered what is going on with me...and I think some of it is a feeling of relief that my program works, that I have a wonderful support network, and I feel almost normal again...even at this weight. I'm stronger in my workouts and I really love improving. But the majority is the emotional component of what got me here in the first place.
This week I actually wore a sleeveless top to the gym. It showed my arms in their current state. Nobody shrieked in terror and a lot of people told me that they liked the top. So, that's good, right? It was a huge step for me, because I haven't bared my arms for many, many moons. This was right on the heels of finding two pair of workout pants that actually somewhat fit. I also did some highly unattractive burpees...but I did them. Not at the pace of the rest of the class...but faster and better than I'd ever done them. All of those are really great moves in the right direction.
But that cafeteria...is most assuredly not.
So, instead of freaking out and sabotaging myself as I get closer and closer to where I want to be...I am going to breathe, stay with what works and quit trying to deviate from the plan. After all, I still have 75 pounds left to lose.
At least it isn't 140...which is where I started out.
Maybe we all have something in us that tries to ruin something when it seems to be going too well. Maybe we feel the need to test it so that we can trust that it is real and not an illusion. Maybe we all need a break so that we can regroup and hit it harder and more faithfully with an eye on how easy it is to get back into bad habits.
I am not saying that I am in grave danger of messing everything up...I'm just perfectly aware that the possibility exists. I know myself that well. I know that the weight is more than about enjoying food. It is also a stupid but effective way of stuffing down feelings, and making people comfortable being around me. The more I lose, the more I stand to lose. The more I fail to recognize the toe in the pond...the more likely it becomes a swan dive into the abyss.
Tomorrow I will get up and go to an aerobics class that I enjoy and I'll celebrate my son being home for the weekend. I'll want to spoil him a bit and we'll probably end up in a restaurant somewhere. That's all fine. What isn't fine is me relaxing my need to nourish my body in a healthy way just because I've managed to lose 65 pounds.
The journey sometimes has parts in it that seem a bit uphill. Those uphill stretches like plateaus, arms that are getting stronger but still somewhat resemble wings, and seeing the "after" pictures that are a huge sigh of relief (from the "before" ones anyway) but a testament that I still have a long, long way to go.
That's okay. What I need to be sure to guard myself against as I enter the next phase is the possibility of letting others sabotage my plans...or worse than that...doing it myself.
I'll be praying that I can address the emotional issues surrounding the weight loss and doing the hard work there that I've been doing physically since February. Sometimes we forget that losing weight is more than just watching our diets and picking up our activity. We have to address what got us there in the first place...fear...insecurity...pain.
This is the next phase of the journey for me...getting stronger...staying faithful...telling myself the truth. It will be tough...but so were those burpees in Allyson's class on Thursday...but I did them anyway. I don't know if the emotional burpees will be any easier...I kind of doubt it...but it is time to do that work.
And it is definitely necessary to stay out of that cafeteria. Just saying.