The Splurge Urge and Conquering The Hill
Just when you think you're totally past the toughest mental battles along this road, one jumps up and bites you. I was bitten by a really strong urge to splurge today. There was no outside force making me feel weak. I wasn't depressed, I wasn't sad, I wasn't celebrating anything. I was just home for lunch and frustrated that the only thing I could find was peanut butter on low calorie whole wheat. So I guess I was frustrated. OK, I've identified the emotion, now how do I handle it? I had a tablespoon of peanut butter between two slices of the 45 calorie bread for a 190 calorie peanut butter sandwich. Let's understand something: I love peanut butter. The other day I purchased a jar of JIF for the very first time since I started this journey. Why have I avoided the stuff? Because it's right up there with half gallons of ice cream and cartons of cottage cheese on the list of foods I tend to avoid because I know myself really well. Some of my biggest control issues with food have involved those foods, along with cheese of any kind and gravy. I bought the peanut butter the other day because I felt that I'm in such a wonderful mental state---I could handle anything. And I guess I really didn't go nuts or anything (pardon the pun), but I'm not proud of what I did after the completely responsible 190 calorie sandwich. We had leftover Fritos in the house from our chili the other night. We're really in complete control with chips...we count out a serving. A bag use to last a couple of hours around here in the pre-journey days. Now we have old stale bags in the cabinet that are so old and unused---they should be thrown away. OK---I'm stalling with this confession. Are you ready for this? I stood at the kitchen counter and as crazy as this might sound, I dipped a Frito into the creamy peanut butter for a salty-crunchy-peanut-buttery taste sensation. Then I did it again. Once more and then a fourth time. I mindlessly consumed 200 calories while standing at that counter, and peanut butter dipped Fritos? What's that all about? Am I pregnant? It wasn't a meltdown by any stretch, but it was just out of character and not in tune with the new me. I don't throw calories around mindlessly, but standing at that counter eating a combination I'd never tried before (it was pretty good by the way) was very unusual. I stopped myself after the fourth one. It's like my defense system was taking a coffee break or something. It took a little longer to respond to this mindless consumption. When it did, I was pretty upset and felt guilty. I didn't wreck my calorie budget—I'm still in a wonderful place---I'm still OK. But I learned something valuable. Fritos and peanut butter rock! NO---Seriously, I learned that just because I sometimes feel invincible, I'm not. I'm still capable of feeling the crazy “splurge urge.” The difference now? I'm able to identify it and deal with what I'm doing. The old Sean would have grabbed the bag and the jar and headed for the couch. I would've thought of a wonderful excuse to take a long lunch and I would have devoured my newly discovered snack combination until I was stuffed. The new Sean doesn't play that way. Oh, and through it all those silly sugar wafers were on the counter pleading for me to have just one. I didn't. Is it possible to be 'in control' even when you're 'out of control?'---maybe. I wouldn't necessarily call it control. Awareness and the ability to correct a very minor slip before it becomes a major meltdown is more like it. I'm actually stronger from the experience.
The 5K walk/jog tonight (don't get too impressed by '5K' and 'jog' in the same sentence—it was mostly walking, maybe an 80/20 split) was refreshing to say the least. It stormed earlier and the moisture in the air has left the sweet smell of rain on everything. It was cooler, not bad at all! I notice that I have a longer jogging endurance when I'm on the treadmill. At the trail, it seems like maybe I'm too unregulated to settle into a set speed. On the treadmill I can set it on 5.0 mph and be good for a long while, but on the trail it's different. I did something tonight that was really cool. I conquered THE Hill. At the trail there is a hill that isn't really steep, it's just really loooong. The incline just keeps going and going. When we first started walking around the actual trail I had lost a little bit of weight I'm sure, but still at almost 500 pounds that hill would beat me down. I can remember stopping several times in the middle of the 'climb' because my legs were on fire and we always dreaded that thing. Tonight—I jogged up that thing like it was a walk in the park. It was a sweet little victory. That hill doesn't have anything on me anymore. My brain on the other hand does...I'm still a tiny bit self conscious about being the “fat guy jogging,” but I'm getting over that. If someone drives by and gets a laugh at my expense, so be it. They don't know who I am and where I'm headed. It would blow their minds if they only knew at whom they were laughing. Maybe someday they'll put it together-- that's the guy we use to laugh at while he tried to run! Wow, look at him now! I wish I had a body like that! Hey, it's my imagination---I can make these imaginary people think anything I want them too! And that brings me to this: My mental hangups, our mental hangups about what other people think of us---are rarely as bad as our imaginations would have us believe. Those people driving by as I slowly jog, they're just as likely thinking-- Good for him, he's really going after what he wants, makes me want to get out there too. And they're even more likely not noticing at all. Our brains can really convince us otherwise, but seriously---it's typically not as bad as we think. Irene's at work and Courtney is at a friends house this evening. Amber did the 5K with me. That girl has more jogging endurance than me. She can just keep going and going. If we're all just walking, and Courtney and I are about to pass Amber...she amps it up a few notches, refusing to let us pass. Then we amp it up trying to pass, then she really turns it on and she's gone! In the end we all get a better workout as a result of our friendly competitiveness.
I list my blogroll by latest post first. That way I can see who hasn't posted in a while. If you're a weight loss blogger and reader, I encourage you, no...let's make this a challenge: I challenge you to find someone on your blog roll that hasn't posted in a really long while. Go to their blog and offer some words of encouragement. Hopefully they're doing wonderful. As solid as some of us are on this road, we mustn't forget that some still struggle greatly. And maybe a word or two from one of us will make a difference. Maybe not, but at least we can try. I imagine you do this already, huh? A good solid support group of successful weight loss bloggers can be like weight loss superheroes to some. We all have different experiences and abilities to relate to people. So put on your cape my friends and fly into those stale blogs and see what's happening with our weight loss brothers and sisters.
Day 317 was really good despite the temporary craziness of dipping Fritos in peanut butter and spending 200 calories in the process. Seriously, not bad at all. We're headed to a wonderful, wonderful, most amazing place and sometimes we need a little variety in our performance just to keep our defenses and new way of life sharp and in focus. I'm focused on getting a good night's rest. Goodnight and...