Yesterday: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I had plenty of natural exercises, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.
The text came on Friday, "We've canceled the bands this weekend at Octoberfest, so your emcee services will not be needed. Sorry." The forecast was for a washout. I quickly renegotiated a lesser role as an emcee for other things. Mother Nature cooperated enough to have a decent day--and for the role I played, it worked well.
I got creative for my food plan yesterday. The festival food was everywhere and most wasn't anywhere near the boundaries of my daily food plan. I packed my own Joseph's Flax-Oat Bran-Whole Wheat pita, a big apple, and a fresh peach. My plan for lunch was to buy a gyro without the sauce (simply because I don't like cucumber anything), with grilled onions--then ditch their pita bread and place the lamb and onions in mine. It worked perfectly--and was really good. I must tell you, the food thoughts were swirling though--oh my, my brain was in overdrive trying to rationalize an order of this or that. I'll spare you the food-porn style descriptions. Let's just say, there were some refined sugar-free selections, that, although meeting that part of my needs--certainly, still, have zero business on my food plan.
I've been a part of this annual event for many years in a row--honestly, I can't remember how many--I'd need to go back into the archives of this blog to confirm--not important, my point is, I always run into people, some whom I haven't seen since last year. When you were once 500 pounds and you're no longer 500 pounds, there's a pretty good chance it will come up again and again. I heard a variety of things yesterday, from "You're still looking good" to "Are you still dieting" to "How do you diet at a thing like this?" I accept the compliments and avoid long explanations of what I do. I certainly don't look at my daily practice as a "diet," but that's a common perception--and that's okay. There's a time and a place for a deeper explanation of what I do if someone really cares to know. Most of the time it isn't.
It was a good experience yesterday. Between Friday and yesterday, my natural exercise was off the chart--and I'm literally sore from the activity. But it's a good sore. And because I have a tendency to beat myself up over anything and everything (of course I do--I'm human), I remind myself that the soreness is likely worse because of my lack of a consistent workout schedule.
I actually had a wonderful conversation with a gym owner at yesterday's event--a gym that I have a membership to--and he thanked me for helping them keep the lights on. I explained to him my struggles with workout consistency over the last year and a half or more and he proceeded to inspire me with his encouragement and words. I'm glad I had that conversation. I also learned the gym is moving to a brand new location very soon. That's exciting. Between that, my YMCA membership, and the fact that there's so much I can do without a membership to anything, I literally only need to check my willingness and re-establish a measure of importance. It's going to be about finding the same kind of importance level that inspires me to pack a pita and fruit before a big festival event.
I've put so much energy and importance on my food plan while other critical elements of the overall plan have suffered greatly. My struggles have been around this imbalance and honestly, my overall wellness is not sustainable without elevating these critical elements. When one area of the plan is lacking it can quickly pull down other areas. I typically don't get enough rest and I don't get enough exercise. Those are two major points of this daily practice that I've conveniently ignored or at least, they're points that I've mentally downgraded.
The consequences? Over the last year and a half or so, my weight has crept up about fifteen pounds. I don't know exactly how much because I haven't weighed in a long time. I still wear the same clothing but I see it in my face and I certainly feel it, for sure. I stopped my regular weigh-ins for a very good reason-- I wanted to simply do my daily practice and lose the obsession with the scale, but now, what I'm realizing is, no--I need that occasional check-in as a reminder of how important it is to embrace a more balanced approach to my daily practice. I'll be visiting my doctor's office scale on Wednesday morning.
What's my measuring stick? The most important things for me is no binge eating and remaining abstinent from refined sugar. What I'm discovering is, even with the recovery perspective and practice needed to keep these two things in place, it still doesn't guarantee that my plan doesn't get sloppy and out of sorts.
So, that's where I am.
I've long written about how this isn't a pursuit of perfection and it isn't. But it is a pursuit of a daily practice designed to keep me well. A big part of that for me is accountability and support. Remaining connected with good support daily, reading about others along this road, offering support to others, listening to the stories of other people--these are all daily things that help keep me "in it" and not "out of it."
You can bet your bottom dollar, I'm in it.
Thank you for reading and your continued support,