Stress is winning this week. I finished week #6 with a very strong 8 pound loss, but I’ll need some serious luck to get out of week #7 without gaining weight. My eating hasn’t been terrible, but I can actually feel the lack of progress...
Sunday was my unrestricted day and for the first time since I restarted, I felt a little out of control. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t go on a total binge and consume 4000+ calories, but I did overdo it at breakfast and Ice cream in the evening probably could have been avoided. On the positive side, I recognize that I went a little overboard and I didn’t put myself on a guilt trip. Sometimes we think that we are just going to change instantly, like flipping a light switch. The reality is that doesn’t happen, and Sunday just reminded me that I still have a long way to go.
My job sucks right now; there’s no polite way to put it. I took a position in a manufacturing facility that was recently acquired by my company. There are only 3 of us from the corporation amongst a facility of people who are used to doing things a different way. I took the job for the challenge, for the chance to build something from the ground up. Someday I will be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment, but not this week. This week I’m in the trenches fighting the good fight.
When I’m stressed I binge. Early in the week I contained my bingeing to just a handful of pretzels in the evening with my green tea, or just a fiber bar. Last night (Wednesday) I lost control; I ate a handful of pretzels and that didn’t cut it. A fiber bar disappeared next along with a fruit filled Nutri-grain bar (might as well grab 2 while you’re in the pantry right!). I finished all that off with a chocolate covered granola bar, all this food in the manner of 30 minutes.
So why did I fall apart yesterday? Funny, but as I thought about it this morning I think it stemmed from my latest small victory…
Yesterday was our company picnic. From 12-4 in the afternoon we shut the facility down and went to a local park for food, music, and fun. I have a lot of work to do right now as I’m in the process of rolling out some major changes in the facility, so I was not planning on attending. I was told I had no choice (I could feel the stress building as I started to think about “forced fun”). Since I’m trying to be mindful of what I’m eating I decided to just show up late. I packed my normal lunch and ate before I went to the picnic. Further, I excused myself from the festivities at my normal snack time and went to my car to enjoy something healthy. In fact, with the exception of a small celebratory piece of cake, I stuck to my eating plan and drank plenty of water throughout the entire picnic (small victory #21).
However, I believe people only have a limited amount of willpower. As I thought about my mini-binge (compared to my past), I came to the realization that yesterday my willpower simply ran out. Walking past all that picnic food for several hours without indulging combined with the stress of my work simply pushed me over the edge.
I got up this morning and to my surprise I wasn’t depressed. I didn’t feel guilty and I’m not ready to throw in the towel. It was this realization that I did the best I could do under the circumstances that helped me to push forward. There was nothing to modify, nothing to “fix”, I’m still learning and evolving and I will have failures. I told my wife that I have 2 choices; call it quits for the rest of the week and let it all go to hell, or make my best effort to stick to my plan today and then again tomorrow before getting on the scale on Saturday morning. I’ve tried the “Fall-off-the-wagon-so-might-as-well-roll-in-the-dirt-for-a-while” approach before, this time let’s try the “Stand-up-dust-yourself-off-and-get-back-on” approach. Who cares what the scale will read on Saturday; just take it one day at a time.
.[Photo: Flickr / Jim]