Last night we brought dinner to a friends' new home. We decided on Indian because we all love it and none of us wanted to cook. I had a relatively small portion of a few different things and stopped before I was stuffed. Today my Dad came for his Christmas visit and brought a platter of cookies. There were three kinds and I decided to taste each one and see if they were worth it - two were so I ate one each.
The boys are outside sledding and my house is quiet so I'm sitting here by the fire reflecting on my recent food choices and my whole weight loss "journey" so far. There are a few things contributing to my contemplative mood - we are approaching the New Year and that's always a good time to look forward and back. In addition to that a friend has asked me for weight loss advice. I really want to do a good job encouraging her and not just tell her what worked for me in a practical sense but find a way to put in to words the motivational causes that have made this time different. I'm also a little vexed by something annoying my father said... he has only seen me once since I started losing weight and it was at about the 45 lb mark. I'm now approaching 70 lbs lost. He said he knew I had been doing really well but wasn't sure if it would continue and now he's glad to see it has. He's genuinely happy for me and it's not the worst thing he could have said. It's also a fair assessment since I've made failed attempts in the past. So I don't blame him for the thought, but it probably would have been better left unsaid.
For these last six months one of my prevalent thoughts has been "every bite counts". What that means to me is that I try to make my food decisions conciously and I don't allow myself to think that this or that little indulgence doesn't make a difference. This is important for me because I can clearly recall times in the past where I shipwrecked my own efforts by denying the fact that, for me, one meal or one piece of cake or pint of ice cream usually leads to another. If one cookie was only one cookie, in the economy of my life, I would never have become obese in the first place. I've learned that every bite either helps or hinders my efforts. I'm not saying that if I eat one cookie I won't lose weight that week. I just mean that there are no neutral choices at this point because with every cookie I have to decide if there will be another and how I decide will make all the difference.
I made a decision at the begining of the Christmas season to allow myself to enjoy a few things here and there and not have to worry so much about keeping my kitchen stocked. Knowing that by doing so I may push back my ultimate goal by a week or two. I am not willfully allowing my self to gain - but I know that I may not lose the 2 lbs. I normally expect. The payoff is that I get to relax and enjoy my new habits - not throw them out the window. I'm getting a glimpse of what life is like on the other side where I can eat more freely but within reason. And Indian food for dinner on Tuesday does not mean I get to put my blinders on and go for broke until Jan 1. In this new life it just simply means Indian food for dinner on Tuesday. Today I woke up, had oatmeal and a banana, went to the gym, had Tuna with canola mayo on a sandwich thin for lunch, drank my water, etc. and my healthly life continues uninterrrupted.
I realize it's only been six months since I started this and I don't want to be over confident. I know that I'm on shaky ground and without my husband to hold me accountable I could easily lose my footing. I also realize that today's two cookies should make me wonder if I'm really just making excuses with all this talk about giving myself a break this week. Writing this has helped me process those two cookies - so if you've read this far thank you for tolerating me :) I am trying to figure out if I'm messing things up this week and just fooling myself.
I'm pretty confident that those two cookies are just two cookies and things really are different this time I feel pretty good about that. I know that I have hard work ahead of me. I still have 30 - 60 lbs to lose. I really want to get there sooner than later. I know it's not about arriving at a particular number on the scale and I will be actively maintaining for the rest of my life - but I am so ready for that. In some ways I feel like I'm sprinting for the finish line but 2 lbs a week is still "slow and steady".
Anyway - it's getting dark here in the Northeast. Time to figure out dinner. Thanks for listening :)