One Month Down the Tubes and What I Learned From It
Sunday, February 21, 2016
***Okay, so February didn't go the way I expected it to, and I didn't deal with it well.***
In January, I did pretty well at planning and preparing so that I ate healthily most days. But in February, things kept happening at my work and Hubby Dearest's work that upset my plans and my ability to prepare for the next day. In addition, I was caught totally off-guard by Valentine's Day and the temptations that come with it. Nobody in my household had bought sugary treats for the holiday, and I hadn't thought about what my students might do. Oh, my gosh -- boxes of chocolates, including Godiva and Ferrero Rocher! Nooooo!!!
Now, I've already said that I didn't handle things well, and that's true. I skipped meals, which of course set me up for eating anything and everything later in the day. I was tired and hungry, so I just ate what was convenient. I hardly exercised. I stopped logging my food for a few days. I weighed in less frequently and didn't record my weight gains. I didn't reach out to my SP friends or groups. I didn't realize how low I was on one medication, so I didn't refill it in time.
However, the month wasn't really lost, because I learned some things.
1. I had already been keeping some healthy emergency food at school, but I hadn't replenished it early enough. I need to restock it when I've got about a quarter of each package left, NOT when it's empty!
2. I truly believe that honesty with ourselves is the biggest key to successfully changing our lifestyles. By not weighing in when I knew I was eating above my calorie range, and by not posting the weight gains that showed when I did weigh-in, I was avoiding facing the truth. Ditto for not logging in on Valentine's weekend.
3. Again, I wasn't being honest with myself about the Valentine's Day chocolates. I knew I shouldn't open the boxes, but should just give them away. I remember thinking I'd regret it if I opened them, and that turned out to be correct. I did plan to give one box away, but Hubby Dearest and I devoured it when we were really hungry because -- guess what -- I hadn't packed any emergency food in the car.
4. Valentine's Day really caught me flatfooted. If I'd anticipated my students' generous gifts and had a plan for dealing with the temptations, I would have coped better. Perhaps I wouldn't have behaved perfectly, but I'm certain I would have done better. I need to be aware of upcoming holidays and events that might trip me up, and I need to devise strategies for dealing with those.
5. I also realize that in addition to not wanting to admit this to myself, I didn't want SP friends to know that I'd slipped up. I did not know that what you all thought of me was so important to me, but apparently it is. I want you to see me as authoritative and perfect. Not very realistic.
6. By hiding my difficulties, not only did I avoid facing the truth, but I lost the opportunity to get support from the SP community. For example, if I'd been checking in with the SP teams, I might have realized that Valentine's Day was a potential trap, and there might have been suggestions for how to deal with it.
And by trying to look perfect, I make it more difficult for others to reveal their own struggles. We are most cohesive as a support community when we let others know our authentic selves.
7. By minimizing my failures, I also minimized my successes. I didn't want to admit I'd gained 5 pounds, but that meant I couldn't pat myself on the back for getting back on track and losing them. Being human, I'm going to goof up sometimes. It's not the goofing up that's really significant, it's the way we react to it. I have a long, long way to go to get myself living a healthy lifestyle. I am not going to get there without stumbles. Picking myself up, dusting myself off, learning what I can from the experience, and then getting back on track is going to be vital to my success in this and every other major challenge of my life. Celebrating those successful recoveries is essential.
*** I wrote this, my first blog, to correct two of the mistakes I made: lying to myself and others, and neglecting to applaud myself for not giving up. It is my hope that this will help you as well as myself and in some way make amends for my lapses. ***