Eventually, you have to get off the coaster... and hop on the wagon.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
I am no stranger to weight loss/gain roller coasters. I have been heavy since I was in my early teens (to this day, I blame it on a taco party my youth group had, at which I felt the need to "impress" my adolescent crush by eating more tacos than he could in ten minutes)...and while I have had a few downs in my weight, it has more often been ups - on the scale, anyway. I had lost 65 pounds this go-round, last fall when I started using Spark to track my intake, and I was pretty proud of myself for fitting into slightly skinnier jeans when we went to visit the in-laws at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. However, since then, I have been having far too much trouble getting back on the wagon.
There is no denying that losing weight takes a lot of dedication, concentration, action, and willpower. It takes great focus, especially when you are attempting to do it simply by modifying your eating habits to an extreme degree and especially when you work from your couch, just four feet from your kitchen, doing a job that requires you to sit on your ample rear every day, moving nothing more than your fingers and occasionally your mouth to ask your daughter to bring you another cuppajo. This is not a complaint, but it is my reality: To lose weight in my career-forced sedentary lifestyle (because I work at my laptop and work many, many hours a day), my best option is to cut my calorie intake back, while also minding those nasty little carbs, fats, sugars, salts, and other little gremlins that find their way onto our plates. Fast food is tempting when you have 10 minutes to prepare a meal and eat it. Grabbing chips or sweets is tempting when you are stressed out by your work or lack thereof. Ignoring your Spark Nutrition Tracker is tempting when you are far too busy being your own employee and boss, a mom, and a wife. I am a busy person, and my mind is constantly required in several different places at once, and even if I do pilot that crazy vessel of life from the cockpit of my sofa, my mind is very busy indeed, focusing on a billion different have-tos at one time. Thus, it is much easier to grab whatever comes first in the kitchen than it is to count how many carrots I'm eating or read the nutrition label on that juice I am pondering drinking or log my snacks into Spark.
Jumping from the roller coaster to the wagon is no easy thing to do, and I know firsthand that it starts with focus. You have to make getting and staying on that wagon a priority among all your other priorities, because the brain controls what the mouth eats. It may not be easy to make time for paying attention to the mouth-to-jean-size connection, but if you want to do anything about that ratio, you have to make it something you think about.
That said, I have decided that today, April 19, 2012, is my day to start paying attention again. I have specific weaknesses that may threaten to toss me off the wagon - namely, particular foods and habits and holidays and restaurants - but at least I'll be paying attention when they threaten to toss me back on that roller coaster. I cannot and will not be caught unaware. I have a daughter and husband who need me to be healthy. I have a dear brother-in-law and sister-in-law-to-be who are getting married later this year, and I don't want to go to their wedding looking like the Sta-Puff Marshmallow Man. I am nearly twice my husband's age, and I want to look as good as I can and be as healthy as I can as long as I can for him. And I'm ticked off that I've once again reached the point where I cannot walk past a mirror in public places for fear that I might catch sight of my fat reflection and realize what I look like to other people. Yeah, it's time to get off this stupid roller coaster, because frankly, I'm getting a little motion sick.