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Ma'am, Step Away from the Nilla Wafers...

Saturday, February 27, 2016

When I arrived at my sister's home last evening to babysit her four boys so her husband and she could go out on a much-needed date night, I had the best of intentions. I had eaten a light lunch, just in case, and my sister - who is on a diet journey herself - was thoughtful enough to make turkey sausage and green beans for my daughter to eat, since she knows we have to be calorie-conscious. She even had the wherewithal to measure the calories in the espresso banana bread mini-loaves she made so we would know what damage those would do if we ate any. So, I arrived at my sister's house with about 700 calories remaining for the day, feeling confident that there was no way I could blow that in one evening.


Before the evening ended, I found myself nibbling. There is something just too enticing about someone else's kitchen, because you find things in there that you don't have in your own. I happened to find an apple, a banana, and a tangerine. Those weren't so bad, but I also found a handful of Fritos, a piece of a very sinful chocolate/cherry cordial cookie, half of a fried biscuit, and, perhaps worst of all, a Ziploc of Nilla Wafers. At home, I control what I am exposed to. My sister is amazingly good at handling her diet, but she's also an extreme couponer who has cupboards and freezers far fuller than mine ever are (she has to be frugal, as she has a family of six to feed). On top of that, she's got two toddlers, two teenagers, and a husband - five growing boys who are NOT dieting - so she has to have things in the house that they eat as well. She stocks her home with healthy choices for herself and her family, but there are far more things there than I am used to being exposed to. It doesn't help that she's the best cook and baker I know, so there are always tasty things on her counter. I admire her willpower for sure, when she is surrounded by so many goodies and having to feed five people while calorie-restricting herself.

I love nothing more than visiting my family, and my sister's house is the place we usually all hang out. Unfortunately, for me, it is akin to an AA member traipsing into a place with an open bar. I have been on my diet journey for over 2 years, and I have lost 165 pounds, so I DO know what I'm doing (at least most of the time), but a big key to my success has been not exposing myself to temptations, especially at night, when I feel compelled to nibble.

Another major obstacle is that feeling I like to call "diet apocalypse thinking." It is that little niggling thought that says, "Hey, you already blew that 1,200 calorie limit, so you may as well just eat whatever you want. This day is ruined anyway..." It was that voice that convinced me, when I came home, to eat a piece of Swiss cheese and I don't know how many servings of dry Sugar Snaps cereal right out of the bag. By the time I went to bed last night, I'd eaten around 2,000 calories, at my best guess. I put it in Spark, of course, since confession is good for the rolls, but I was terrified my Smartfone was going to burst into flames when I did. I'm glad Spark doesn't have a Gordon Ramsay feature that has it shouting insults at you when you fail...though now that I think of it, maybe they should: "You ate WHAT, you fat donkey! Step away from the Nilla Wafers, you heiffer!"

Today is a new day, though, as they say, and if I've learned nothing else in this very long diet journey I started way back in January of 2014, it is that giving up only results in gaining weight back. I have a choice today. I can tell myself that I really am a fat, Nilla Wafer-addicted heiffer who has no willpower, or I can get back on the wagon (praying I don't flatten the tires) and try again. The only real option is to try again, because I've lost 165 pounds, and I only have 9 to lose to hit my healthy goal, and I'm not willing to give all that up just because I screwed up one day. I've screwed up other days too, and I didn't quit then, so I'm not quitting now.

On a good note - not to mention a VERY inspiring one - my eighteen-year-old daughter, Cissy, who is my biggest motivation for everything in life, weighed in this morning and has lost 4.4 pounds this past week, taking her to her lowest weight yet. She spent much of her childhood and most of her teen years being very overweight and took a lot of guff for it, and I was so proud of her when she decided, entirely on her own, to start counting her calories herself in 2014. She has now lost 75 pounds, which is no easy feat for a teenager/young adult, and while she has about 50 pounds to go, her success is so encouraging to me. Not only that, but she is my own personal Jillian Michaels; she actually snatched that bag of Sugar Snaps from me last night and said, "No, Mom. You don't need any more of that."

So, my point is this...

If you "mess up" one day, as you inevitably will (we are human, and there are holidays and banquets and special occasions and stresses and boredom and all sorts of other triggers), remember that it's ONLY one day. There really is always tomorrow. Don't give up your days/weeks/months/years of success just because of one failure. You haven't "ruined" your entire diet by eating a few too many Nilla Wafers! Just decide to do better next time...then do it!

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