I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve been letting my brain’s pleasure center overpower my brain’s logical thinking center.
I had meals at two different restaurants today
The things that make me sick, tired and over weight are the same things that make me feel stuck, depressed and stranded. When I eat better and when I move more, I feel much better in every regard. My skin is clearer, my sleep is better, and my energy is higher. I feel "cleaner." When I eat poorly and am sedentary, I feel tired, unmotivated, and just plain "blah."
But there are not easy fixes or magic quick answers. Just as I'm learning about many things in my work life and in relationships, it is the longer-term, day to day consistency that is what pays off. And so it is for my health. I can't afford to let myself continue to be trapped in the lies that try to pull me down. I have got to take the time each day to eat nutritious food, whether that means buying it or making it. I've got to take the time to walk and stretch my muscles and work my heart. I've got to take time to continue learning about nutrition so that I stay motivated, and I need to record my struggles and my progress each day.
It is the last day of March already, and I am yet to have a full good day getting back to eating properly. And, I've gained 10 lbs in the past week and a half since feeling so sick. I'm sure some of it is fluid retention from having higher ratios of refined carbs. And some of it is paying the price for the first couple of days of eating poorly and thinking it didn't impact me...it really did, it just took a few days to catch up with me.
So far this morning, by 8:30am, I've had two doughnuts and an ice cream bar. How quickly we can fall away from the things that are best for us! Frustrated, but ready to start over again for real.
I've fallen prey to the same traps that have consumed me in the past. After getting started again, I've failed to do the things that keep me focused in the right direction. Snacking on something extra turns into eventually eating whatever I want, ignore the clean eating principles that have helped me so much. And failing to track the good foods I eat, failing to study each day about nutrition or fitness to keep it on the top of my mind, and failing to write each day about the progress keep me from being mindful about what I'm doing and result in slowly slipping away and ceasing to remember.
I'm finally feeling nearly 100% after recovering from pneumonia. I lost my appetite entirely when I was so sick. But as I've begun to feel better, it has returned to fully capacity. Another lesson learned: while I felt sick, I delighted in losing weight and not eating much. I'd sometimes miss two of three meals. And I wasn't eating all of the good stuff I should. But I felt like saying "who cares? I'm losing weight, aren't I?" Well, the problem is my body, which had been used to a flood of nutritious food and antioxidants, then experienced a shut-down of the flow of nutrition. I may have lost weight, but I started to starve my body of the nutrients it needed. That not only compromised the health and healing of my body, but it pulled me further and further from sound nutritional principles, leaving me to languish in the world of moderately-healthy food, or even unhealthy food.
So, in some ways I hate to say it, because I wish it were not the experience, but here I am starting again. But in other ways I'm glad to say it, because it means I am starting again and that hope is in sight of feeling better in terms of energy and clean eating.
Today was a day of meetings. I started the morning with an Acai smoothie and headed into the meetings. Had lunch with Bishop Remer at Taco Bell, which is a challenging place to go and eat anything nutritious. I had a pintos and cheese (yellow), a bean burrito (yellow) and water. More than the nutritional content, I am concerned about the amount of sodium -- had to be a huge amount.
Today, I weighed in in the 250s, a target I've been looking forward to for a while. When I'm in the 260s and 270s, my clothes don't fit well, my blood pressure is strained, I have low energy, I don't like the way I look, and some movements are difficult, such as bending to get things on the ground. In the 250s, I feel like I start to take an edge off of the super-high weight. Even still, it won't be until 243 that I hit the 10% weight lost target and feel more able to do things like work out. But moving into a different set of 10s on the scale feels encouraging.
I don't know how many times I've lost weight and told myself "I will never allow myself to weigh in the 270s again, or the 260s, etc." only to end up there once again once I quite trying and quit caring. Putting the pounds on happens so quickly. I remember being down to 220 lbs right when we were about to move to Colorado. I made a trip here (we owned the house already) to get some work done in a concentrated period of time, and I remember stepping on the scale and hitting the 220 mark. I had been doing personal training in Arizona for some time, and I reached the point of losing more than 50 lbs. But I felt like I was starving...I eating a low carb diet, mostly meats and vegetables. Before I left Colorado to head back home, I went to the store and bought a box of chocolates and ate the whole thing. Then I went to The Black Eyed Pea restaurant and ate a huge meal of stuff that was fried. It was like I had held my breath as long as I could tolerate and was finally letting go and returning to my old eating habits. And I did...the cravings and the old habits returned with a vengeance and I put the pounds back on 5 at a time for the next few months, finding myself right back where I had started.
It's not like I was unaware of what was happening--I knew the talk about changing your lifestyle forever rather than going on a deprivation diet. But the truth was I didn't want to have a life where I was deprived of what I wanted, so I was holding on until I lost enough weight, so I could then return to my old ways. The problem was, returning was like surrendering to nearly-uncontrollable cravings. I remember being in church and having an immense craving to leave right then and go buy two or three bags of candy and down them all at once. It didn't make much sense at all, but I remember the feeling being so powerful it nearly consumed me.