It is Monday and I am somewhat disappointed in myself. Ever feel that way? The scale is tipped in the wrong direction. Thank goodness it’s only by a pound and a half. Tomorrow, the numbers may be back in my favor (at least a bit).
This is no time to be laissez-faire about the state of my scale. There is less than 100 days to go before I wear the dress down the aisle.
My struggle to stay on track could be worse.
Not only is it the Monday after a long holiday (thanks 4th of July), this past month has been filled with celebrations and mourning. My fiance and I have attended four graduation parties since Memorial Day (yay!) and three funerals (all my relatives).
On the 5th of July I learned that an old high school friend died unexpectedly. He’s almost seven months older than me; and, would have turned 42 on July 23rd.
Another uncle is in hospice. He’s made it a month longer than expected. The next time I get an oddly timed phone call from a relative, my guess is that it’ll be about him.
My to-do and must-do life lists don’t get any shorter to make room for grieving. Life keeps going on, as it must. Perpetual show that it is — I don’t mean that as awful as it sounds. Well, I do. But I don’t want to.
I keep vacillating between what’s the point of self-care really and self-care and health are the most important things ever. I want my quality of life and the quality of life for those I love to be as amazing as possible and for us all to live a very long time. Happily, the latter thoughts weigh more with me.
Melissa circa 2010
If this had all happened ten years ago, my health would have train-wrecked. My day-to-day habits sucked. When faced with stress, they became only worse. Chances are that I would be in the E.R. a few times wanting nebulizer treatments.
Back in 2010, I:
- Didn’t step on scales more than a few times a year, so I wouldn’t have known how much weight I was gaining.
- Would’ve had more than three drinks a night more nights than not.
- Then, would have drank larger servings of high calorie coffee drinks the next day (and maybe multiples of those) in order to function.
- Between high calorie coffees, Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper would have been the beverage of choice.
- At 3 o’clock there would have been a wholesome Snickers or Peanut M&Ms break.
- Seconds at dinnertime? Don’t mind if I do. Life is short. Best to enjoy it.
- Exercise at any point? Maybe tomorrow, when there’s more time.
That was real life for me. I can’t even imagine it today. Back before 2003, it was even worse. I smoked a pack to a pack and a half of cigarettes a day and drank Mountain Dew. The mere thought of smoking a cigarette grosses me out now. And full sugar Mountain Dew? Yuck! Even further back, when I was eighteen, I loved eating cajun cheese fries dipped in ranch dressing and couldn’t understand why my stomach was upset so often. Duh!
This past month.
Despite the heartaches and temptations, I’ve mostly maintained. I’ve done some form of exercise every day. While I did eat more sweets than I should, most had at least some redeeming qualities (protein, fiber, dairy-free, etc.). And hey — it’s just good manners to eat cake at graduation parties, right? Those calories only kind of count…
It was hard to resist the urge to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies during the week my grandma passed. They were a staple of hers. I did manage to make them healthier than normal. You can check out my recipe here:
I’m grateful for the fitness classes I take. They’re filled with cheerful, supportive women (and sometimes men). I haven’t disclosed my recent struggles to any of them, but just moving in synch with positive people has helped me feel better.
Precision Nutrition’s Program is Helping
As some of you know, I’ve been following the PN program for a couple of months. This past week, I took a few days off. There was just too much overwhelm. The beautiful thing about it is that today, I restarted without guilt and without shame. They say not to worry if you have to miss days here or there due to life happening.
Instead of eating first thing in the morning, I drank water. I wasn’t really hungry yet. Then, I did the SpartaChris workout (a mix of cardio and strength training). After that, I did indulge in a white mocha. I drank it slow and waited again to feel hunger. Then, I made myself a Paleo Pancake (non-dairy) and piled a bunch of fruit on top of it: raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and pineapple.
I listened to today’s Precision Nutrition lesson and am now ready to focus on making better choices throughout the rest of the day. Today’s lesson was to look at food as existing on a spectrum. Instead of being good or bad, we are to look at where it is on the spectrum and how it might be improved. For example, tomorrow I will try a latte with coconut milk instead of a mocha and see if I like it well enough.
My choices won’t be perfect. Tonight’s date night. I’ll be getting a bit more exercise in, so I can enjoy and relax sans stressing it.
It’s a beautiful day full of opportunities. I might as well make the most of them. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do with days?
How about you? How do you stay on track when life stressors seem to be piling up?