We went on vacation last month, and I pretty much gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted. Which would be fine – if I had gone back to my normal routine when we got home.
I put about 15 lb back on in the last 6 months. It’s insidious – a pound or two gain during a month doesn’t feel that bad. I didn’t really notice it. Mid-August, I went back on a stricter eating plan with my running group and lost half of that, but then gained it back again.
I know what I have to do. I know my body well enough by now to know that I have to ditch the sugar and wheat flour, get my protein intake up, and start working out again. I know I have to cut back on the 8-10 cups of coffee a day and drink more water. It’s not rocket science. Physically, it’s not even all that hard. I’m sitting here having just scarfed down some chips and eggnog in lieu of lunch, and I don’t like the way I feel. It feels better to take better care with my eating and exercise habits. When I’m “on,” I feel strong, I feel lean, I run faster, I feel better about myself.
But it’s the path of least mental resistance that gets me every time. When I’m tired. When the kids are fighting AGAIN and I just don’t want to have to deal with mediating their interactions anymore. When I’ve worked all day long and my decision-making quota is used up for the day. When I think about how good that Almond Joy tastes with a cup of coffee for breakfast. When we’re invited over to celebrate a friend’s birthday and try a fancy new limited-edition beer. Those are the moments when I falter in my resolve to take better care of my physical self. And because moderation is a concept I cannot seem to master, I then think because I’ve had one taste, I can/should/will have more. And more. And more. And then I’m disgusted with myself and I feel icky and I start swirling around down the shame drain.
I KNOW ALL THIS. Why can’t I put it into action? Why does it have to catch me every single time? Why do I have to keep fighting this battle with myself?
How do you do it? When you know what you need/want to do, how do you get started and keep momentum going when life threatens to interrupt your streak?