I have really grown to love Fridays. Since late last summer, Fridays have been like their own personal eat-anything-I-want party, and lately, they are just the kick-off party, the precursor to the junk I eat all weekend. I eat relentlessly, nachos and sweets and meals at restaurants. When did all this change? When I first started this journey, I ate one cheat meal per week, no sweets allowed. Then, slowly, my cheat meal included one sweet treat afterwords, usually in the form of an ice cream from our local frozen custard stand, and I would always tell myself, this place isn't open during winter, I wont have any problems letting go of this habit. Enter the abomination known as the McFlurry. There are a million ways to hate McDonalds, and the Rolo McFlurry became one of mine during the limited time they sold it. Then it was their Holiday Pies. Thank all that is holy that I can't stand Shamrock Shakes! I rarely go to McD's anymore, and don't have too much problem not getting something there when my kids want to go. I will say, for some reason, their mix on the Diet Coke is the best I've ever tasted. I mean it, they make Diet Coke taste better than Diet Coke.
At any rate, I still kept things to a sane, one cheat meal per week most of the summer, until my stupid class reunion hit. That weekend was a stumbling point for me. I was all wrapped up in a bunch of negative feelings about my marriage, nostalgic over people I left behind a long time ago, and the biggie, it was the first time in a long while that I got to hang out with my bestie and just let the girl talk roll. In the past, hanging out with her meant my own personal therapy session, free-flowing catharsis at every turn, and usually it happened in the presence of food. Hanging out a restaurant talking, or sitting in the car munching on chips/candy and talking. Talk about dual therapy! So, when that reunion weekend hit, I was primed for a little food and friend therapy. The release of not monitoring what I was eating, was intoxicating. I never quite got fully back on track for any lenghth of time, at least, not on the weekends. Everything else around me resolved, but I was/am still eating like I did that weekend, and even worse.
But today is the day I redefine Friday. I haven't been working out much this week, but I have been sticking nicely to my eating plan. Even though it has only been 5 days, I can tell a huge difference in how I feel. And by that I mean, mentally I feel thinner, but also physically, some of my flappy spots are less flappy today. Last night I made the mistake of going to the grocery store while I was hungry (needed medicine for my coughing kids) and I ended up buying them some treats. This was a true test of my commitment, because I was wanting to indulge really bad, but I was smart enough to know that merely meant my blood sugar was dropping off and it was time to eat a sensible meal. I bought them some Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies and a box of no-sugar-added ice cream sandwiches. For myself, since I knew I couldn't have those things, I bought a box of sugar-free fudgesicles, and some amazing Dunkin Donuts Strawberry Shortcake flavored coffee. Honestly, it tastes like you've dipped your strawberry shortcake in a cup of coffee-soooo good. When I got home, I had my dinner (a turkey sandwich, since I was short on time) and then I ate one of those no-sugar-added ice cream sandwiches (4g lactose carbs, not too bad). Later I had two fudgesicles. That equated to one snack more than I should have had, but I figured that is OK if it only happens from time to time and doesn't become the rule.
This morning I was happy to see my weight back in the 150's (barely) and it got me thinking about where I want to be heading. While I was getting ready for the shower, I took a few minutes to look at my body and pull things out of the way to see what my shape will look like when all this extra stuff goes away. I think I have been blessed with a good physique, it has just been covered so long I wasn't aware of it! And that got me fired up a bit. I've been going in the wrong direction for so long now that I lost sight of the whole thing, and just went on autopilot for a while, going through the motions. No fire where I lit my spark, as Crowded House once sang. My weight loss and all the self-reflection concerning it, have taken a back seat to my busy life, and I have been staying in my comfort zone for far too long now.
So today, I am taking back my body. I am going to keep my mind on the posibilities so that I don't forget why I should push a little harder, or why it's worth it to get out of bed at 4:50am, even if the wind is freezing the contents of my nose together as I walk to the workout room. I will make a greater effort to keep Friday a weekday, one in which I need to be commited to a clean, mindful diet, so that I can reach my goal someday. Because even though I'm labeling this phase my comfort zone, I'm not comfortable with where I've stopped. And I do still care. Time to kick things up a notch and get re-commited to me.
My latest chapter in my adolescence course is about parenting styles and the effect on kids. I think in this chapter I am delving into perhaps the darkest, ugliest, painful things I've been inclined to think about in a good many years. Again, I know it will be healing to confront it, but I have to go through a lot of ugly to get the scab.
And maybe that is a parallel to weight loss. It isn't always pretty or easy, but the reward is the mental and physical crown jewel we all seek. And until you dive in and encounter the ugly, you won't see the beauty of the light surrounding you.
I know I'm on my way toward something good, because I am making that happen myself. Even if it takes forever.
Happy Friday everyone!