Holidays Don’t Scare Me.
When I started this Journey in December 2011, I did it right between Christmas and New Year. Insane. No one in their right mind tries to completely change their approach to food and exercise and life in general between the holidays.
My approach was “if not now, when?”
I was fine. Flush with the energy one has at the beginning of any change like this, I had no trouble with the New Year Eve celebration. I ate lightly during the day and I enjoyed a reasonable feast that night. New Year’s Day 2012 was greeted with a long walk at the High School track. It was a great way to start the year.
It was after that first couple of weeks that celebrations, holidays, and birthdays started to worry me. I was frightened that I would fall to bad habits and eat that big piece of cake, have the second third and fourth helpings… Fall off the plan.
I never did. I was very careful to measure it all out, watch it all, and keep it in check. But the fear was there…
Thanksgiving was easy last year. Sort of. With no company and our sons not interested in a big dinner, we made them their favorite (macaroni and cheese) and Missus and I went out to a local buffet for dinner. WE were very careful to eat wisely. Afterwards we swore to never do that again. No more buffet restaurants for Thanksgiving. It was one of the most depressing nights of my life.
This year the boys again expressed no interest in a fancy dinner and asked that I make them my home-made pizza. For our dinner I made a marinated salmon fillet, sweet potato and spinach sauté, and roasted squash soup. I made a chocolate cake for the boys and Missus made a pumpkin pie.
I had no fear at all. I was not at all worried that I would give in to the temptations of the bounty and overeat. I had about 6 ounces of the salmon, a good-sized helping of the sweet potato and spinach and I had a big bowl of the squash soup. Later I had a small slice of the Pumpkin pie. When it was all done I was well within my calorie limits. I have come to realize that I am controlling my eating as a matter of habit now. I have to think and plan of course but it is routine to do so now. There is no fear. I know that I am in control and I will not lose control as long as I THINK before eating.
So Holidays and celebrations no longer frighten me. I am able to control. I am able to be reasonable about it. I also know that if I slip and over eat a little I can get back to plan quickly and my exercise, be it walking, hiking or cycling, will help me get back to where I should be, where I want to be.
Here it is, the Monday after the single biggest weekend of gluttony in the US calendar and I am one pound lighter than I was on Wednesday past.
Being in Control
On Sunday, despite an allergy attack, I rode 26 miles. I felt antsy after a week of not riding due to work and early sunsets. Friday I felt lousy. Headache, stuffy head, sneezing. I don’t know what is in the air this time of year but it is not making me happy. I thought perhaps a cold was developing but I am now certain it is allergies. It just never gets worse. It is staying at this level… Allergies do that, not colds.
So I rode on Sunday. It was about 30 degrees when we started out and it was about 36 when we finished. I was comfortable. Only my feet were cold. Need to work on that.
The biggest reason I rode on Sunday was to stay in control. To not give in to a minor issue like these allergies. While I do not fear giving in to the temptation of foods, I do fight the inclination to sit on my rump and do nothing. I have long had a wide complacency streak. Forcing myself to get out and ride is a way to avoid that complacency. Stay in control.
The calorie burn is secondary, if even that high. Even the fitness part of the equation is not the reason. The critical thing is to stay active and not give into the excuses to NOT be active. Yes, I have allergies. Yes, it could have been a head cold. No, I am not willing to use that as a reason to sit on my rump and vegetate. It is a matter of maintaining control and keeping the momentum moving forward.
Bad habits seem so easy to form. Good habits so easy to break. Telling oneself to get up, get out, get moving is what I need to make sure I stay in control. When I do give in to a cold or allergies I will know it is because they have truly debilitated me to the point that rest is the RIGHT thing, not the convenient excuse.
Dinner with my Friends
MTT and his girlfriend UJ visited us on Saturday night. MTT is my old College Roommate and he has remained a dear and close friend for many more years than I can believe. We met 34 years ago and have been friends at some level ever since. For many years we were extremely close and I count him as one of my closest friends.
Due to distance (he lives in the mid-west) and busy lives, we have not seen each other since the summer of 2011 when I was at my OH MY GOODNESS, HE IS WALKING TOWARDS US largest. Of course M and U have seen the pictures. We have chatted on the phone and discussed my journey. He has read this blog from time to time.
U looked at me as they walked in the door and said “The camera puts on ten pounds; you are even thinner in person than you look in the pictures”. M, who has known me for so long, said he would not have recognized me even having seen the pictures.
That always feels good, hearing those words.
What I liked even more, and what I was even happier to hear, was their perception that I am happier, more at peace, more relaxed.
This Journey has not been easy. The introspection, the soul-searching, the pulling loose of the emotional scabs and the tearing of the mental scar tissue have been difficult but the Journey would not have carried me this far without doing this. It is gratifying to know that others see the healing.
AND ON ANOTHER NOTE..
Last week I posted “My Annual Maudlin List of Thanks”. I realize that I cannot possibly list everyone and everything I am thankful for but I did somehow manage to forget two people who really should have been on the list. SRS and HH. I have known SRS since September of 1979. I have not always liked her. I have, however, always loved her and I am
thankful for these 34 years of friendship. She is like a sister to me and like all siblings, real and honorary, we have had our times of strife and aggravation but never has there been a time where I didn’t care deeply for her and appreciate what she brings into my life. I am sorry I had a brain jam and didn’t list her among the people for whom I am thankful. As for HH… Well I am thankful to have him as a friend and, more, I am thankful that he is there for SRS. Her relationship with HH still ranks in my mind as the single best thing to EVER happen to her. I only hope she realizes it… I hope he realizes that SRS is the single best thing to ever happen to him…