What I've Learned: An Update
Sunday, August 17, 2008
One of the things I love most about SparkPeople is how much I've LEARNED! I've learned so much about the foods that I eat, and how they break down into carbs, fats and proteins. I've learned that the days that I feel best at the end of the day tend to be the days that the little circle graph of my fat/protein/carb breakdown closely matches the 30/15/55% goal that I'm aiming for.
But most importantly, I have learned how to be nicer to myself.
I have learned (it's a LONG lesson) how to not beat myself up over mistakes.
I have learned (well, I'm trying...) that my habitual perfectionism does not serve me well in this weight-loss journey.
I have learned that on any journey (ESPECIALLY this one) there are ups and downs, and accepting that fact does not mean failure.
I have learned to cut myself some slack.
I just got back from vacation a few days ago. I gained about five pounds. And you know what? It's ok. My last vacation, I gained six pounds, and I was quite devastated. But not this time.
I had really good intentions. I took walking shoes, workout clothes, and my favorite dance DVD along. But you know what? It wasn't that kind of vacation. There was simply no time, ever. I tried to make super-healthy choices while eating out (at, like, McDonalds... like a packaged chicken salad could taste better than a cheeseburger...), and then got frustrated because my food didn't really taste that great. I didn't get to the computer as much as I thought I would, so I was getting stressed out over remembering a couple days' worth of meals and getting them into my nutrition tracker. I was feeling like some kind of failure because each time I thought I could squeeze in a walk, it didn't happen.
So you know what? I let it go. BUT in letting it go, I didn't let ME totally go.
I gave myself permission to NOT track my food for the final days of the trip (about 5 days). I'd NEVER not tracked my food, in nearly a year on SparkPeople. I'm diligent. I'm obsessive. I'm... perfect. But I let it go. And it was fine. But I still tried to make healthy choices. I didn't use the lack of accountability to go crazy. Yes, I did have some of the yummy double-chocolate wedding cake. But at that crazy calorie and fat-laden restaurant called Macaroni Grill, I had the healthy Simple Salmon: 650 calories, low fat, grilled salmon with broccoli and asparagus... it was SO good. The night we got to a hotel early enough for the pool, I did a little pool jogging while DH played with DD. I actually... what's that SparkPeople phrase? "Looked for healthy opportunities." And it felt rather natural and normal!
So despite the five pounds that I need to re-lose, I feel really very good about myself. I feel like I've made progress. I no longer feel like the addict who fears that one slip-up will cause her to crash and burn and fully embrace her addiction again. I feel smarter, and healthier, and like it's part of who I am, and not just a diet or a program that I'm on.
Hooray for me!