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One healthy choice at a time

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

There's good news and bad news. The bad news is first: I've already lost my 30-day challenge -- I'm not going to make 26 days of under 60 net grams of carbohydrates. But here's the good news: I've only gone over 100 grams of carbs a couple of times (when I was visiting my family and had no control over what I ate for most meals), and I'm working hard to take care of myself and not let the little pitfalls get me down.

My job is FULL of stress -- the girls we serve have some major issues, ranging from abuse to neglect to sexual assault to gang activities to violence in their neighborhoods to just plain old crappy role models -- and that stress makes it easy to justify crappy choices. "Ugh, what an awful day. I'll treat myself to some chocolate!" "I'm so tired, I'll sleep in and skip my morning workout." "This week was so tough, I deserve to let loose this weekend." Additionally, the camp schedule means that I can never really be sure just how active I'll be, and therefore I'll often pack the wrong amount of snacks. It'd be so so so easy to just cave in on any given day, and comfort myself with a lazy night at home and some junky food.

But so far, I'm really doing well -- at least by my standards. I got a LOT of exercise last week, whether by participating in camp activities, walking to/from work instead of driving, or making time for a hard workout. I've packed nothing but healthy snacks to work and haven't touched any of the chips, flavored yogurt, or other sugary stuff the kids have been eating. I've been cooking healthy, veggie-packed meals at home. Today, I am stressed out, upset about not getting either job I interviewed for, and exhausted from dealing with some really awful behavior from my students. I "caved" and ate some packaged trail mix that was pretty sugary. I was really tempted to say "F U C K IT" and eat half the Ben and Jerry's in the freezer, or baking some of the cookie dough in the fridge, or going for a drink with my coworker. But I didn't. I took deep breaths, talked with my supervisor and husband, went for a 2-mile walk, and savored one single spoonful of Chocolate Therapy. THAT is something I can be proud of!!

But like I said, I have been slipping up. I've been eating more fruit and some slices of toast here and there, and that's led to me missing my goal of 26 low carb days out of 30. Even so, it's really not that bad! On the few days when I really "splurged" on high carb food, I made time that very same day to get some extra exercise. (Here's how I see it: eating the extra carbs makes me WIRED, and if I don't use up that energy, I'll feel like crap. So why not use the energy, sweat out some of the junk, and give my body some of the love it deserves?) I've been finding healthy alternatives to things, too, like making low-carb chocolate souffle instead of buying pastries, making big batches of coconut flour pancakes to munch in place of cinnamon toast, or having some Greek yogurt instead of ice cream. All of those choices, regardless of what the Food Tracker says, are triumphs for me!

I hope that if things get tougher this summer, I'll remember one simple fact: all I can make is one healthy choice at a time. If I do that, I'll have my healthiest summer yet.

P.S. I know that for me, baked goods and ice cream are dangerous to have around at all, so I'm REALLY proud that I've got more control. Even so, I'm going to bake the cookies and bring them to camp tomorrow for my girls.

Also P.S. Even though I didn't "win" my acrylics, I'm thrilled to announce that I've quit biting my nails!! They're coming in strong and looking fab! emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    That's right, one choice and one day at a time! emoticon
    2050 days ago

    That's for the nails - no small feat!
    2109 days ago
    We work with the same population, and I am in the same boat when it comes to skipping my healthy habits to deal with all the stress. That is great you went for the walk instead of eating the ice cream and cookies.
    2110 days ago
    I worked with troubled youth for 3.5 years...definitely stressful and hard....kudos to you!

    2110 days ago
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