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Avoiding The Downward Spiral

Friday, October 26, 2012

Moving forward on this journey, I want to look back on these early days and really know the things that have gotten the ball rolling after so many years of zero inertia. I know there will be peaks and valleys along the way. This time I'm really working on changing my whole thought process and approach, so developing new ways to cope with slip-ups is very important to me.

Yesterday, for me, was a good day. I had gotten in my head that I would try to run a local 5K this weekend. I've done two before (Summer of 2007) but have only run once or twice a month in the last year after pretty much doing nothing for a few years before that. Since August I've really incorporated daily exercise and seen my stamina increase. I've gone for a run three times over the last four weeks (1.5 - 2 miles) and felt very comfortable. So yesterday I got up and instead of doing my go-to DVD workout, I decided I would try a three-mile loop from my house. If it was easy for me, game-on for the 5K, but if there was any struggle, I knew more training was in order. I decided I'd just get started and wouldn't push myself so hard I'd injure myself.

I ran 2.25 miles. I feel good about that - it's not 3.1, but it's good with no real training. It was an accomplishment for me! And they weren't easy miles - one of the reasons I got discouraged with running when we moved here is the hills. And this particular 5K I was eyeing has a killer uphill about halfway through the third mile. My run yesterday was enough to remind me I can do anything I set my mind to, but also reminded me to be realistic enough to avoid an injury!

From warm-up stretching to a quick power yoga routine I took from a Tony Horton DVD to running 2+ miles out and walking the rest of the way home to the runners' stretches I did upon return, I had a good 1+ hour workout with >40 minutes of that at a target heart rate of >65%. I know I burned some calories. I mean, I weigh 230 pounds and pushing myself that much is not something I've done in a while, so I know my body was like 'WTH?'

So, getting to the point here... Because when I got up I knew I was going to do this workout, I made sure to have a carb heavy breakfast (2 pcs ww toast, 1 tbsp PB, 1 frozen mashed banana, 1 tbsp chia and 1/2 scoop whey). Upon my return I had Kashi cereal, skim milk and the PB/banana/chia/pro leftovers mixed in. So far so good. After waiting forever for the bug guy, I left for my writing session... Maybe a little hungry, maybe just exhausted, but I knew I'd be having a later than usual lunch and I justified a serving of potato chips.

Ahhhh.... Potato chips. This go around I have sworn it won't be about saying no to foods. 'Anything in moderation if you plan it' is the goal. BUT... There really is no place in my diet for fried potatoes. Just. Not. Necessary. Now, I told myself the following things:
- just one serving
- after that workout, you deserve it
- these are special Cajun-Dill Zapps chips from NOLA so they just can't be a regular treat
- you have extra calories In your budget because of the killer cardio you did this a.m.
I'm not saying that 'ONE serving of chips a whole diet breaks', and yes, this splurge was a-okay based on any or all of the above reasons, but for some reason, IT NEVER STOPS THERE.

I doled out one serving, dutifully logged it, and went on my merry way, quite satisfied with myself. My writing friend always has coffee and a sweet treat (luckily its usually a harmless lo-cal frozen treat), so my day was looking great. By afternoon, I was planning my dinner (I had thawed a pork tenderloin), and looked like I'd still have room in my calorie budget for light snacking until dinner time. I tried a turnip green recipe and even with a little heavy cream was able to enjoy it... Everything was looking grand.

Then James came home... Hungry... Which he always is because he refuses to eat nutritious foods that are good for him. We had been planning a ride in the country to pass some time (fall leaves, real estate, we love to look and don't have television/cable to pass the time). So, we agreed, we'd stop at Sonic for him some food and me a sweet treat, at this point it was all in my budget. Now, here is a lesson I learned yesterday... Don't finish the ice cream dish - 240 cals! I'll stick to mcd's cone from now on at less than 200! But no worries... I'm still on track. James and I had this conversation:
Me: I'm only going to eat this because I already have dinner planned
J: alright
Me: we have to get home in time for me to cook dinner
J: no problem
Me: we could go out to eat instead, I have room for a splurge, but I don't need both this and a dinner splurge so speak now or forever hold your peace
J: we'll be home for dinner
Me: ok (eats half of ice cream) (puts lid on remainder and waits 20 minutes) (finishes ice cream) (gets on SP on my cell phone and discover I just wasted 240 cals - bummer, but I can still swing this)

Fast forward to later that evening... Subconsciously I probably knew we'd run out of time. Maybe part of me wanted to try to eat out and stay on track. Regardless, we weren't going to make it home in time to cook what I had planned to cook. We decided to try out a new place in town. It's just a burger joint, but I really wasn't too worried. Upon arrival, I had to go to the restroom and J got us a table. When I got to the table, lo and behold, J had ordered a beer. One for me and one for him.

We hadn't discussed this. I know he was just trying to be nice. He knows I'm on this journey. This is just proof that you have to be clear about your boundaries and let others know your goals AND intentions. I managed to somewhat salvage the day with a club sandwich (could have improved it by holding the mayo and cheese). I would have rather beer calories go to a burger instead, but, oh well, you can't win them all. I skipped the chips and really felt quite full.

I expected to be over on my calories, I was. I was surprised I was under on protein. The biggest 'problem' I have with my eating overall for the day is...
Why did I splurge not just once (chips), twice (ice cream), three times (eating out), but FOUR times (did I mention I had a second beer?) in ONE day. It's like all of my resolve/dedication/commitment goes out the window.

The bottom line is, yesterday is over. Can't take it back. Today I can make better choices. I just have to make that connection that makes these changes stick.

This time it's different!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great blog, I can totally relate to the avalanche of over-indulgence that kicks in once you have that first splurge. It feels like to me I have no control whatsoever, once this kicks in.....AARGH!
    The only thing that works for me is if I save my splurge right before bedtime.

    But your attitude is spot on.

    What has happened is done. Be kind and forgive yourself and joyfully seize the new day!

    2033 days ago
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