British Granola and a Big Ol’ Lightbulb

DOH. I just calculated the smart points for this glorious granola that I ate first thing every morning while in London (so good we brought a bag home!). A bowl of this plus milk basically equals a FULL DAY of smart points – and then we would go out for breakfast!

I’m starting to realize the depth of the disservice I did to myself by not tracking while I was in London. Even though I have been on Weight Watchers for almost a year I still have seen taking a break from tracking as a sort of treat. I thought “letting myself off the hook” was fun. What I’m realizing now is that tracking itself is a gift. The awareness and accountability that tracking provides is so much more beneficial than “treating” myself to being off the wagon.

Lightbulb!

Why has it taken me so long to realize and accept this?! UGH!

And then I remind myself that this is a journey. A marathon, not a sprint. A path that only I can navigate. So I once again kick that little judgmental little devil to the curb and continue on my way.

Home Again

We are back from an incredible week in London and I am in bed with a nasty virus. Grateful that it’s nothing worse – though I haven’t been bedridden like this in months – and that today is Sunday so my hubs can take the kids while I rest up.

But UGH.

I’ve been putting crap into my body for two weeks now, between my pre-vacay salt-and-sugar extravaganza and then eating whatever I wanted while in London. And while I’m sure this illness is not entirely due to my being off the wagon, I’m guilting myself about it anyway. Maybe if I hadn’t eaten so poorly, maybe if I hadn’t had wine, maybe I wouldn’t have gotten sick and I’d be able to be productive today instead of feeling like a puffy zombie.

I know I need to cut myself a break and focus on the positives. We had an incredible week in one of my favorite cities on the planet. My husband and I were able to provide a fun, eye-opening, enriching travel experience for our kiddos while reliving some of our fondest memories of the years we spent living in London. It was truly wonderful.

And this Weight Watchers journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Habits don’t change overnight. And weight gain doesn’t mean failure. Track it and move on.

Move on. Move past this guilt because it’s not helping me in any way. And learn. I’m learning there are certain foods I just can’t have in my house. That doesn’t make me weak, it makes me aware. I’m learning that allowing myself to eat whatever I want doesn’t feel like a treat anymore, it just messes with my body and weighs me down with guilt and disappointment.

I don’t want to look back on this trip and feel guilt. I want to look back on this trip and remember it for the amazing, special week that it was. I hope that as I get past this illness I will do just that.

And the next time we travel, I will remember that travel is not a ticket to a bottomless buffet. My one-year Weight Watchers anniversary is approaching. I have been fueling my body with healthier choices for almost a year. Naughty foods have a more negative impact on me now. A good lesson to learn, even if I learned it the hard way this time around. I believe I will make better choices from now on.

So, when I look back on our London trip, I hope I remember, above all, the joy on my son’s face when he rode his first double decker bus; the pride with which my daughter used her first digital camera to capture our adventures; the happiness we all felt being together in a wonderful place.

Time to get back on track.

 

Hello from London

… where, on a bus tour today, I learned the origin of the term “off the wagon” – which is appropriate considering how I’ve been eating since we’ve been here.

While my kids and our familial jetlag have not allowed too much time for reflection, I have definitely noticed that my eating and drinking habits have changed. And that is such a profound relief. Yes, I am “off the wagon” right now. I am not tracking, and I’m eating all my favorite British foods. I’m drinking wine with dinner too. I will gain weight while I’m here. But I’m already looking forward to getting back “on the wagon” when we get home (as much as I don’t want this wonderful trip to end!). I need vegetables. And I need to be back in a country where Nutella comes in plastic, not glass, and doesn’t taste good enough to spend points on it.

I wish I didn’t want to drink wine with dinner. But I’m reminding myself that drinking a glass of wine with dinner while on vacation is a far cry from drinking a bottle a night at home. We are staying in an apartment here and I have not bought any wine to keep in the fridge – that, too, is progress from our last vacation over the summer where I had an ever-present bottle in our hotel rooms for the necessary night-cap. Or three.

So, I’m not where I want to be in terms of having self-control with my favorite junk food. And I’m not where I want to be with alcohol. But there was a time not so long ago where I couldn’t even imagine being where I am now. Limiting myself to one glass of wine. Not having fish and chips every day just because I can. I simply didn’t believe in myself. And now I do. And that is progress.

Who’s the Boss

UGH. I have been in a sugar-and-salt spiral all week. I haven’t posted for awhile because I kept expecting myself to emerge from it so I could post something victorious: “I was in a spiral but I got myself out and now I feel amazing!”

But that is not my reality. In reality, I just ate two bowls of cereal.

This week, I have latched on to every excuse I can think of and raided my pantry with an embarrassing level of determination to dig and find any remaining chocolate from Christmas. The only tortilla chips I didn’t eat are in the bag that I bought my husband for Valentine’s Day (and covered in sticker hearts, so romantic) because I ate the other bag that I bought him when he was sick. My self-control has gone completely out the window and I feel disgusting.

But let’s focus on the positive. I completed my goal of four workouts. And after today’s 6am spin (live from Pyeongchang! Did anyone else do that Peloton ride? So fun!!) I completed a 10-min abs workout WITHOUT STOPPING. This is a big NSV for me because I have been attempting this same workout for months and this is the first time I have done it all the way through without taking a break.

My other NSV is that I have had no wine or other alcohol at home all week. My eating is out of control right now, but my drinking is completely in control. Completely. In. Control. As embarrassed as I am about my eating, I need to give myself permission to feel proud. Because just six weeks ago I never thought I would be in control of my drinking. I never thought I could make it through a witching hour without either white knuckles or a drink in my hand. I’ll admit that I have been more tempted this week than in previous weeks, and I’m sure that’s related to the fact that I have consumed epic amounts of crap. Vicious cycle and whatnot. But I AM breaking from that vicious cycle. I am no longer a wino, no longer a lush. My kids no longer see me clinging to my “mommy juice” every evening like my life depends on it.

I wish I had it all under control. If I had eaten clean this week as planned, I would be feeling amazing right now. On top of the world. But I’m not. I don’t have it all under control. I am not stronger than my food cravings right now, and that is incredibly frustrating.

But I own you, alcohol cravings. I am in charge. I’m the boss of you. And you are getting weaker and weaker. You tried to take advantage of me when I was spiraling this week, but I didn’t let you. Because I’m getting stronger and stronger.

So today I vow to forgive myself for my pantry trespasses. I vow to learn from my behavior this week, to remember how crappy I feel, to understand why I binged the way I did. And the next time the pressures of life make me want to stuff my face, I will do better.

Post-Binge Reflections

Not a perfect day. But a better day. I accept that, and I am so grateful. Weight Watchers has given me the ability to bounce back and the permission to forgive myself and move on from heinous snack attacks (and last night’s was truly epic) with grace. To move on with self-love and confidence even in the darkest and most embarrassing moments.

I consumed 96 smart points yesterday (I am given 23 smart points each day). About 15% of those points were healthy. The rest was absolute crap. I ate so much I felt sick. Part of me was hoping I’d actually throw up, and that is a disgusting and scary place to be. Thanks to my wonderful hubby I was able to laugh just enough to not be completely overcome with misery. We joked about the tortilla chip-chocolate-caramel corn baby in my belly and how I was experiencing third trimester discomfort coupled with first trimester nausea. Yeehaw!

That snack devil baby caused me to have sugar sweats all night. My daughter woke me at 3:30am and I was drenched, had a horrible taste in my mouth, and actually smelled bad! EWW. It was as gross as a bad night of drinking. And while I’m proud I didn’t drink, my eyes (and nostrils, sorry, TMI) are now open to the impact of overindulging in sugar and salt. It ain’t pretty and it ain’t cute.

One of my very wise and thoughtful friends on Connect reminded me today to think about what I’ve learned from Annie Grace and This Naked Mind and apply it here. She reminded me that WILLPOWER IS A FINITE RESOURCE. (Any lightbulbs going off for anyone else??)

I am already frayed from travel prep and helping my son and husband through yucky viruses last week. I used a LOT of willpower at a lunchtime play date yesterday, and then the afternoon struck, and various life stressors pushed me past being able to white-knuckle myself to dinnertime. I remain amazed and thrilled that I had no desire to drink. And now the realization that I can apply Annie Grace’s guidance to eating and not just drinking will be hugely helpful.

The picture above is a portrait of me that my daughter – then age 3 – drew of me the day before our family embarked upon our second cross-country move in 8 months. Yeah, I was a little stressed out during that time in my life. Not surprisingly, I was also at my heaviest weight. I laminated the drawing and keep it constantly at hand, as a reminder of what true stress really is and how the way we react and adapt obviously impacts our children.

In the grand scheme, last night’s sober snack binge is not a big deal. Nor is the fact that I’ve gone over my points again today. What’s important is that I am learning from every step of this journey – the steps forward as well as the steps back. And if I can stay in a place of gratitude and receptivity and resilience, one of these days I’ll turn around and see that I’m far beyond where I ever thought I could be.

Supermom Yesterday, Schlump Today

I am not going to make my workout goal this week. I am not going to make my blue dot goal this week either. This is, of course, discouraging. And I fear yet another gain when I step on the scale for my weigh-in tomorrow. But after Supermomming it while my husband was bedridden with a nasty virus yesterday, I had a restless night of sleep sequestered with my two dogs in our tiny and remarkably stuffy guest room (no one has ever complained! Our house guests are too polite!).

I woke up with legs that felt like jelly and a face so puffy I had to second-guess whether or not I drank a bottle of wine last night. I didn’t, of course, which made the puffy face feel very unfair. Cue the pity party! Let’s bake! And so I did.

Today I’ve been trying to focus on self-care while ticking off necessary to-do’s and not falling too far into my current slump. I WANT TO EAT ALL THE THINGS. I have already eaten too many tortilla chips. Bought them yesterday using the excuse of bringing my sick hubby his favorite snack – and I’ve eaten half the bag. Ughhh!!! Oh, and I’ve also had three slices of the Mudhustler Elvis Cake I made. Wtf?!! Get it together!

I am down to a wee pile of weeklies to get me through the rest of this day. I am determined to at least stay within my points. And so I will.

But I’m otherwise feeling frustrated and thinking I need to focus more on portion control and also not eating so much processed food. My stomach has not been happy with me all week. I’m determined to figure out how to make Freestyle work for me instead of against me but I think I’ve just taken too much advantage of the zero-point foods and tempting hacks that I see on Connect.

We leave for London in six days. I am not going to track while we’re there so I really want to get ahead of it and get on that plane feeling svelte and energized. Right now I feel like I’m at the bottom of a mountain of tortilla chips.

Oh but I’m not drinking! At least there’s that!

Steering Clear of the Excuse Buffet

My husband is sick. We had electricians in the house today. We had a contractor stop by this morning. It’s raining. It’s Saturday. It’s cold. I have both kids and both dogs to deal with on my own. I have to cook. I have to clean. I’m hungry. I’m tired…

All true. All potential excuses. The list goes on and on. Or at least it would have if I were still stuck in my wine-dependent existence.

But I am not. And so I was able to accept the more-challenging-than-usual parameters of my Saturday and #SaturSLAY anyway.

I took the dogs on a long walk to wear them out. I squeezed in a 45-minute Peloton ride with the mellow dog upstairs and both kids and the puppy down in the basement with me. (And I even broke 300 for my output which I hadn’t done all week!) I didn’t have time to shower but got my son to karate class and the place smelled like sweat anyway! Took my daughter to basketball and then even though it was only 4:30 the kids and I decided we all wanted dinner so we got some groceries and had a lovely early bird special while watching the Olympics.

All of this, and I’ve got enough points leftover for an entire pint of Enlightened ice cream and it is GOING DOWN once everyone is in bed.

I still think about wine. A lot. I still have a moment of longing to pour myself a glass every night.

But it’s getting easier. My nightly urges are a lot weaker than they used to be.

There is still a void where there was once a bottomless glass. But the void is shrinking. I have my flavored seltzer and my tea. I am wearing a pair of size 4 jeans. I have the energy reserves to not only survive a hectic day like today but to slay it.

If I were still drinking like I used to, today would have been an excuse buffet. And I would have had all I could eat.

But I’ll take my pint of Enlightened and call it a night, thanks!