Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Taking Inventory

I have been helping Mabel sell Girl Scout Cookies. She was a Daisy Scout in kindergarten, and this is her second year as a Brownie, and this cookie sale is probably her favorite part. Last year her troop sold so many cookies they raised enough money for the girls to go on an overnight trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo, all expenses paid.

I can't help feeling hypocritical asking people to buy cookies. It's like an ex-smoker working for a tobacco company or a recovering alcoholic working as a bartender. And I readily admit that the Tagalongs are one of my favorite binge foods -- I can sit down with a whole box and enjoy each and every one of them in no time flat. My hubby's weakness are the Thin Mints, so at least we aren't fighting over each other's cookies.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to "cure" myself from the urge to latch on to certain foods and eat lots of them. I've definitely come a long, long way -- 128.5 pounds' worth -- and I've learned a lot. One of which is that I cannot eat like I used to. Overeating was a way of life: breakfast couldn't be just one bowl of cereal, it had to be two (and large ones, to boot); lunch was usually ordered out and normally fried or covered in cheese; supper wasn't a real meal if I didn't have more than one helping, and don't forget dessert, which could last most of the evening as I de-stressed in front of the TV. And exercise? Oh yeah, right.

I've learned a new way to eat and found various ways to move my body, and these habits are a daily routine. However, that doesn't mean that the old ways have been obliterated from my mind. They're always there, lingering in the back corners of my mind, ready to spring forward if I let my defenses down too long. I got pretty worried for a while there in 2005 that the old me would not let go (when I re-gained 50 pounds), but with a lot of hard work and determination I managed to push them back again.

I look at my current routine -- eating right during the week and allowing myself to "slip" on the weekends -- and wonder if I'm on the slippery slope to disaster. For those who believe in the OA/abstaining method, it's not good at all. But I've never been able to wrap my head around the abstaining thing -- I find I don't do well when I'm given a list of "forbiddens."

So it comes down to this: what's the bottom line? I've been following this pattern for some time, and what have been the results? Since October 1 I've lost 24.5 pounds. My weekend eating has not gotten worse as time goes on; in fact, over Christmas I was highly pleased with my eating. As for my mood, in general it's been pretty good-- usually at this time of year I've sunk into my winter depression and have my head buried in a tin of cookies, not to emerge until March or April. I've been exercising 5-6 days a week, and I'm continuing to improve my performance and try new things. Healthwise I've been great (knock on wood) and have few complaints.

With that information laid out in front of me, it appears something's working. It may not be the standard diet, it certainly isn't perfect, but I'm not crashing and burning. On the average day I am sticking to my new habits, and I'm not gaining weight.

This probably sounds like a huge bucket of rationalization, and you're free to tell me that. My reason for making this inventory is to counteract my need to beat myself up for not being the perfect dieter. I need to go over the good things I'm doing, the good results I've achieved, instead of focusing on what I "shoulda" and "coulda." I'm not saying I want to keep this weekly eating routine forever. Who knows -- three years ago I couldn't imagine living (eating and exercising) like I do now -- in three more years I may make many more positive changes. It's a slow process, and as long as I'm still in the race, I have the chance to improve.

1 comment:

Vickie said...

You have heard me say this many times - many different ways - each GOOF - can be a great learning experience - if you just take it as a goof - gleen any insight that you can from it - STOP it - and move on. Good for you! 24+ lbs since October 1st is a lot!!!

We're doing cookies too - youngest - 3rd year brownies. Cookies - I can deal with "dealing".

BUT, we also do BK coupons (school sports - ironic isn't it?) - I pay for all of them and pitch them - will not promote BK.