Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fitting fitness goals into family life

I have really been struggling the last four days. I find myself losing my resolve to stay on track with the healthy eating, stealthy saboteurs have left illicit snack contraband all around my house, and I have blown off my exercise schedule completely so that I can be more accomodating for my family's needs. Getting back together with my family is not working for me!

It started with a couple of poor meal choices while traveling. Calorically, I stayed under my limit that sustains my body for the day, but I still ate more than I normally do (I try to maintain a 300 to 500 calorie daily deficit). I chose foods with higher fat contents that I usually do, as well as a higher sodium content. I didn't get all my water in for about four days running, and I'm seriously retaining fluids now. So, even though I broke the 320 lbs. mark on Thursday morning, I popped back up by six pounds as of today. And today, even though we're not traveling now and we're back in our vacation home, I stupidly prepared corned beef for dinner. At 11 p.m., I feel like a puffer fish!

I exercised today, and while we were traveling I tried to walk as much as possible every day. I walked outside, in hilly places, but just not very fast or very far. In order to get back into my exercise routine today, I had to ditch the family for a couple of hours. When they returned from their errands, they brought back roasted and salted pistachios, sesame candies and sweet potato chips fried in olive oil from the health food stored. My young son kept saying, "Look Mom! They're healthy! From the health food store!" And I was urged to take a taste of everything. I am so glad I wasn't at all hungry, or I would have eaten through that whole bag of chips. They were delicious! I only ate three chips...and two pistacios...and a couple of sesame candies (they're my favorites). I wasn't happy that I caved to the treats. Not beating myself up, just not healthy.

After dinner, I ate a bowl of Fiber One cereal for dessert. I wasn't hungry at the time, but I was afraid that if I got hungry I'd be tempted to head for something off the menu. The cereal is staying with me, so I'm good to go to bed now. After I drink more water. I hope I pee my brains out by morning!

On Thursday my husband the saboteur leaves to fly home and I'll just be left with my youngest son at home with me. He's my partner in the weight battle. He's got 40 lbs. to lose, and he was joining me today while I was stretching and doing my Core Rhythms DVD workout. He thought it was fun! We're partnering up to get him ready for the Presidential Fitness test coming up soon for him. We did some math together and figured that he could be down to his fighting weight by the time he starts fith grade. He's all for conciously making healthy choices everyday, and I promised him he could have good ice cream one night on the weekend, if he really wanted it. I can set the daily routine when it's just the two of us.

I realized this week how much my husband doesn't eat consciously, and how much his attitudes about food affect my self-image. He's one of those people that is constantly on the move to accomplish things daily and then will stop to eat when he remembers to. (And he makes really poor choices at that time.) He's annoyed with me for having to stop to eat more frequently. He doesn't understand why I can't just eat once and then keep up with him. I've tried to explain about the hypoglycemia, and how eating much smaller meals more frequently, while inefficient if you're only concerned with production on a daily basis (OMG!!! He's such an engineer!), is best for maintaining a faster metabolism in a human body. He understands...in theory.

I am just going to have to assert my needs more. If he needs a thinner wife before he can love her effectively, then he has to support the behaviors that will get him the thinner wife. I have not been very good at standing up for myself around him. Doing so now is a change for me, and it's causing some amount of emotional stress in our marriage. And I don't know how to deal with it now that I'm not eating through it!

Actually, I do know how to deal with it. I can sit with my fears and deliberately feel them. I can roll around in the emotions for a bit, and then I can calm myself enough to see past the initial panic and find the solution. I usually land on my feet...and for now, if I land on my ass, well, there's a lot of cushion back there! I do have the opportunity to practice managing the fears. Lots and lots of opportunities. Eventually, I may even get annoyed with the fearfulness and eliminate it from my life altogether. Like my favorite author Mark Twain once said, "I've seen many troubles in my time, only half of which ever came true."

I'm actually happy to see how upset I get about losing ground with the weight loss, and I'm happy that I don't like my exercise routine interrupted. It means that I am owning that part of my efforts now. Gaining ground towards good health, losing weight and taking the time to exercise are my rewards!

Ok, I feel better now. But I see I'm up way too late tonight. I'm losing valuable calorie-burning sleep time!

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