The Opposite of Vacation

facepalmcatTo all those who have been reading my blog this past year, I apologize for being absent this past month. I’d like to say that my absence was due to some wonderful, personal experience like an extended vacation on a tropical island with no Internet, but the truth is, I’ve just been very (VERY) busy and something had to give. Unfortunately for the past month “what gives” was my blogging. (And TV, I’ve watched almost no television for the past month, which is very unusual for me.) I tried giving up housework, but after a few days I couldn’t function and had to give up sleep just to get my house back in order.

The good news is that I’ve been busy with mostly good things. I am lucky enough to have a job I love, a large wonderful family, and a daughter who, at 20, still thinks she needs me. Despite all these crazy obligations, I have tried very hard to stick to some of my own personal commitments to myself. I have mostly been successful with sticking to my food program and my step goal. I will work on my October update later, when I have time to look at my actual numbers, but I’ve been pretty good at getting in my 8,000 daily steps, and running 3 times per week.

But without the blog grounding me, I find it getting harder and harder to motivate myself. The accountability is gone. I still get in some tweets in on a regular basis, but it isn’t the same thing. With the weather getting colder, pushing myself out the door to workout takes a lot more willpower, and some days it is easier to jus say, “eh? whatever!”

I left a full bowl of candy outside my door. This is what was left when I came home. Srsly??

I left a full bowl of candy outside my door. This is what was left when I came home. Srsly??

And the food issues are starting to get harder too. I’m mostly on program, but as I’ve explained before, mostly is my actual undoing. I felt this most acutely over Halloween weekend. It started with a slice of NY pizza and a handful of candy corn, which would have been fine, but ended up with a bag full of mini candies the trick-or-treaters left me.

I’ll be honest, some of my recent 5 mile runs were motivated more by the thought of some extra food I ate (or planned on eating) rather than the joy of exercises. This is dangerous for me (for reasons I’ve explained) so now I feel like I need to nip this in the bud. Which means somehow getting back to my roots.

I started with the food first. I went back to strict “cold turkey” status, and after a few days the cravings and anxiety subsided. Next, I started focusing my last few runs on enjoying the run, rather than focusing on how fast I was running. That helped considerably. Yesterday’s five-mile run was a much slower pace, but I enjoyed it more and didn’t feel like I’d been run over after I was done.

So food, √
exercise √

All that was left was accountability. I started by stepping on the scale for the first time in a month. I don’t know what I expected (probably a 5 lb gain) or how I would feel about it, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn I had lost 2 lbs. That caused me to re-evaluate myself a little. Remember, this isn’t about weight loss, but feeling in control. If I never lose another pound, I need to keep doing this to stay healthy and in control of my life. I know that sticking to my plan absolutely helps me feel this control, but now I know that I can meander off the path and not completely lose it.

goalsSo back to accountability: If the scale isn’t what I need to be accountable, what is? And that is why I’m sitting here writing this blog post. Telling my truth to anyone who is interested enough to read it. And so I’m going to have to jettison something else in my life for a while (not sure what) because I think I need this blog as much as I need my yogurt and almonds every morning and my 8,000 steps.

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