1/19/2012

all out of reasons to run

My alarm was set to go off at 3:02am, but at 3:01am, I woke up with a start – worried that somehow I had missed the alarm and then, subsequently, missed my flight. There was a sigh of relief, and then I was out of bed – moving through the house and finishing the task of packing, which is my least favorite part of traveling.

It took me an hour to get dressed, put away the remaining laundry, pack my suitcase, feed the dogs, force the dogs to take their medicine (the peanut butter trick doesn't work; neither does hiding it in cheese), brew coffee for my husband, and throw my hair up. It was just after 4:00am when we left the house, and I was sitting in the airport – waiting to print my boarding pass – before 4:30am.

My flight was scheduled to leave at 6:50am, and I knew there wouldn't be time to cook eggs and then eat breakfast before leaving. In the past, I would have been excited about the prospect of eating on the go. It's not really possible to eat healthy, after all, when you are in the midst of traveling. And if you can enjoy tater tots from Sonic, or a really large blueberry muffin, you should.

Except this time was different. This time I was determined not to just eat what was available to me. So I became the person with a special request, and the restaurant of my choice obliged.

It wasn't the best breakfast I've ever had. The egg would have tasted better between a plain bagel or two pieces of sourdough bread, but since bread is not an option, I ate it mixed with sauteed bell peppers and onions and sprinkled with (too much) cheese.

And there wasn't anything said about the lack of bread. It cost the same as it would have cost to purchase the whole sandwich (wouldn't it be nice if it was less, though, since I ate less food?). But I felt better about what I ate than I would have otherwise. Of course, I did put a little too much half and half into my coffee, but really, I'm the sort of person who likes coffee with my creamer so at least I cut it back some.

A lot of people mention how restrictive the South Beach Diet is and how they couldn't do it. And it is restrictive and not the easiest thing in the world. But it's also not impossible.

Like anything, it comes down to choice. I choose to watch what I eat. I choose to adhere as closely to the plan as I can – though I did have the tiniest sliver of pepperoni pizza for dinner Wednesday night. My butternut squash soup just wasn't cutting it.

It would be easy to say that I failed by eating pepperoni pizza Wednesday night. Really, it would have been best not to eat it. But by eating the tiniest sliver, I showed myself that I can eat some unhealthy things without feeling like I need to eat all of it as I have in the past. After all, it wasn't too long ago that I practically refused to share a frozen pizza with my husband.

I mentioned my little cheats from over the weekend. And I feel like I need to mention the cheat I had Wednesday night because I don't want anyone to think that I'm going along perfectly and without struggle through this two week phase. Because I'm not. I don't know how people can do it perfectly because sometimes you need that something extra.

And maybe if I hadn't eaten the sliver of pepperoni pizza or the handfuls of popcorn I would have lost 7 pounds by now instead of just 5. I don't think it really matters though. I feel so much better than I did just a week ago and that's worth so much more than those two extra pounds.

I also feel more confident in my ability to live a healthier lifestyle. After a month of never stepping foot in a gym and a month of eating more ice cream than I had over the past few months, I really wondered if I could actually make the change from unhealthy to healthy. I wondered if I would be able to maintain a healthy weight if I ever got down to my goal weight. The past week has shown me that I can say no and still be satisfied with what and how I am eating.

Right now, I'm reading the book Unlimited by Jillian Michaels. I usually read through books as quickly as I can, but this time, I am slowing down and really letting her words resonate with me. And they are.

There are so many quoted from her book that are applicable. But the one that really makes me think, at least at this moment in time, is “Understanding how you think about yourself and why you react to life the way you do will allow you to change any behavior, knock out any mental obstacle, and create any reality you desire.”

I'm definitely learning how I think and why I react. I'm taking a hard, hard look at all the reasons I used to eat so much ice cream and fight over pizza with my husband – even pout if he got to eat more of the pizza than I did. And the understanding and realizations have made it much easier to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

I think that's the point of the South Beach Diet, and really any eating plan. It's not about how much weight I can lose in two weeks. It's about bidding farewell to the foods that have no real place in your life and then slowly waving hello to the foods that will fuel you once you learn how to properly and responsibly consume them.

(title from "catch me" by tony lucca)

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