Monday, January 16, 2012
Progressing Quite Nicely
This very well-preserved railroad bridged "surprised" me quite nicely as it was more than five miles into the backcountry along the Cabin Flats Trail. Isn't it beautiful?
January 9, 2012
Good Morning! I am still basking in the glow of what Mr. B called, "the perfect day!" Tomorrow (Tuesday) is his birthday and we celebrated with friends yesterday by attending our sixth performance of Les Miserables followed by a delicious dinner at Chesapeake's, our favorite local restaurant. I make no apologies for having seen this Broadway production six times. But I do admit that this isn't even MY favorite, although it is his. My favorite is Phantom of the Opera which we have only seen five times, so guess what's next. My birthday, maybe??? No matter - either production is well worth repeat visits and last nights did not disappoint. Our recently renovated venue for these events, The Tennessee Theatre is now more than worthy to host stellar productions such as these and I am thrilled to no longer HAVE to travel other places to see great shows! Today (MLK Day) is a holiday for Mr. B so we'll continue to celebrate. My suggestion of a hike did not meet with much enthusiasm as this is NOT his idea of a birthday celebration, so guess I'll have to go with whatever he suggests.
I am into my seventh week following the 17 Day Diet which I first wrote about here and here. I could not be more thrilled with this plan or with my results. I still cringe talking about it because I so dislike the word "diet," and am searching for the appropriate way to mix words so that I don't have to call it that, yet still give honor to the fact that it is the copyrighted name of the plan. I have settled into the different cycles, moving in and out of them as my schedule dictates while still losing steadily. The weight loss has slowed (as of this morning, I have lost 15 pounds), but I have the complete confidence that if I were to move back into Cycle 1 - Accelerate and follow it to the letter for 17 consecutive days, I would lose quickly as I did before. Currently, I am moving among Cycles 1, 2 and 3 and losing between 3/4 and 1 full pound each week. All three of the cycles have become second nature to me and each morning I spend about thirty seconds reviewing my schedule for the day and deciding which "cycle" I will live in that day. I've learned that I instinctively strive for Cycle 2 as it is my favorite, but my overall goal is to spend consecutive days in Cycle 1 as that is where the quickest weight loss will be found, yet it is still a well-balanced meal plan that doesn't leave me feeling deprived or hungry. Rare are the days when I choose to live in Cycle 3. I no longer need the cushion of knowing I could choose a pasta or bread product as I no longer crave, nor want them. Yet that option is there for the days when I might be faced with less choices and knowing I've chosen that option for that day completely eliminates any feeling of guilt or doing something "bad." I find that more often than not, I choose to NOT exercise that option reverting to something back on Cycle 2 or 1.
Sugar, the bread basket on the table in the restaurant, white flour products and processed foods have completely lost their appeal to me and are no longer a temptation. This is the factor for which I am most grateful and still in the stage of disbelief. There are restaurants I have refused to go to for years because of the bread basket. I'm still not heading there tomorrow (Macaroni Grill comes to mind), but believe that if given one of those "no choice" situations which have derailed me so many times in the past, I could accept it, find something suitable on the menu and ignore the bread basket.
Here are the two things which I want everyone reading this post to understand with complete clarity!!!
1) I am not CURED! This is not a MIRACLE! In a weak moment, one bite of any of those things could send me in the downward spiral I've encountered so many times. I have gone as long as three YEARS without sugar and one bite was all it took. You can argue whether or not carbs are "addictive" until pigs fly, but those of us who know it is just know. And we also know that, FOR US, "one bite" does NOT satisfy and moderation will NOT work.
2) But on the other hand, I want to encourage you that if I can do this, so can you. I read a lot of blogs and spend a lot of time thinking about my journey and my writing. For many of you, the new year began with such hopes, new plans, new enthusiasm and renewed motivation. Some are succeeding, some are already discouraged, some set goals that are already needing to be modified and yes, some have already just quit! I have been there, I have done all of those things. I have arrived at January 16 more times than I can count in a state of despair that this year was just like all the others where I'd end the year at a higher weight than I began it. The 17-Day Diet may not be for you - in fact, it probably isn't although it is a healthy, sustainable "plan" that can work for a lifetime. But if you don't possess certain personality traits that "fit" with this way of doing things, it isn't for you. But there is something out there that is! And no matter what it's called, it will be a balance of healthy calories in vs. calories burned out!!
I have said before that I don't know what happened or what clicked on that day just before Thanksgiving when I walked into Barnes & Noble and first laid eyes on the 17-Day Diet book. It's a bestseller, for heaven's sake and I'd never even HEARD of it. And that's the miracle I want to stress. Don't give up - don't quit. I was flirting with that idea myself although the thought was always met with self-disgust because deep down I knew I wasn't at the weight I wanted to live with and in the end, I wouldn't stay there, I'd just keep gaining.
And maybe that was exactly when my 2012 resolution of finding a "surprise" in every day was born! You have to look for it and you have to be willing to see it when you least expect it. What an absolute joy 2012 has been because I've found multiple surprises in every day, not the least of which is my "surprise" that I made it through another day full of energy and feeling healthy. Not the least of which is the total feeling of success when I watched the other three at my table last night chowing down on a chocolate waffle covered with ice cream and various other toppings knowing two things, 1) I didn't want it, and 2) I'd be the one who'd later lay down my head on my pillow feeling strong and healthy while those three would lay down in a sugar-induced haze feeling like crap and fervently wishing they hadn't eaten that dessert. Sure enough, Mr. B's last words before we went to sleep last night were, "I'm miserable." I don't say that to be judgmental or critical as that would be so wrong. I've done it to many times myself. I just repeat it to emphasize once more that yes, it can be done. And yes, it becomes easier.
How Can I Help You This Week?