By Louise Kennedy
Two steps forward, one step back … or is that the other way around?
It’s been a challenging couple of weeks for Project Louise. School vacation week knocked me out of my routine, which was both good and bad, and then last week I was so busy catching up with what I’d missed at work that I didn’t even manage to remember that I had a routine.
So, by the end of last week, not only was I feeling behind on developing my life’s mission and vision statement (as I’d promised coach Allison Rimm and you, my readers, I would do), but I was also facing a weigh-in with my nurse practitioner, the wonderful Patty Moran, and knowing pretty well that I wasn’t going to like the number I saw.
I didn’t like it. At all.
For those not keeping score at home, I began in December at 189. At some point in March I got as low as 178 and seemed to be heading, slow but steady, in the right direction. But National Eat Like a Teenager Week, even in modified form, was not helpful; nor was the stress-induced return to a bad habit of having a glass or two of wine just about every night.
I find it’s not the wine calories that really cause the problem, but rather the post-wine attitude toward food. Disinhibition, they call it. Eating every high-fat salty snack in sight, I call it.
And here’s what the scale calls it: 185 pounds.
Misery. Self-flagellation. Regret.
None of which, frankly, fits into my vision for my life. So from the moment I heard Patty say it, I started trying to kick all those bad feelings overboard. Instead, I steeled myself to have a real conversation with her about what was – and wasn’t – going on with my weight-loss plan.
We ran through a typical day – good breakfast, salad for lunch, more or less anything goes for dinner – and did not have to spend much time figuring out what the problem was. “Anything goes” does not appear to be a successful dieting strategy. Especially when there’s wine involved.
So, OK. No more wine during the week. And not much on weekends. And, yeah, get back on track with that exercise thing. I have a feeling that the food intake has more effect on my weight than the exercise does, but the exercise makes me feel better, gives me more energy and serves as a regular reminder that I’m trying to take better care of myself. So I just need to do it.
And … what do you know, Allison was right again. Because when I focus on my evolving vision for my life, “drinking too much wine and not getting out of bed the next morning to exercise” is not really in there.
What is? Well, a lot of that is fairly personal, and even though I’m willing to put my weight out here, some stuff I’d rather keep to myself, at least for a while. Suffice to say that it has to do with my frazzled, complicated family life, which may also just have a little something to do with my having that second glass of wine more often than I should.
But I will tell you this: Having a vision really makes a difference. So I am now spending a bit of time, every night and every morning, ruminating about exactly what I want my life to feel like: how I spend my time, what I do with my family and at work, where I live, what I do for fun. And I’m writing about it, in detail, so that I can really start to see it.
I urge you to do the same. At first it can feel a bit forced, and, if you’re like me, you may resist carving out time for something that doesn’t have any apparent immediate benefit. So many of us, me emphatically included, spend our days racing from urgent task to urgent task that it can seem crazy to drop everything and just think about the future. But if we don’t, the future will look just as crazy and overstuffed as the present – my present, anyway.
How’s your present doing? And what would you like your future to be?