I was in ER the other day and you know that feeling where you're so mad you think...
FUCK IT. I'M GOING TO EAT A WHOLE PIZZA/CAKE/COSTCO MUFFIN TRAY ... AND I'm going to drink a box of wine..... and then I'll feel better!
If you read that and thought "NO.. I've never wanted to do any of those things", you are either;
A) Incredibly lucky... and kudos for never using food/drink to self medicate. You're my hero right now.
B) Lying. Come on. A whole muffin tray is a delicious way to burn through a week of calories.
And yet isn't it ridiculous to think that by eating a pizza or a whole bag of mini eggs we are going to feel any better about ANYTHING?
Whaaaaat? Pizza DOESN'T make everything better?
A valid question indeed. The answer is sadly, no. It does not. After bad news in the ER I was almost ready to jump into maximum pizza eating mode, but I didn't. WHY? (and the answer has nothing to do with me being off dairy - true story)
It's all got to do with habits. Recognizing them - Analyzing them - and changing them.
Wait up... before we get to the WHY I didn't speed dial Panago - I need to tell you why I was in ER in the first place and what made me mad.
In December I fractured my foot. I had been teaching Zumba on a spring loaded floor built for gymnastics and tumbling and just as I launched into a side step during the second warm up, I rolled my foot into a part of the floor that had an empty air pocket. OUCH. No big deal though, I carried on and sucked it up.
Never having had an injury before and being an optimist, I figured it would be back to normal in no time. By January I was noticing how much less I was enjoying walking and decided I should get it checked out for real.
My X-ray came back with what the Dr suggested was a fracture that had healed all by itself and the extra pain that I was experiencing was in fact the bone growing (or something). "Cool" , I thought. So I carried on in pain and with a limp.
It kept on getting worse though. And a limp is only cool for a pirate or a gangster, of which I am neither.
I continued teaching Zumba twice a week and heavily icing my foot in between. I walked less than usual and when I was no longer the leader amongst my fitbit friends, I knew something was up. If you invite me for a workweek challenge, you better be bringing your A game, that's all I'm saying.
So what have my broken foot and pizza got in common?
When I left the ER I was under instructions to purchase a walking boot. Ain't nothing sexier than an airboot. My mood took a sharp turn to shit. Then, I was instructed to REST my foot as much as possible. No more dead lifts and not teach my Fit By Design Zumba classes for a few weeks. I was sitting there with a very distinct resting bitch face, knowing I had just entered into what used to be a dangerous habit loop. I tried bargaining with the doctor, threw some humour at the sitaution and told him he could see my foot on instagram later on as I took a picture of the X-ray. I felt totally deflated.
A few weeks prior I had started training with Robert Petrie, F3FIT to learn the fundamentals of lifting weights properly and to get really, really REALLY strong while minimizing the use of my foot. Stopping would be a huge blow and knowing I was letting down my wonderful Fit By Design Zumba crew down SUCKED. That's where a pizza could have made me feel oh-so-much better.
My habit loop:
CUE - Bad thing happens (broken foot, need a cast, can't do exercise)
ROUTINE - I immediately want to eat whole pizza, cake,
REWARD - I feel much better. Comforted. Happy. Safe
It makes me feel sad to admit that's how I've dealt with emotional problems. Until I took the time to learn about my habits, I might have always relied on this way of dealing with negative things. Now you may be wondering...
How can I make myself more awesome by learning about MY habits?
This is an awesome question and I can suggest grabbing a copy of The Power of Habit and turning into a hermit for 24 hours while you learn everything you can about why you do the things you do.
Now what ?
So while I rest as much as possible, I am able to still focus on good nutrition. Drinking plenty of water. Doing what I can for weights without using my foot with some nifty modifications to my plan (thanks, Robert) and only thinking a lil' bit about pizza while I limp along with this ridiculous airboot like a gangster-yo.
p.s) My plan is to lose 80lbs by the end of year. You can keep me accountable and cheer me on (please!!) by following my instagram @beboldstaygold_
There have been times when I have reached the end of the day, and without having to count up the calories, I have known how utterly terrible my choices have been.
I mean, sometimes… sometimes… you accidentally eat a doughnut.
And by sometimes, I mean always. And by doughnut, I mean box of doughnuts.
And as I sit there, with my sugar glazed lips, biting into that moist dough, I am looking at the remaining box thinking "stop looking so delicious would ya!"
Trouble is, for a person like me, a lonely doughnut isn’t enough. Not when you have an insatiable appetite for refined carbs and sugar. It only makes sense to wash it down with a bottle of wine, a bag of chips and the last stash of Halloween candy in the freezer. Just kidding, there is never any leftover Halloween candy in my house. And so the cycle begins again.
One doughnut to blame for a day of bad choices – might as well, right.. I mean.. it couldn’t hurt? Which leads into two days. Which leads into three and before you know it, that small moment of weakness became a week of bad choices and in my case, if I’m lucky, only about a 7lbs gain.
Best of all…..I can’t even remember what the doughnuts tasted like.
You make one bad choice and it's full on FAILURE. Failure before you succeeded. Failure to allow yourself to succeed. And you convince yourself that you can eat all the doughnuts and start again tomorrow until you make the next mistake.
Failure is that comfortable place we hang out in when we’re not ready to really work hard and get what we want.
It’s so much easier to admit defeat and blame your old ways and your lazy, miserable doughnut loving self, than to empower the "doughnut in moderation" version of yourself that is just desperate to succeed, but so scared to fail. Again. And again…
That was how my 2014 panned out. Despite some great efforts and successes throughout the year – my heart was elsewhere and although my intentions were good – my ability to make it happen....didn’t work out. There were many doughnut days.
I realise how hard it is to admit you fucked up.
I realise how hard it is to take action again.
I realise how embarrassing can be to admit you tried and failed.
But I also know how awesome it is to succeed. So keep going anyway.
Tonight I found myself looking for an excuse to get an ice cream. I didn't need one or even really want one - but the convenience of being in the city and opportunity to take my dog out for a walk lended itself to the possibility of a peanut buster parfait. I walked out the house with the full intention of buying something.. sundae? maybe a blizzard? By the time I had got to the end of the road I was debating the size - should I get something big or small. I asked myself if I really wanted the ice cream? I said "Yes" DUH!!
But I stopped myself from walking down a block and turned the corner. I asked myself again if the best version of myself wanted that ice cream? I broke the cycle of failure in that moment by saying no.
I'll admit - I wasn't as strong yesterday when I was eating the top of a defrosted cake that my friend had given me - but I never claimed to be perfect....and as the summer draws to an end and we're in "back to school" mentality, the doughnut days of summer are over and we can choose to be successful once again.
Mother, creative strategist and health & happiness advocate. These are my personal ramblings..