If I’m being completely honest … this week’s blog was extremely difficult to compose. My spirit and my head have been battling most of the week. My head is telling me life sucks! I suck! I’m a big, fat, fake liar! My spirit is wise enough to recognize these attacks of negative thoughts aren’t how I REALLY feel. I know these negative slings and arrows are being launched at me by an enemy that hates me. An enemy who loves it when I start treading water in the deep end of my own little pity pool. He’s been pretty relentless this week.
The reason for my angst is this past week I spent four days on vacation celebrating my son’s milestone 30th birthday. It was a trip my daughter-in-law secretly planned for months to surprise her husband. My son was properly surprised and excited to discover that most of our family would be joining him at Disneyland and California Adventure to commemorate his big birthday.
A grand time was had by all – yes, even me – but it came at cost.
It’s pretty difficult – if not impossible – to take a long road trip and then spend two days at a Disney themed amusement park without giving in to some pretty unhealthy snacking and eating. I’m sorry to say, I didn’t disappoint when it came to meal time.
I managed to start each day with a healthy breakfast, but beyond that – the rest is a bit of a blur.
Disneyland is said to be the happiest place on earth, and while that may be true for first-time visitors, seasoned pros and repeat park-goers like myself have learned that the happiest place on earth is also the most expensive place on earth when it comes to food. Hence the need to pack in some of life’s essentials.
My husband believes vacation road trips should include staples from every major junk food category, including but not limited to, Doritos, gummy bears, chocolate chip cookies, black licorice, red vines, beef jerky, goldfish crackers and of course, ice cream, candy bars and Mountain Dew at every gas stop. The guy doesn’t exactly make it easy for someone maintaining a weight loss to keep things legal. But being the good wife that I am, I packed accordingly. My backpack was ever ready in the snack department and definitely came in handy while standing in those long ride lines.
Most of us know, once you step off a weight loss program, it’s a slippery slope and a quick slide into poor food choices, guilt and regret. I didn’t do as much damage as I could have, or as much damage as I once was known to do – but I was certainly no angel either.
The problem with travelling with a large group of people is whenever one person got it in their head to eat ice cream, churros, cream cheese filled pretzels shaped like Mickey Mouse, the delicious Beignets Disney is famous for … or whatever – (fill in the blank of the most decadent foods you can think of) … everyone jumped on the bandwagon and everyone ate!
A pinch of this, a nibble of that, a bite of something else … As much as I tried to convince myself that each small sample barely registered a blip on the old calorie meter – I KNOW that those BLT’s (bites, licks and tastes) eventually add up and have to go somewhere.
One of the great benefits of losing weight is my stomach can no longer hold as much food as it once did. It’s far too painful for me to eat like an NFL linebacker, so I never ordered anything just for me — but there was a whole lot of sharing going on! Even though my stomach may be smaller, my guilt-ridden mind couldn’t tell the difference whether I was eating a little junk food or lots. Guilt and regret all look and feel the same no matter the sin. At least this is true for me.
Here it is days later and I’m continuing to wrestle with the sin and the guilt. I’m having a tough time getting back on a balanced eating track. (And balanced eating does not mean a cookie in each hand!) My head and my spirit want to resume normal, healthy eating, but my dang flesh has unleashed a beast that demands to be fed junk food at regular intervals.
On the plus side – while I did eat more than normal, amusement parks force you to do a lot of walking. Knowing it was going to be hard to resist food temptations, I forced myself to walk as much as possible. I opted to walk to and from the parking garage to the parks rather than hopping on a tram. I volunteered to walk around pushing a sleeping baby in a stroller while everyone else was riding those scary rides I dislike. We spent two days at both parks and I averaged about ten miles of walking each day.
My last visit to Disneyland three years ago found me lugging around an extra 55 pounds on two bad knees and feet that were in such bad shape, I was reduced to tears after a mere few hours. My previous Disney visits found me sitting more and walking less. I am grateful to God that I now have more energy and am able to walk for miles on end. This news alone should lift my spirits and rid me of all guilt.
But yet …
These last two weeks of the year are probably the roughest days of the entire year when it comes to watching what we eat. That’s especially true in my household since my immediate family celebrates three December birthdays which means – three birthday dinners and three different birthday cakes because everyone demands something different. Any way you look at it – combined with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and that shakes out to a whole lot of high caloric foods in my house. Yeesh!
So many people completely let loose this time of year and indulge in decadent Christmas goodies. The mindset of many is to enjoy the holidays with the intent to start fresh after the New Year. That is certainly an option, but why risk gaining extra weight now forcing yourself to work that much harder after New Year’s? How do we stay on track and maintain our healthy eating lifestyle through the holidays and into the New Year???
For me … I remember how hard it has been losing weight. I know exactly how many hours on the treadmill and bike it takes to whittle away those extra pounds. Losing weight is hard! Why would I willingly choose to undo all of the hard work I’ve put into this? I’ve got to spend more time focusing on how I got here. I need to drown out the voice of the enemy. I need to focus on the reason we celebrate Christmas and less time obsessing over ME. Christmas is not about ME. Family birthdays are not about ME. Jesus didn’t send His son to earth as a tiny baby so I could stress out over what is going in my mouth. Life is more than food!
Life, in fact – DOES NOT suck. I DO NOT suck. I AM NOT a big fat, fake liar – just a girl who wants to be better … act better … feel better … and be the best version of who God created me to be. I don’t want to fake it till I make it. I want to make it through the holidays and into next year the same way I made it through this year: working hard and beating back the devil with all that is within me AND trusting God each and every day!
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
A vacation is like love — anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort, and remembered with nostalgia. ~Author unknown