Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Honesty is the best policy

Kathy says:

Wow, has it really been 2 weeks since we last blogged? According to my blog file – and a kick in the ass from super supportive friend Andrea - it has! So here I sit ready to tell you all about the great strides we’ve made in these last two weeks. About the crazy improvements we’ve seen at the gym. About our commitment to eating nothing but spinach and lettuce. But there’s just one problem: the last two weeks haven’t exactly gone that way.

This blog is about honesty – sharing with all of you the highs and lows we experience day to day – and folks, today is a day to profile some lows. Let’s start with the gym. We have continued to go to the gym (although I missed 2 days – one due to a commitment and one to illness) but I can honestly say that without Travis pushing us, the weight portion of the workout is slipping a little. Those extra new torture machines he taught us in our last few sessions sit idle as we walk by them on our way to the change rooms. “Next time” I tell myself. “I’ll do them next time. I worked hard enough today.” That’s tired, fat, lazy Kathy talking and we all know it, but when there isn’t someone in your face telling you that skipping them isn’t an option, well…you skip them.

The cardio portion of our workouts is still strong…I could do cardio for hours. Sure it makes me tired, but for some reason I enjoy the tired feeling it gives me. Tonight I did an hour on the interval setting of the treadmill and by the end had burned almost 500 calories. I know I worked hard because I had that ring of sweat around the neckline of my shirt – disgusting, but proof to all that yes, I worked my butt off.

So while our gym habit is still there, albeit a little less brutal, our diet…well…that’s another story. It all started with the words “it’s your birthday – let’s give ourselves the weekend off”. Now how I justified ME going off my diet when it was RON’S birthday, I’m not sure, but it happened and even though his birthday was 11 days ago we’ve just started eating smarter again in the last few days. I can’t tell you the shock our bodies went through in those first couple of days of eating what would be classified as ‘normal food’ to us and utter crap to most other people. Our first glorious indulgence was longtime favourite The Olive Garden. I’m pretty sure the Tour of Italy had about 10,000 calories and I savoured every single one of them! Never have I enjoyed breadsticks more. And even the salad full of its oily dressing was heavenly.

But the weekend didn’t stop there. Being away for a few days meant we had no choice but to eat out, and we took full advantage of that. It might have been the hunger talking but we have decided that the Somerset Collection has the best mall food court we’ve ever been to! And T.G.I.Friday’s greasy fare was just a little bit tastier than usual - their margaritas have never gone down so smooth either. We spent the weekend eating like it was going out of style and boy did we pay for it. Not only was our first step on the scale a little shock inducing when we arrived home, but the old familiar issues we once had came back. The acid reflux, the blah, no energy feeling, the salt induced headaches. I didn’t realize they were gone until they came back! I’m ready for them to go away again. Time to smarten up.

So we have begun our journey back to normalcy or what we call the ‘new normal’. A stop at the grocery store this weekend produced a cart full of fruits and veggies and lean meats – not a potato chip or cookie in the bunch. Meals this week have been healthier than we experienced in the last couple of weeks, although it would be wrong not to admit that last night we gave into our pizza craving in a big way. I like to think my super elevation on the treadmill today makes up for that in some small way!

We’re back on track, mindful that we have an entire lifetime to make choices and that at the end of the day, as long as we make smart ones MOST of the time, the odd indulgence weekend won’t kill us. It may make us feel like we’re one step closer to death, but we’ll face those consequences when we get to them. Until then, you can find me in the produce department weighing my new options – broccoli or cauliflower?

Ron says:

Well now, how do I follow that admission of guilt? It was my birthday after all - ok, not all weekend, but it was a celebration of me! It's so easy to make excuses that I can think of a few without much effort. I do feel guilty about the splurging and celebration with food. But I don't feel too bad. At first I was completely gung-ho with our new diet and exercise regime, and at the time I chose not to believe anyone who even suggested that my gumption would wane eventually. So…they were right. I no longer feel as excited as I did to run to the gym right after work. And yes, I'm getting pretty damn tired of vegetables. It seems that the salad dressing that I was dripping onto my veggies is now more of a soaking. Think of soup and you'll get the picture.

It was a great weekend, two weeks ago, and it's been very hard to get back on the wagon since. Every morning I get on the scale and see that the numbers have stopped moving down, and are sort of just sitting there. So, I tell myself “I'm going to be good today”, and go down stairs, make my tea, and eat a good breakfast. I grab my salad that Kathy made for me the night before, and I pack a piece of fruit. Sounds good right? But then lunch time comes, and I look at my salad and think... “Pizza!” I could totally go for a slice for lunch. It's so hard to resist. I work in a college and almost right under my office, on the first floor is a Pizza Pizza, not to mention other fast food tempting me.

As you can see, this has really moved into a struggle for us. And, from what I can tell, this is classic "I'm on a diet" behaviour. We started off really strong, we threw away all the bad food, we stopped eating out so much, we started with exercise and a whole new routine for our lives. Then we fell for the oldest back slide trick in the book. We gave ourselves permission to be bad. We stopped being in control of us, and let our old habits and cravings take over. We said it would be for the weekend, and that was it. But as soon as we accepted one excuse, we started to allow another and another through. Before we knew it, we were having KFC for dinner!

Like I mentioned earlier, I'm not feeling too bad about all this slippage right now. I could beat myself up for being weak, but I won't. Why? Well, as I see it, this is the point when most people just chuck it. This is really the most fragile time for us both. Right now I could walk into Kathy's office, and probably convince her to quit with me. I'm sure if I offered to go get her a Big Mac with extra Mac sauce, she would be all over it. But I won't do that. We need to give ourselves a break. Not in what we are eating, but in how hard we are on ourselves. Kathy keeps saying that this is the rest of our lives, and for the first time, that's starting to sink in. (I know, insert husband doesn't listen to wife joke here) But she is right. This is for the long haul, not a quick ‘drop a ton of weight as fast as possible’.

I think we have to be willing to let ourselves fail if we really want to succeed. I know - sounds kind of backwards, but I really believe that we are going to come to this point over and over again. And we need to forgive and move on when it happens - not let it completely derail us and deflate us.

There are literally dozens of different salad dressings available. And I've only tried 4 or 5 of them. We're not giving up yet.