When I get busy, I fall off. Specifically, I wait until the eleventh hour to eat so when I do, I'm famished. I eat whatever is in front of me all the while inwardly pledging to do better with the next meal. The next meal comes and the cycle repeats itself.
My guess is that some version of this happens to you, too. But, see, for me what compounds it is that busy-busy times in my life also make it hard for me to exercise in the meaningful and consistent ways that make me feel good. I look for ways to balance childcare with hospital responsibilities and once I figure that part out? I'm exhausted.
And sure. I know that these are really all excuses. And I also can't help but hear the "excuses" quote in my head that many of us have been forced to memorize and recite at some point or another.
"Excuses are tools of the weak and incompetent and build monuments to nothingness. Those who master them seldom master anything else."
Or something like that. (I know that between my husband, me and a few other folks who pledged fraternities or sororities, we all learned slightly different versions of this--but you get the picture.)
Anyways. I recognize that with some chutzpah I could lunge all over my house or do some work out videos on my computer. But for whatever reason that hasn't been happening.
What happens next? Well. If nothing changes, I'll look up and have a few extra pounds on me. But see, this is where the philosophy of Team S.J.G.R. is so helpful to me. I know that we get FIT in the gym and we LOSE WEIGHT in the kitchen. So if my schedule is crazy on the hospital service and I feel like there are too many moving parts? My first step is to modify what goes into my mouth.
So, for me, that means I have to set an "absolute." In other words, I give up a specific item (or items) for a designated period of time. Although I am willing to make an excuse or two, generally when I make a promise to fast off of something, I stick to it. Right now, those things are bread, sweets and fried treats. I make it black and white. Nothing gray about it.
Some folks give things up for lent. Admittedly, I'm not Catholic though I've always dug the idea of how fasting off of certain things can get your mind refocused. That said, I am the first to admit that what I've given up for these next two weeks is simply meant to counter the imbalance of my dietary life right now. It sets limits which helps a lot. So, nope. No 40 days in the wilderness for me with all of this. I'm thinking about 14 days or so.
You know? It's already working. Last night I had dinner with my friend and fellow Grady doctor Stacy H. The bread basket hit the table and normally I would have been all up on it. But I wasn't. And I know that it was because of my "absolutes" or rather this decision to chasten myself with the fork. Or the bread. You get the picture.
And this? This works for me. This has helped me maintain a certain weight for quite some time. I do this periodically and find it helpful. I used to step up the exercise but, again, I now know that weight management happens in the kitchen.
So that's the huddle. Me raising my hand and saying that I needed some chastening. And sharing with you something that has worked for me when life is crazy.
Tell me. What tricks to you have up your sleeve? Are you good at keeping promises to yourself?