I’m not going to lie, I have been super nervous about leaving for this weekend birthday extravaganza. I have finally reached a point where my lifestyle change is habit. I’m comfortable at home/ at work/ at restaurants making wise choices about what I eat and how often I eat and the portion sizes. What if my mini vaca throws me off track? I told the birthday girl for months that I wasn’t sure if I would make it down simply because I didn’t know if I would be ready by now. But now that the day is here I know I am ready. So I thought this might be a good time to write about what I’m doing to make sure I will stay on track. But first I want to talk about why I was so nervous to take this trip.
I havn’t been to Portland since August. If you know me very well, you know that’s quite shocking. It’s been 5 months. The longest I’ve gone since I moved there 8 years ago. The trip itself was full of wonderful moments but was ultimately the catalyst for my return to an unfit life.
When I left for Portland in late July, I felt strong. I was running constantly and eating clean. I had spent those last three months pushing myself to the limit to drop the final few pounds I had gained during my diagnosis/surgery period (which in total amounted to 35 lbs). But truthfully, I was motivated for all the wrong reasons.
I had two back to back weddings in Portland. One was my good friend Katelyn’s and I was in the wedding which meant tons of pictures I wanted to be ready for.The other was the wedding of a good guy friend of mine. This one meant seeing a lot of people I hadn’t seen in awhile all in the same spot. I felt an irrational need to prove I was doing so well. Probably because I had spent the previous two years pining over the loss of the boy I thought I loved and most of them had seen my tears, weight gain and insecurity in full over this time. I felt the need to prove that I was over it. That things were great for me and that I was not only doing okay, I was thriving!
Unfortunately, I wasn’t. It was still hard to see him and I consumed more alcohol than I care to divulge trying to numb the pain. The most unfortunate part is looking back and realizing that my motivation for those previous months always had an ending point. That weekend was my goal and I had achieved it. I looked great! But with the end of that weekend came the end of my motivation. I made excuses for why I could cheat that weekend, drinking what I wanted, eating more than I should and not making time for exercise. By the time I got back, a lot of my cravings that I had worked so hard to banish had reappeared. I didn’t go completely back to my old ways but I slowly kept slipping farther and farther away from the successful point I had reached.
What’s my point here? Make sure that your motivation is not anchored to an ending point or routed in an insecurity that needs greater attention. This is how we relapse. And I say “we” because I am still capable of relapse. Everyday is a battle I fight to make progress towards the lifestyle I want. So that one day, it is not a battle. So that I wont be nervous to leave on vacation or go out to a restaurant where I don’t know the menu.
Alright enough of my cathartic writing. Time to set up a battle plan….
I purposefully got a hotel room that had a fridge so that I could bring items with me. I tried to put together a list of items that were convenient and reached all necessary food groups. For a second I was concerned because I had no meat here (except in the chili). I freaked that I hadn’t thought about protein enough until I remember that I had 5 eggs and Shakeo there. Those two things alone would cover my protein for the next two days haha. Pack what suites you best, just remember that you wont have a lot of accommodations.
So what do I have here?: