TOTAL POUNDS LOST (Season 5): 34.9

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Free Day - a short story (relatively speaking)

I don't know about the rest of you doing this point competition, but I've been looking forward to Monday since...well...the last free day on the calendar! It's an unfortunate fact that once I get a little taste of sugar (especially chocolate...ohhh especially chocolate), my system grabs hold of the general idea and begins to
for days to come after I indulged! The first week of the competition, I didn't eat ANYTHING "bad" and I felt awesome. I felt motivated, I didn't feel deprived, I worked out like a mad woman and I sat at the good side of a mood swing the whole week.
Then the second week came and I did...okay. I let myself have a taste of this here, a bite of this there...and by the end of the week I found myself taking down five cookies in one sitting. Frozen cookies at that. Because my mother-in-law made cookies she makes the BEST cookies. So, since I was refraining, I put five of them in a little baggie and froze them so someday I could unfreeze one of them for a free day when I wouldn't lose points for it.
Yeah, it didn't quite go like that. I wanted all five of them and I wanted them NOW.
This last week, I have been making more of an effort again but those thoughts of chocolate are swirling around in my mind constantly, being whipped up into a frothy chocolate mouse...being melted down and hardened into candy bars...finding their ways into things I happen to be eating ("I wonder how chocolate chips would taste on this salad?"...)
It's sad, really. But I refrained, knowing full well I had a free day coming up where I could have myself a taste of my obsession and not pay the price for it.
Well, maybe a quarter of a pound gained but at least not five points lost!

So, Monday rolls around and I giggle to myself throughout the day...when I am forcing down raw veggies and chugging water, I'm thinking about that lovely window of time later in the day when it will be my time to indulge. Picturing a quiet moment after the kids are in bed and I can lose myself in something rich and decadent while my husband watches something on the discovery channel, the baby monitor silently scans from room to room, and I am curled up on the couch in comfy pajamas, ignoring the toys and crums of the day surrounding me.
This is what had me giddy through half the day.

Mostly because I was ignoring reality.

Here's the thing - - we don't keep sweets in the house. I have three children - 4, 3, and 2 and there is really no reason whatsoever that I should trash their bodies with junk. So, I don't. It's as simple as that.
This unfortunately interferes with the fact that I still like to sometimes trash my body with junk. Darn double standards.
So, on a day like Monday...when I fully intended to have a little sumthin-sumthin, I must rely on my dear husband to swing by the store on his way home from work. Because, to be honest, I rarely venture out with my children by myself. Maybe when they're older. Maybe when they were younger. But somehow, right now, we've landed at just the perfect combination of ages/phases/personalities that taking them out is a real venture into you-know-where.

I love them.
I just don't take them out by myself. :)

And this would especially be true if I took them to a grocery store and tried to pull off buying something sweet for me and letting them witness it when, frankly, they are not going to get any.
MY free day treat.
So, I mention to my husband over text message that I am looking forward to some chocolate that evening.
"Do we have chocolate there??" he says
"Um...not yet." I says
"That's what I thought" he says
and then
"I know just what you need."
(having been through pregnancies with me, he really does unfortunately know where I turn when I need a fix)
Ooh, I was getting excited.
It's sad, really.

So, on we go throughout the day, the deliverance of the chocolate at least arranged.
Though my mind was a bit troubled, knowing that I still wasn't quite set up for guaranteed success in the snacking department...
JC would get home from work at about seven or seven thirty, depending. The kids go to bed by eight. But I always hate to cut their short time with daddy any shorter, so it's more like between eight and eight thirty on these late nights.
Skipping ahead, I knew I wanted to be in bed by ten thirty. We had started staying up really late for a while...not collapsing into bed until close to midnight EVERY NIGHT for way too long. When he's getting up for work at five thirty and I'm being dragged out of bed around six or six thirty by at least one child, I just knew we needed to sleep more if we wanted to be healthier and happier. SO, for this round I chose a set, earlier bedtime as my "addiction," or behavior that I wanted to change. For every night that I go to bed by ten thirty, I give myself the allotted five points. It has made a tremendous difference, I must say. So anyway, I knew that I wanted to be sure to be in bed by ten thirty, as is my usual goal. (I make an exception and go ahead and eat the points on Friday nights because that's our date night, whether in or out, and we want the extra time together).
So, once the kids are in bed Monday night, I saw myself having a window of time ranging from eight thirty to ten thirty to eat my treat.
That's a pretty good size window.
But then...oh yeah...I need to actually eat it before nine or I lose points for eating after nine. Big points. So, okay, just that one half hour there.
But shoot, I say to myself...I workout after they go to bed. The latest I'll get started is eight thirty...the shortest my workouts ever are is an then I'm looking at...nine thirty...can't eat that late...
OH! I get excited, realizing that I can eat between bedtime and the start of my workout. But actually...once I thought about it...I always feel sick if I eat anything too close to my workout. Plus, if I do any yoga at the end like I like to...downward dog becomes upward chocolate free day treat...we don't want that...
It was looking like I had some prioritizing to do.

Let me go ahead and skip to the end of this story - -
It was 9:05. I had just finished a forty-five minute workout. Barely landed past the cut-off.
But my four year old was still getting out of bed wanting to chat, be comforted, be put back in bed, etc. So by the time I was actually eyeing my now late-night treat, I decided I might as well shower so as to fully enjoy the experience free from workout grime.
So I did.
Then I was staring at a kitchen counter that held a Snickers Dark (oh yum), a Twix, and Reese's cups. Because the gas station by JC's work had these on buy two, get one free, so he brought home options.
Hey, I may not have been going high class with my snacking on this particular night but I didn't care!
Now to choose...
The problem with me is, I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. Black and white. Angelically good or fiercely evil.
Can you guess which direction I chose that night?

. . . . .

About midnight, tossing and turning in bed, feeling upset that I had been in bed since, you guessed it, ten thirty and not yet felt settled enough to sleep, I couldn't figure out why tonight I couldn't get to sleep! Seriously, since starting my earlier bedtime, my body responds so well to just dropping into bed at the end of the day and easily drifting to this night was rather frustrating.
It wasn't long before I made the connection.
I guess there is a reason late-night eating, especially sugary late-night eating, is counter-productive in a healthy lifestyle. Not only do the pounds pack on that much faster but you just. can't. sleep.
As I continued to wake up randomly throughout the night, feeling restless, unrested, and grumpy, I kept thinking about my day and how truly un-worth it that three candy bar indulgence had been. Also, being a bit delirious, I began imagining how I could write a book about the experience.
Instead I decided to write this post. The world thanks all of you for bearing the weight of my snacking lesson so they don't have to.

What I learned is this - - don't put twinkies on your pizza!, no...that's not me, that's someone on a movie...

What I learned is this - - there really is sense in all these things we do to try to improve our lives! They all work together to keep us on the right track. At least for me...once I sacrifice something, I end up losing out in other areas!
Evenings are full of:
Time with family.
Time working out.
Time connecting with husband at the end of our long days.
Early bedtime.
Oh, and...shower somewhere in there...
(please note - my house is still a mess. I never clean at night)

All of this leaves very little time for snacking.
And maybe that is the way it should be!

Next free day that falls on a weekday (anyone in favor of moving all free days to weekends??? haha) I think I will have to plan ahead a little better.

Now I understand why women in books and on tv always have a secret stash where they keep their chocolate.
After all, that is what nap-time/rest-time/at-least-put-a-movie-on-and-lock-yourself-in-the-bathroom-for-five-minutes-time is for, right?

Speaking of rest times, ours is over which means I can no longer sit at the computer...bringing this to a far-to0-delayed end.
It also means I used rest time to write this out instead of the million other tasks that beckon to me at this time of day.

But hey, at least I wasn't snacking!



Ali said...

okay Mandy...that's why I do "no sugar," because I can't control myself! I am not a one cookie kind of girl. It's all or nothing for me, so I commend those of you who can control yourselves and just eat one. I can control myself by not having any, but just eating one! That is way too hard for me! I have done 'no sugar' on and off since high school, my longest being at just over 3 years, (it ended at this last was a bad one) and I KNOW there is a difference when we don't fill our bodies with that stuff!
Thank you for sharing Mandy, now I know that I am not alone. :)

Tammie said...

I know how that is! I make cookies and only cook up a few batches, enough for the kids after school and for me to have a few and then I freeze the rest of the dough thinking it will be okay cause it's frozen. Not so much! if I know it's there, it ends up in my belly by that night. maybe just one at a time but definitely ends up there! Oh how I wish junk food were healthy food and made me lose wight! Tammie

Tammie said...

Sorry, just a question about Sunday's daily calendar... can those of us who are nursing mom's have a different challenge since you're not really supposed to fast while nursing? thought i would ask.

Carrie said...

Good question Tammie! But in my opinion the answer would be no... You have the opportunity to eat 2 more meals and 1 more snack than those people who fast. So you will easily get more than 5 points doing that. I realized this last round when everyone had trouble getting very many of their positive food points on Fast Sunday (I am of course assuming everyone is LDS who is participating. I didn't think to ask this time around. If not, there are studies that show fasting once a month for 2 meals is great for you body!) If anyone thinks I'm wrong or has another point of view on it let me know and we'll change it.

Carrie said...

blame it on JC. why would he tempt you like that? options shmoptions. ok, but the real reason i'm commenting is... TODAY WAS A FREE DAY?? and i missed it!! so first of all, who made this calendar, anyway, because these free days were really close together! and the next one is really far away! secondly, its 10:55pm. after reading your account, i have decided to just miss out on free day rather than suffer the same consequences you did. so i wanted to thank you for posting about your free day so that i (we) could learn from you. :)