running around my head

I spent much of last week adjusting to my new normal. But my adjustment period was more than an adjustment - it was a week filled with excuses and poor choices.

I ate fast food several times last week. And I made bad choices every single time - ordering french fries instead of asking for a side salad, getting a fried chicken sandwich instead of a turkey sandwich. When we went out for dinner on Saturday night, I ate lots of bread and polished off a plate of tortellini and alfredo pasta before eating Girl Scout cookies at a friends house.

I recognized what I was doing the entire time - but I didn't stop myself. I even went so far as to point out, at dinner on Saturday, that I recognized the healthy options but chose the unhealthy options because who wants to eat healthy food at a restaurant?

I'm not proud of those days or last week, but I learned (or re-learned actually) a valuable lesson. I am my own worst enemy, and I too easily fall back into old habits.

Real life does not always afford the opportunity to be in control of how something is prepared. Real life sometimes means grabbing dinner from a fast food restaurant, but you can always make a healthy choice.

I regretted my poor decisions every time. And every time I promised myself that it wouldn't happen again. But it did - until tonight.

We ate lunch with my in-laws earlier today. I enjoyed mashed potatoes and a roll along with some roast, and I finished the meal with a delicious, moist cupcake. Every bite was wonderful, but I knew that the evening would not go the way of the rest of the day (which started with breakfast from McDonald's). I was determined to take my newfound knowledge about myself and make a plan for the upcoming week.

I'd gone grocery shopping the week before and filled the refrigerator with fresh produce and meat. The freezer held frozen scallops, frozen mahi mahi, and other frozen meats. And once we were home from lunch, I set about cooking enough food to last me the rest of week. I have ratatouille to eat, grilled mahi mahi (recipe found here), baked scallops (recipe coming this week), and there is a batch of turkey chili (recipe also coming later this week) cooking in the CrockPot currently. There is also chicken thawing so I can make chicken salad and lightly smothered chicken later in the week.

I needed a week of failure. It reminded me of how easily it is to slip back into an unhealthy lifestyle and also reminded me of how far I've come. Because my choices weren't good but they could have been so much worse. And it showed me that I never want to go back to where I used to be.

I don't know how long I can eat a low-carb diet. I don't know if I'll be able to continue to stick with South Beach Diet for the remainder of my weight loss journey. I do know that I will never not eat fast food. I do know that, at some point if the future, I will forget to plan and will be faced with the choice of what to order while in the drive-thru.

When that happens, I will remember the last week - how I felt a few days feeling sick because of what I ate, how I spent a Sunday planning and cooking lunch and dinners. I'll remember the stress already cooked food eliminated from my life and that I didn't let a week of bad choices stop me from continuing on in my journey.

There were other lessons last week, too. Lessons that I'm still working through at the gym as I push myself to go faster on the elliptical. Lessons that I can't wait to really learn and then apply to the remainder of my journey.

(title from "why do i" by joe purdy)

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