Well, the end of Project 31 has come and gone. It was a busy weekend with Kelsey's birthday party, her baptism, and my in-laws coming for a visit. Somehow things have just seemed really busy since then, and I haven't gotten much blogging done really.
So to answer the big question... how did I do??
My last week of Project 31 was one of the most stressful for me in recent memory. On Friday, my fridge died. I discovered it on the way out the door to a dentist appointment for some mouth pain I had been experiencing off and on for several weeks. Since my trip to California, it had been "on" almost constantly. At the dentist appointment, I was told that I had a filling that had cracked and chipped, and I now needed a root canal. That would cost around $1,500 to $1,800. I'll admit it. I cried when he told me. (Embarrassing, right?) And when I left the dentist's office I was still in as much pain as I had been when I got there - more really, since he'd been messing with my teeth and gums. But no treatment had actually been given because we'd run out of time. The rest of that evening was a blur of Girl Scout activities and finally collapsing into bed when I got home.
I didn't want to get out of bed on Saturday. That's the first time I can ever remember feeling that way. I was so discouraged. But Ben had to work and there were kids to take care of, so I didn't have a choice. I cried some more. I realized that part of my frustration and emotional distress was the pain that I was still experiencing with no immediate relief in sight. And we needed to buy a refrigerator with very limited financial resources. I spent most of the day scouring the internet and running around checking out used fridges from Craigslist. No dice.
As frustrating as that Saturday was, I realized something very important. It was after my kids had gone to bed and Ben was at a church meeting, so I was alone in my house. I started scouring my cupboards and pantry looking for a snack. I knew I couldn't bake anything sweet, and I don't generally keep junk food in my house. However, I did find a can of Lays Stax chips that I had gotten on sale recently. What do you think I ate? Chips! And though I didn't eat the whole can or anything like that, I realized that even when you take sugar out of the equation, I am still a very emotional eater. And when I'm stressed, I turn into a compulsive eater, because I ate other things, too, even though I wasn't hungry: dried apple slices, cereal, etc.
So to fast-forward my miserable weekend a little... It was finally Monday. Monday night I had my first real deviation from my Project 31 plan. I had purchased a fridge from Dent and Ding Appliances to be delivered on Tuesday. My boys were having some leftover ice cream, and I was feeding Maddox his to keep down the mess. And I ate some of his ice cream. Not more than 1/4 cup total, but still. I deviated. And then I went to a church planning meeting at a friend's house later that night, and someone had brought some high-quality frozen yogurt. I had some of that, too.
I also ended up stopping the Project early. Kelsey's party had been moved up to Friday night instead of Saturday, and so I had already decided that it was going to end on the day of Kelsey's party since I was making her cake and frosting. You can't do that without getting into the frosting, right? However, I decided on Thursday to stop that day instead. That was my other failure to stick to plan. (I guess I should call it Project 29 now, right??)
Despite my less-than-stellar ending of this Project, I am SO GLAD I did it. The following week was one of desserts and falling back into my poor snacking habits. And physically, I felt terrible. I didn't gain a lot of weight back (only about a pound), but I was sleepy every afternoon again felt just as bad as I had before I started the Project.
And now for The Rest of the Story (<-- insert Paul Harvey voice here)
I have decided that I'm going back to that way of life, with a few exceptions. First, I am not going exclusively dessert-free. I am allowing myself to prepare a dessert once a week. I have also decided that there has to be some sort of nutritional value to whatever I eat, which will make it easier for me to be selective when I am at a function and they are serving desserts. Sure, I can have something - if it's worth it. For example, I was at a Cub Scout Pack Meeting last night, and ended up sitting next to the dessert table because I came in late. During the meeting, all I could smell were homemade brownies. It was brutal, I tell you. However, the dessert choices were: homemade brownies and sugar cookies, some chocolate molds, and store-bought cookies and cupcakes. After the meeting was over, I looked at the table and realized there was nothing there that I hadn't had before, packed with nutrition, or would miss terribly if I didn't eat. So, I didn't have any.
I am beginning to re-learn an important truth:
When we live by a set a standards or principles, we are not limiting our freedom. We are granting ourselves the freedom to LIVE without being a slave to our passions, appetites and desires.