Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Rest of the Story

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.


Becky said...

I don't have anything useful to say, just that I've wasted a lot of my time saying I would change for the better when other things outside my control got better. I'd wait until my life got better to make that positive change. But I'm not better off for eating all those chips and whatnot. It just puts me further back from the starting line. Congratulations to you on sticking with it even though it was so very hard! Some people say that moderation is harder to maintain than abstinence. I have never believed that.

Jessica Crews said...

Way to go Anita! So proud of you:)