Courage Over Comfort and Accountability

“Courage over comfort.”–Brene Brown

I saw this statement posted in an online support group that I am a part of, and it really resonated with me.  I’ve been sneaking in a few more starchy carbs with my meals lately, and I know this needs to stop.  Now, before it gets out of control.

It’s so easy when they’re just right there.  Thankfully we don’t keep many carby things at the house–I think the most carb-loaded thing we have is a package of oyster crackers I bought to eat with soup and chili, and that’s the only time I will eat them.  They aren’t something I’ll eat as a stand-alone item.  I tend to sneak the carbs in when we are out to eat somewhere.  And I know I can make better choices.  So why don’t I?

Courage over comfort.

Starchy carbs are the easy choice.  The starches I tend to choose are ones that pre-op, I would eat mindlessly and in large quantity.  For me, things like bread, tortillas, and mashed potatoes are comfort foods.  But right now I don’t need comfort.  I need courage.  I need the courage to make better choices, and to walk away when these things are offered to me.  I’ve walked away from tortilla chips and popcorn, but why not bread and potatoes?  This is something I really need to reflect on and puzzle over.

Biologically, I know where I am hormonally at this point in time.  Even before I had surgery, I would have serious cravings for carbs at this time of the month.  Now that my menstrual cycle is like freaking clockwork, I really ought to use that knowledge to my advantage so that I can curb the cravings by loading up on protein as much as possible so that I have no need to fill my sleeve with starchy things.

Courage over comfort.

I have to have the courage to stay the course because this is a lifelong battle I am fighting.  Once I get to my goal, it doesn’t stop.  It doesn’t go away and it sure as hell doesn’t become something that fades into the background that I can put on my mental back burner.  Having surgery doesn’t make this fight any easier, really.  You still have to be mindful of what you eat and how much you eat.  Surgery only levels the playing field for a short period of time relative to the rest of your life when you think about it.  If I keep eating the carbs I’m eating, I’m wasting the precious time I’ve been given to lose most of what I need to lose to get to my ultimate goal weight.  I’m going to disappoint my doctors and myself, which is the worst since I live in this body.

I know that I’ve lost over half of what I need to lose to get to my goal, but I can’t stop now.

Courage over comfort.

Time to dig deep and fight the urge to do what is easy and what is comfortable.  Time to stay the course and to fight the hard battle until the goal is reached.  I’m not going to say “no more carbs,” but I am going to say no more bread, no more starchy samples at the store for now.  It isn’t realistic for me to give these things up entirely, but it is realistic for me to turn them down now, at this time of most rapid weight loss, knowing that this is a behavior that I need help with and that I need to work on.

To that end, I have joined an accountability group sponsored by Tracy Stevenson of the My Tiny Tank blog.  She is running a group starting on January 2 (such an important day for me, personally) that will run for 6 weeks.  You can learn more about it here at her blog.  Tracy is a wonderful facilitator of one of the online support groups I belong to, and I am looking forward to participating in this group.  We can all use more accountability partners, and I can use all the help I can get in this department!

Today I went a little off the rails with carbs.  I know what I need to do tomorrow to fix this, so the plan is:  no starches and protein forward meals.  My meals tend to be protein forward anyhow, but I am going to swap out the starchy things I have packed for other veggies.  I’ve already got my lunches packed for the week; I just need to add the veggies to them.  I got in 80 grams of protein on the nose, but 50 grams of carbs, which is the upper limit of where I like to be, especially if I am not exercising.  My fat grams were higher than I like for the amount of protein I ate–45 grams.

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Today’s food choices, from upper right: honey garlic marinated flank steak; whole grain Goldfish crackers; sample of King Ranch casserole (a tablespoon); roast chicken drumsticks with barbecue rub and bacon; slice of baguette; house roasted seasoned roast beef slice (no cheese); multivitamin and calcium supplements x2, iron supplement; sticky pork wing, sauteed zucchini, mashed potatoes. Not shown: a Lindt sea salt chocolate truffle. Just one. It was enough.

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5 responses to “Courage Over Comfort and Accountability

  1. Hi, Noor from OH here. I was meaning to ask you about bread as I saw it pictured in your Daily Bites. Bread is going to be hard for me to give up, and I’m trying to take an approach of “eating everything in moderation” after my surgery instead of being too hardcore about tracking everything. But I’ve heard that bread is pretty hard to tolerate post-sleeve, and my NUT told me that I really shouldn’t eat it unless it’s toasted, which I take issue with.

    Anyhoo…when were you able to eat bread and how much were you able to eat? Also, do you ever eat pasta? That’s going to be another one I’m going to miss.

    • Tracking everything and choosing to eat carbs are two different things. I track EVERYTHING I eat…this keeps me honest and accountable. It also helps me see what is causing changes to my weight. Tracking what I eat is a non-negotiable. Choosing to eat things like bread…I make sure I eat protein first, then non-starchy vegetables. If I have room, then I will try a little bit of bread. I haven’t tried pasta as it is a trigger food for me. The bread I have eaten has been in very small quantities, and has gone down pretty easily. I have to be very careful with it though because it is one of those foods that I tend to eat mindlessly. I tried breads for the first time last month, so for me at 4 months post-op. It does tend to expand and make you feel uncomfortable when it is not toasted.

  2. Gather your courage and RUN AWAY FROM THE CARBS! I so understand where you are coming from – Hello – my name is IttyBitty and I am a carboholic!

    I am 8 years post op RNY and over the last 5 years have regained about 30 of the 95 lbs I lost and I can tell you the huge factor is carbs …. sugars … it is a battle I am not fighting well right now and so am re-emersing myself in the WLS world for support!

    Keep with your protein-forward then veggies and fruits – the carb monster gets stronger the more you allow yourself to indulge!

  3. I have been really struggling with starchy carbs (bread, pasta, potatoes). What I find is that, if I avoid them altogether for about two weeks, I can resist them no problem. But once I give in, I find it so much harder to resist, and I begin a downward spiral. However, I harness my stubborness and determination. I don’t care that it’s less than 2 weeks until Christmas. I am going to be tough and resist.

    • I don’t find that once I eat them, I want more. I stop and think, well if I eat this, then there’s not room for the meat or green veggies on my plate. So when I do eat them, I really do try to eat them sparingly. What helps is not keeping them in the house–before surgery, we tossed everything in the house that could have triggered an eating frenzy for either of us (hubby’s triggers are sweets; mine is salt). It’s really odd…like I know that after this week ends, the desire for them will diminish like it always does at this time of the month. I find that my wanting to eat them is cyclical and not constant.

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