If you’ve seen the 1985 film “Real Genius,” perhaps you remember this exchange. Let me give you the context for it. In the film, Chris (Val Kilmer) has been vexed by a problem he’s encountered while building a laser for one of his professors. He has just thrown a fit in the dorm’s kitchen when he has a revelation about how to solve his problem. This epiphany causes him to celebrate, dancing and shouting, and in the midst of his celebration, he runs into his friend Lazlo (Jon Gries).
Lazlo Hollyfeld: Well, how’d you do?
Chris Knight: How’d I do? I passed! But I failed! Yeah!
Lazlo Hollyfeld: Well, then I’m happy and sad for you.
That’s how I feel about yesterday’s eating. I passed, but I failed.
Let me explain.
We spent most of the day running last minute errands and getting ready for the evening at my mom’s, where we would hang out with her, my aunt, my uncles and my mom’s in-laws. There was to be food, food, and more food, some of which was on my plan and which was okay for me to go ahead and eat. So I planned to do that–eat the things that were on my plan and be done with it.
But what is the saying, the best laid plans of mice and men, right? So here’s how I passed, but failed:
I passed, because for the majority of the day, I stuck to my plan. I passed because I was able to sit in front of multiple platters of cookies (some of which are my favorites) and not eat a single one. I passed because I was able to sit in front of 3 bags of tortilla chips and not eat a single one.
I failed, because I didn’t exercise as much as I would have liked. I did play Wii tennis for a half hour, then swordfighting, then bicycling (both are light upper arm exercises). Then I attempted to go for a walk in the park but it was so cold and windy that I began to break out in hives. I really truly hate that about my body and I don’t know why it betrays me like that. It makes walking outside from about November to April difficult for me to do.
I failed, though, because I grazed. Homemade Chex mix was my downfall, and I grazed on it. I have got to really think about why I made it okay for me to eat the Chex mix, but not the tortilla chips. I know how I behave when I eat tortilla chips–I can’t stop eating them. Perhaps this is what it took for me to realize that the Chex mix is the same kind of trigger food as the tortilla chips–actually eating some and eating more than I was comfortable with. If this is what it took, then consider the lesson learned. No more Chex mix. I know that savory snacks are my Kryptonite and that I am not in a place mentally where it is okay for me to have controlled amounts. Not just yet.
I failed because I didn’t use some of the strategies I’ve been taught in Dr. Ashmore’s group. I need to start working in the Beck book pronto so that I can reinforce the things Dr. A teaches us every week.
I failed my plan.
My plan didn’t fail me; I failed it. But am I wallowing in my failure? Not at all. Being the analytical planner I am, I started thinking about how I would get myself back on track.
So how did I fix this today?
For starters, I stepped on the scale to survey the damage. It was up 2 pounds. I attribute this to a combination of factors: the carbs in the Chex Mix, the salt intake, the fact that I didn’t drink as much water yesterday as I normally do, and that my period is due in the next 5 days and I begin retaining water about this time. Any or all of these things could have caused the uptick in the scale. It is also midweek, and fluctuations in weight are normal for all bodies. This is the main reason I do not weigh myself every single day–I’d go crazy and be constantly frustrated with the daily fluctuation on the scale.
Then I decided I’d cut my carbs to under 20 grams for the next few days, as yesterday they were a sky-high 82 grams. I did hit my protein goal yesterday, but that doesn’t make the high carb count okay. I have been knocking back water all day long. So far, I’m at 8 grams of carbs for the day. This means I’m eating very little in the way of veggies, but I’ve got to get the scale moving in the negative direction again. I refuse to let my moment of weakness stall my progress.
Tomorrow I will be doing a bit more walking than I have been doing, and getting in more activity in general.
I am choosing not to let this single event derail the progress I have made. I have done a great job so far, and I will not let this one-time slip define the path I have forged for myself. I know what I have to do to get back on track, I’m in the process of doing it, and I will be successful.
So what will success look like for me this week? Success will be defined as follows:
- meeting my minimum protein goals daily,
- getting my vitamins and supplements in daily,
- not seeing a weight gain of more than 2 pounds (due to water retention and all that jazz due to TOM) on Sunday,
- getting in at least 2 workouts before Sunday.
I will redefine success for next week on Sunday. Next week is Holiday Eating Hell Week 3, and if I can make it through the rest of this week and all of next week, 2014 will kick ass.
So here’s what I ate yesterday. I got in 84 grams of protein, 82 grams of carbs (boo) and 35 grams of fat. Not proud of my eating, but here it is. Just keepin’ it real, y’all. You didn’t think this VSG journey was always going to be shiny and perfect, did you?
I think sometimes though it’s what we see as failures that really shows us where we are. 82 grams seems really high right now, but I have a hunch it’s still incredibly low compared to your best days before you began this whole transformation. We will always have really great days, but I think the things that is really telling is that when your ‘worst’ days are still far far better than your best days of old. Here’s the other sign that it’s maybe not the failure that it’s easy to think that it is: You know it’s 83 grams. The fact that you were still willing to track it, that you avoided the temptation to say ‘screw it, it’s a holiday, I’m taking a day off from tracking’ tells me that you are very much on track. Great job!
You are right on about the carb count being lower than it ever would have been on my best days pre-op. I didn’t think about that, so thanks for that perspective. Sometimes I forget where I came from, and I really shouldn’t. And the fact that I did track what I ate as best as I could should have also been a win to me, but again…I didn’t think about it like that. Thanks for the perspective!
If it makes you feel better I ate 15 cookies yesterday! And that wasn’t all the sweets even. I’m jelly!
I had to fight hard not to eat the cookies there…they even had the little cookies that have the Reese’s cup pressed into them! I DIE…those are so good!