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Friday, April 1, 2011

Ashley's Story: Week 2 - Old Habits Die Hard

My alarm (the baby) goes off in the morning and I start the day with the best of intentions. I tell myself, "Self, you can do this. You can eat delicious, fresh, healthy food today. You know how good it will make you feel. Today is a new start." Then I get out of bed and the cravings start. Then the day gets hectic. My son needs to be fed or my daughter needs to play. I put myself on the back burner and suddenly, I've been awake for several hours and haven't eaten a thing. I don't realize it until we're on our way to an appointment or playdate and I'm starving. So, I hit a drive thru. And this might not be the only drive thru that I go through in one day. The people at Chic-fil-a recognize me. That's not a joke.

I feed myself things that I would never feed my children. I put my kids to bed at night and then more often than not, sit down with my friends Ben and Jerry. And I don't say goodnight to them until the whole pint is gone. I pump my body full of sugar, fat and sodium. I admit it; I'm addicted to junk and sweets. I happily eat them with people. I secretly eat them alone. I hide evidence of my junk food runs so that my husband won't know how much I've eaten in a day. I didn't keep a food log this week because I was so ashamed of what I had eaten.

Here's the thing though: just because I didn't write it down or I threw the bag away does mean I didn't eat it. Just because I didn't tell Lorri Ann, it's not as if those calories suddenly don't count. So why do I do it? It's a question I've been trying to answer for a long time. I don't think it's going to come to me suddenly and maybe the answer will never come, but I have to start working adopting some new habits with food. These old ones are going to kill me, literally.

Weekly Goal
I'm going to start out simple. I'm not expecting things to change over night, but I can at least keep myself accountable. I will write down everything I eat this week on my food logs and turn them in. If nothing else, then seeing the caloric damage at the end of the day will help me to reign in these old, bad habits.

My Challenge
Next week, I leave for the place I lovingly call "The Land of Fried Chicken" - the Deep South, where I was born and raised. (Now you know why Chic-fil-a is my drive thru of choice.) I'll be there for three weeks visiting my family with my kids. For me, this is the ultimate challenge. If old habits die hard, then they turn into zombies when you're facing them in the place where they developed.

Each time I've visited South Carolina since moving to California, I've gained 10 pounds in the time I've been there. Those visits were only a week long. I cannot afford to gain 30 pounds in the next three weeks. In fact, I'd like to come back lighter than when I left. So, there's my challenge to myself this month.

Now, I need to ask you a favor. Please, leave me comments on this blog. Lorri Ann has told me about several people who have mentioned my last post to her. I'd love to hear your comments and even be able to comment back. You can leave your comment anonymously if you don't want to be known, but I'd really like to know that I'm not all alone on this journey. What's your biggest challenge? What habit are you having a hard time kicking? Anyone else have their own "Land of Fried Chicken" that they have to face?


Anonymous said...

This post was super courageous and awesome. You may not have written it in your food log, but you put it out here for all to see and that takes two things: courage and the desire to change. Baby steps...you are on your way!

Lara said...

I admire your courage and, even more, your honesty. The first step in making changes is often just admitting a change is needed, and you just did that (very) out loud. I hope that your family and friends in the Land of Fried Chicken are able and willing to support your goals. And when you are struggling, know that there is an army back here in California cheering you on.

Anonymous said...

So inspired by your honesty that I decided to create my own fitness blog to share my own progress. :) Best of luck down south with all that fried food. Cheering for you!

Get Natured said...

Ashley, you are awesome! You are very courageous to share such an honest account of your struggles here. Food is such a complicated thing. Not only are the soul-soothing qualities of our favorite "treats" addictive, but we have deep connections to our favorite meals that began around the time that we started eating our first solid foods. I don't believe in deprivation or "never again". I do believe in filling my plate with whole foods and, when I need my favorite "fixes", I find the best quality version of those things that I can and try to keep the indulgence to just a little bit. As you start to make changes to your everyday eating (and as your sweet boy starts to let you sleep more at night!), your cravings will change. You will always have a special place in your heart for your favorites and I think that is ok- just focus on quality instead of quantity. You and your body deserve the best of the best. :-)

Marilyn said...

Ashley, you are AMAZING! I am certain this blog will resonate with so many of us trying to keep the balance of mind, spirit and body. I can't wait to see you on Saturday when you get back!!

verogard5 said...

Girl, you couldn't know more what I feel like if you were me!!! I have never posted on a blog and you have inspired me in more ways than one. Although I only have one child (2 years and 1 week old) I am currently living the life of a single mother. I have known for a long time the changes that neeed to be made bbuit I haven't made them. I too failed to submit my first intake logs due to shame. The second week I made some changes however but ended the week with one meal that fulfilled my calorie count of the day- not including the 2 margaritas I drank. This week we'll see how things end up. I pledge to myself and to you that I will post one blog per week. Whether good memories or bad I hope they make you laugh, connect and motivate as yours has. At least you won' be alone in having to face family treats. As you're in the Land of Chicken I will be in the home of Carnitas for Sunday breakfast. I must lear to just say no. I swaer that slogan shouldn't have been for drugs, but for food....wait, maybe food is my drug. I guess I'm in rehab.

Anonymous said...

I too am a closet eater...I repeat this several times a day...."What you eat in private, you wear in public!" It has helped me to stay away from late night and private eating sessions. Not 100% effective ...YET, but working on it EVERYDAY!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ash - You got this. You've done it before and you can do it again. :)

I believe it was you who once shared a quote with me about baby steps... it said something like...

Have you ever watched a baby who is just learning to walk taking their "baby steps?" Learning to walk takes a great deal of determination, practice and physical and mental exertion.

I can't find the exact one you showed me... but hopefully you remember.

Good luck with your baby steps. :) - Autz