Treading Water

There I was, all weekend, afloat in a lake of junk food and sweets.  I felt that I was constantly treading water, just doing what I could to keep my head above the surface.

Bu the weekend is over and my feet are firmly back on the ground and I am happy to be able to say that while treading water wore me out, it didn’t wear me down.

This weekend I did not succumb to food temptation.  I did not eat the bagels, the cinnamon rolls (hot from the oven dripping with icing), the smores, the dump cake or the ice cream, the chips (three kinds), the breads, any of the many variety of 100-calorie snack packs, the sugar wafers, the oreos, or any other food I had deemed off-limits for myself.  However, I will say that when I use the treading water analogy, I am somewhat serious, in that much of the weekend I thought about NOT eating those things and I felt the constant struggle, albeit a mental one rather than a physical one.  Also I have to admit that I snacked more than I do at home – lots of fruit and a lot of low-fat cheese.  Nothing “bad” but certainly more than I should have and often when I was not physically hungry.  But I am okay with that particular overeating in this instance because it got me through and helped me with my main goal of avoiding the other stuff.  So baby steps.

In the interest of full-disclosure, there was one goal that I did not meet:  writing down everything I ate.  I started.  But I quickly got lazy because I was doing it privately on a note pad in my bedroom in the basement and it was just too much of a hassle to keep going off to update things.  Now, when I think about this, I tell myself maybe I should have used that very hassle as more of deterrent and made myself take the short hike to my room to write down snacks before I ate them.  If nothing else, I would have burned a few extra calories that way.

As for my ghost, I think maybe the spectral being has changed how she manifests herself.  I feel that I will not backslide like I did last year.  (Or so many times in the past.)  I just have too much commitment now, and support from all of you, to let myself do that!  But there certainly is still some presence at the lake that haunts me.  I still battle the thoughts of food down there in a way that I don’t at home.  The setting and the circumstance lead to it, and those are things that will be that way time and time again.  I can’t control that or the food that surrounds me there, but I am working hard at controlling myself around the food.

Surprisingly, I felt another presence at the lake this weekend.  Watching over me.  YOU!  Your wonderful comments and amazing support carried me through my internet breakation and I want to thank you all.  I thought of you on more than one occasion over the past few days when I felt my resolve and willpower waver.  If there is a ghost that lingers at the lake house, there is also now a slew of good spirits that follow me where temptation lays.  Thank you for that:)

So mostly today I am breathing a sigh of relief that I am back home and on track and that I made it through the weekend with only a bit of guilt over my eating.  I am already thinking about my next family trip to the lake in just over a week.  And how I can improve just a bit more.  Progress, one lake visit at a time.



Filed under cheating/overeating, goals, vacation

34 responses to “Treading Water

  1. In a fitness agenda, people often refer to getting stronger — with their muscles. Treading water in this way, strengthened your mind, and will help you fair even better during your next immersion into the thick murky waters of junk food.

    People get so proud when they say they can lift _____ pounds in the gym. The stronger person is the one who can push a 3 ounce cinnamon roll away.

    Good for you!!!

    • Karen

      I love this! And my husband always reminds me that even exercise (the physical) is a mental game. I once read someone refer to her willpower muscle. So let’s say I am building mine:)

  2. Oh but it is so about progress! 🙂 It seems that just now I am starting to get to the point where vacations/holidays aren’t a free-for-all with food… and yet it’s two steps forward, one step back, right? I know that feeling. It’s a lifelong lesson in this journey.

  3. Yay for you! I knew you could do it!!!!! Next time will be even easier! Did people notice that you weren’t eating any junk food? Did they pressure you? I always find that part hard!

    • Karen

      You know, Carla, I think the situation and the way things played out made it so probably no one did notice. Except maybe my mom:) My husband asked about serving me dump cake… as in “You aren’t having any, right?” He was indeed correct.

  4. Maybe we need to do an excorism for this particular ghost? 😉

    It will get easier each time, I am sure of it. I thought of you often. Hopefully next weekend out there you will actually get some r&r! Although it would be wonderful if you could change the familes way of celebrating. One step at a time I guess.

  5. Wow – no bagels! I am truly impressed with your resolve in the face of all those triggering foods. Sometimes a little indulging is OK – human celebrations naturally include food, and making your “extra” eating (OK, overeating in your words) healthy food is a big accomplishment. Congratulations on planning for the next weekend, also.

    • Karen

      The worst was when my mom toasted a cinnamon raisin bagel and ate it near me on the porch. The scent was amazing.

  6. Whenever we write or are interviewed, we stress that the successful people take things 1 step at a time. Too many people try to go from 1 to 10 and that’s impossible. So congrats, as you are doing a great job of going toward a lifestyle change realistically. Yay for you!

  7. I call it redefining your normal. Each time you make changes, stay with your goals etc. you are redefining what is normal for you.

    Great job!

  8. Glad you did well! If you can resist this temptation you can resist anything 😀

  9. I swear we are sisters. I totally could cut and copy this for my blog. (minus being at the Lake House). I think you did great given your mind set. You go prove them again just how strong you are.

  10. Just like you said, “Baby steps.” You are definitely making progress and steps in the right direction! Good for you 😉

  11. But did you have fun? 🙂

    Congrats on meeting your goal!

    • Karen

      Hmmm. Truthful answer? There was so much family drama, pretty much anticipated, that it was the most stressful weekend I have had in a long time. But the good part of that is that I thought about how some of the stuff could have, in the past, sent me running to food for comfort. Not this time:)

  12. sunnydaze

    Sounds like you did great this weekend, considering the temptation. WTG! I like Jenn’s idea of redefining the new normal.

    Thanks for all of your help with the blog change over. I really appreciate it. I might get it switched one of these days. 😛

  13. Karen.. congrats!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, baby steps & life’s learning lessons! It taked time & sometiems multiple “lessons”. And I so agree with Roy on pushing the cinnamon roll away! 🙂

    Keep it up & you can do this! You obviously can!

  14. It sounds like you did really well. It is about progress not perfection as they say.

  15. Welcome back. Glad you had a good time and that your readers were there for you in spirit!

  16. Congratulations on your success at the lake house. Hope you were able to have a good time despite having to constantly police yourself. Not sure I can totally agree with those who say it will be easier next time. For me, those temptations never get easier, I just view them differently. Now you have the satisfaction of knowing you did it once and absolutely can do it again, and again, and again.

    • Karen

      This does raise that question. I do think that it will always be very hard for me there, given all the circumstances. But I do think (or am telling myself) that I have now proven I can do it. So I can surely do it again. And I have set the bar for myself. I felt much better (physically and emotionally) coming home this time than the weekend before when I ate horribly.

  17. Karen, congratulations! Your resolve stood and you put yourself before all of the junk food and baked goods that surrounded you! This is a major accomplishment and you should be very proud – shows that your new habits are the permanent path in life. 🙂

  18. Me too. I can’t help myself from feeling the pull of my bloggy friends. This place is the best. I’m glad you can feel yourself growing. I swear that family brings out subliminal responses that we have a hard time anticipating if we haven’t been around that family for a while.

    You’ve done great! Have a great day.

    • Karen

      And my next trip will be with the part of my family that lives out-of-state. AND, that particular sister-in-law is one of the few who knows about my blog, although she may not read often if at all, so I will really wonder about her looking at me differently now. Not in a bad way, just an examining way.

  19. That is so great – I hope that next time you can focus on the fun more and less on all the temptations. So hard to do when they have always been part of the fun, I know!

  20. I have this problem on weekends. I seem to think that I should reward myself for eating clean during the week. Strangely, I do very well on vacations. I’m so backwards.

  21. I am a new follower from Lady Bloggers! I need to stay on my diet also! It is so hard! Vacations are a time to eat yummy things. You will get back on track. Come and visit Mama’s Little Chick.

    Mama Hen

  22. Genie@dietof51

    Wow, you are my hero! All of those snacks and yummy things and you were able to resist them. You have to feel so good about that today. Bravo!

  23. awesome Karen!!! I’m so proud of you! I love the first comment here..from Emergefit..very cool analogy!

    I’d say your weekend was a HUGE success!

  24. I certainly know that feeling of relief at being back home and familiar routine. You really did have all of our spirits at the lake with you… and you richly deserve to have us on your side. Yet, I also know the haunting that remains in certain places and situations, despite preparation, good intentions and supportive spirits. Baby steps! You tip toe past the haunting each year until she gives up. Baby steps! Bravo, Karen!!!

  25. Congratulations on getting through a difficult weekend with your goals intact, Karen! You know I haven’t eaten my binge foods for almost 10 years yet my kids and husband have most of them all the time in our house. I’ve gotten to the point now where the smell of them reminds me of the misery they used to cause me the day after I ate them when I woke up fat yet again.

    • Karen

      Ah – the smell of them. That was really killing me this weekend. Toasting bagels and fresh from the oven cinnamon rolls and hot dump cake. It would be great if I sniffed and got a negative memory:)

  26. I am so proud of you. I know you were worried and look at you – you did it! congratulations!

  27. So awesome!!! It is so great that you’re biggest regret is eating too much fruit and cheese. Imagine all of the other calories you could have been regretting – I’m really proud of you, and glad to have the inspiration!!!

    I have a july 4th ghost… it’s hard for me to even enjoy the holiday bc of fourth of july eating nightmares. Luckily I had to work that day, so it didn’t even come up! I’ll deal with that at a later time!

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