Day 54: The ups and downs

Day 53

I struggled yesterday. I had to walk a whole lot of living room laps to hit my daily step goal, I failed to eat enough protein for the 5th day in a row, and I almost went over my calorie range.

Key word: almost. I’ve gotten into the habit of logging my food before I eat it. I’ve found it gives me the opportunity to think through my choices before I make them. For instance, I made pasta for dinner. I overdid it at lunch time, so I really needed to pay attention to how much I ate in order to stay within my calorie range. I created the recipe in MyFitnessPal as I cooked and logged it, quickly realizing that eating a full portion would bring me to the top of my calorie range – there would be no room for a cocktail (or chocolate chip cookie) after dinner. I decided to eat a smaller portion and save the leftover calories for later.

Later came and I logged my cocktail in MyFitnessPal before making it. Again I saw it would push me over the top of my calorie range. No big deal though, I just used a smaller cup, some extra ice, and served myself half of what I would normally drink. I ended the day within my calorie range and without feeling deprived.

Final step count: 15,193

Day 54

Then there’s today. This morning, I completed the last Stage 1 workout in the Strong program I’m following. Buoyed by that success and yesterday’s, I logged my lunch before going out with my friend to the place we had agreed upon. I planned what to order ahead of time and stuck to my plan. Later I craved some mini powdered donuts and limited myself to two. When dinner rolled around, I once again logged what I would eat ahead of time and stuck with it, even budgeting enough calories for a cocktail.

But the longer my friends and I talked over our weekly Tuesday night dinner, the more tempted I was to make myself a second cocktail, and eventually I caved. It didn’t push me too far over the top of my calorie range, but I still went over. Then, while cleaning up afterwards, I proceeded to polish off the chips and dip I’d manage to ignore the entire dinner.

I began writing this post to say something along the lines of how one minute you think you’ve figured out the trick to staying in control, and the next minute you’ve lost it; but I realized that this was exactly what I was writing about in one of my first posts about willpower. It’s not endless, we only have a finite amount of it, and I used all of mine between yesterday and today. It ran out when I caved and made myself that second drink.

The real crazy thing though is how I instinctively felt the need to proceed to binge once I gave in. I could hear the little voice inside my head yelling, “Screw it. Eat the rest of the donuts, make yourself a third drink, and eat another taco while you’re at it too.”

I didn’t eat the donuts. I didn’t make myself another drink, and I definitely didn’t eat another taco. Instead, I wrote my calorie total for the day on my tracking sheet. I hate making changes to my sheet, so I figured it’d give me a little extra incentive to avoid eating anything else. Then, I began writing this post.

And now here we are, a couple hundred calories over the top of my range, but not enough to be considered a full blown binge. From the weekly calorie average perspective, today shouldn’t make too big of an impact; but overall, I hope I can decrease how often these slip ups occur. If any of you know how to do that, please let me know! I’m open to any and all suggestions.

Current step total: 14,729

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