Monday, May 11, 2015

Falling off the wagon

The past three weeks have not been good.  During spring break I tried a carb fast to stimulate fat burning.  This resulted in a very unhappy and cranky me.  My trainer convinced me to eat carbs again (it didn't take much convincing).  Good thing he did because I was about to embark on an extremely stressful two weeks.  I tried to stick to my diet.  This is my story...

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4

I am working on a second Master's Degree in school administration.  I want to be a school principal.  The state of Massachusetts added an assessment for leaders to the requirements for licensure and lucky me, I got to be in the first group to complete it.  It's called, "MA-PAL."

Taking classes, writing papers, and doing presentations have been somewhat overwhelming at times.  The good thing is that it's kept me focused and limited my time for extraneous things.  But this assessment pretty much knocked me out.  The deadline to submit all tasks is this coming Friday (May 15).  Each task has from 8 to 11 different documents you have to write or evidence you have to provide.  It has been daunting.  The stress has been unbelievable.  Two weeks ago I was so far from completing it, I thought I was going to lose it.  I was not sleeping, my chest felt like there was a vice grip on it.  It was awful.  Progress was so slow.  Fortunately one of my classmates and I worked together on it, which helped keep us accountable and motivated.  Much of what I do in my regular job is aligned with the aspects of each tasks, but responding to the prompts had my head spinning.  

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 16:3

So WHY am I talking about this on my blog?  My blog is about getting fit.

Well, when you are trying to hold it together, when you are so focused on one thing that you can't even fold your laundry, every area of your life suffers, including your fitness goals.  I would go to the gym and I would say, "Ok, get this over with."  My heart was not in it.  I tried to watch my food, but there were days I ate over 3,000 calories!  That is way over my daily caloric intake.  Fortunately, I remained faithful to these proven truths:

1.  I tracked just about everything I ate, even if it was bad.  When I ate a bowl of ice cream with chocolate sauce, I logged it.  I knew I shouldn't eat it, but I figured the only way I could stay truthful to my nutritional goals (long term) is if I kept track of my food.  This made me accountable to the reality of the scale.

2.  Even though my heart was not fully in my workout, I did go to the gym almost every day (not Thursdays and I did skip Mother's Day).   I gave it my best even though all I could think is, "I should be doing MA-PAL."  

Yesterday I FINALLY finished and submitted MA-PAL.  Now I wait to be scored and pray that my participation in the field trial is enough to grant me my license when I am done with the remaining program requirements.  Today I started fresh with my eating and I was excited to be at the gym.  I had a good workout.  I have planned my meals for tomorrow.  I know I will be ok, not hungry, and there will be no opportunity for binge eating.

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
Psalm 94:19

I celebrated by taking Koby for a long walk.  Poor puppy couldn't take it.  Either I was walking too fast, it was too warm, or his leg got tired.  About 3/4 of the way through our walk, he just stopped.  So the last stretch of the walk was long.  We walked a few steps, waited for a minute, then kept moving.  Tonight I bought a new Pandora bead (or two or three) for my necklace and my bracelet.  

So whatever you are facing, whatever major stress you are going through, be kind to yourself.  Don't punish yourself for falling off the wagon.  I would not say I took a major detour off my diet and am not recommending you do that either.  But do what you can to take care of yourself.  Don't beat yourself up for cheating.  But at the same time, don't be surprised when you get on the scale and your weight is not where you want it to be.  I had to think of MA-PAL as a temporary trial.  It became more important than pretty much anything else because if I failed to complete it by the deadline...  I could not even fathom the consequences.  But I did not give up...I got back on the wagon.  I am committed to living a healthy lifestyle.

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:34

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