Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Recently I received some news that turned my world upside down for a couple days.  I felt completely blindsided by this turn of events and was kind of in shock for a few days while processing the information I'd received. 

Have you ever had an experience like that?  Through this I learned a valuable lesson.   
It is imperative that we learn to protect our blindside.  
How do we do this when we don't know what faces us in our future?  The answer is preparation. We have to learn to prepare for the unknown.  Life is constantly throwing us curve balls.  How are you going to act-instead of react-when the next hard or unknown situation hits? 

For instance, what would you do if:
-You leave to go shopping and get caught up longer than you think
-You're with friends at a movie and afterward they ask you to go with them to dinner
-a loved one passes away
-You change jobs, move to a new house, have a baby, etc.
-You have company in your home
-You have a family reunion
-You're invited to a BBQ, dinner, birthday party, etc.
-You have a birthday
-You are busy, stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, discouraged, excited, worried, anxious, etc.etc.etc...

The fact of the matter is-life never stops.  And, it's always changing.  If we don't change our habits now and learn to protect our blindside, we'll never change.  Because the well known fact that life IS always changing and unknown will never change. 

Let's go back to my blindsiding experience from just recently.  Throughout the day I found myself being more preoccupied than usual.  Because anything carbohydrate-loaded is my food of choice, I craved cereal, chips, cake & breads all day.  I did fine all day and stayed strong despite my feelings of anxiety.  That night though, we had a family BBQ.  This was probably the 10th BBQ I've attended since starting TSFL so I wasn't worried going into it.  I had my chicken kabob & veggies all ready to enjoy.  And I did...  But a couple hours later, when it was time for my next meal, I had a Medifast brownie.  And I added sugar free cool whip.  All this would have been fine, had I not then taken a spoon and eaten about 10 tablespoons worth of cool whip right from the container complusively.  Yeah, I did that.  And midway between carton & mouth, I looked at that spoon and realized what I was doing.  Handling my emotions & stress in the only way I knew how.  And, so I stopped, put the cool whip away, and went on with my evening. 

Here is the important thing to realize: it's not about the cool whip.  10 tablespoons isn't going to hurt me too badly or kill my progress.  It's not even about witholding myself from foods I love or being a control freak and never eating anything I want to again.  It's about gaining control over my emotional ties to food.  It's the fact that it doesn't matter what kind of food it is-celery or donuts-if we are bingeing on them when we are blindsided in our lives, we are not truly prepared or changed on the inside.  We are relying on food to bring us comfort. 

So prepare yourself.  Here are a few ways to do that:
-Think ahead.  Ask yourself what you would do if faced with those questions from above.  Go through different scenarios in your head and decide now that you would not turn to food
-Plan ahead!  Always keep extra small meals in your car, purse, suitcase, house, etc.  This way you'll never go over your 3 hour limit and be starving when you are faced with food-leaving you more likely to make unhealthy choices
-Let the people in your life know what you're doing and what your goals are.  Help them to help you make healthier choices
-Make the best choice possible.  You are caught in a situation where it's time to eat and you don't have your meals. You are faced with food.  Know beforehand what you'll order when faced with times like these and stay firm.  Call ahead to restaurants & ask what they have-know what you'll order BEFORE even stepping in the door which will allow you to be set in your mind and not tempted by other dishes.
-Take all your meals for the day in a bag, cooler, etc., and stick to your plan. 

Lastly, realize that sometimes we're going to slip up.  And that's okay.  The important part is realizing what we're doing, taking ownership for it, and becoming better through the experience.  If I had eaten the cool whip and decided, "I'm never going to change, I'm going to quit," I would have been right back where I started.  Instead, I realized I had received some crazy news, recognized my reasons for what I was doing, and got right back on track.  And you know what, those realizations helped me to enjoy the cool whip & not feel guilty!  And that my friends, turned a could-be opportunity to beat myself up & quit into an amazingly empowering experience!

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