Let's see. I'll pick up right where I left off, which was the weekend before the Bright Lights Conferences in Omaha. I'd just come off a week of amazing hours spent busting my tail off at the gym, keeping track of calories and balancing my meals, only to see the scale show I'd gained weight. So I was quite uncertain about how my body would react to being away from home for a week - with no time to exercise, temptations everywhere, (as in food temptations) plenty of stress, and a lack of sleep. That is a disaster waiting to happen!
But, I was determined to make the best of it. I can't hide at home for the rest of my life! I need to be taking part in ministry opportunities, even if I was expecting a set-back in my weight loss. An opportunity for spiritual growth trumps physical growth every time. That's not to excuse the physical, because (as in my case) taking care of the physical has allowed me, forced me to grow spiritually in ways that I never would have without focusing on the physical. (Just wanted to clarify that so you don't get any ideas...)
I packed my own cereal to take with me, along with some Kashi crackers that I could snack on, some dark chocolate (in little individual wrappers), and a few pieces of fruit. Everyone was to bring a sack lunch on the day that we left, so I packed myself a salad, fruit, and homemade wheat bread with honey. I was doing my best!!!
Along with Alex, (who is a godly, wonderful, and fun leader from Texas!) I was in charge of coming up with meals for our staff for the week. Thankfully, a few of the meals were being provided for us by some local families, but we came up with the rest. We sat down and planned out the meals, made a long grocery list, got the keys to a mini-van, and found the nearest Walmart! I made sure that we loaded up our carts with plenty of fresh foods and healthy snacks. (Okay, it was a selfish move. But other people eat like me, too! Yes, it's true. I'm not the only one who tries to eat healthy in our Bright Lights staff!) We had fun, and we did our best to come up with healthy, fast recipes that would satisfy everybody.
And so, the conference work began. Remember how I mentioned nights without a lot of sleep? And my stress levels soaring? Bad bad bad scenario for me. If I would have to rate how I did in the eating catagory on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best), I would give myself a 4. Here's why - even though I hate to admit it, I could have exercised a lot more self control. Man - that seems to be a re-ocurring theme in my life! I did okay, but not great. We had lots of healthy food available and I took advantage of that...but I also made some dumb choices. I found myself a few times eating/snacking simply because everyone else was, not because I was hungry. I remember one night, we were all chilling in our "lounge and bedroom" (which happened to be a Sunday school class) and I grabbed some snacks to munch on. After several handfuls had passed through my mouth, I suddenly thought, "What in the world are you doing? You're not hungry. Put that down - NOW!". By God's grace, I was able to stop that night. But it wasn't the case every night. Actually, I had to fight temptations no matter what time of day it was! There was always food around and easily available. And, whether it was late at night or bright and early and I was tired and stressed, I'd often head to the kitchen and grab something to eat. Emotional eating is such a hard habit to break! I've broken it while here at home, but now I need to learn how to conquer it away from home.
So, it wasn't a catastrophic week. I did have some good moments! One night, I had convinced myself to go and snack on something in the kitchen, so I walked into the room and made sure no one else was in there. (Oh, that's another thing I've learned. If you feel like you have to hide what you're eating from anyone - get out of the pantry! Secrecy is only necessary if you feel guilty about what you're eating and you KNOW you shouldn't eat it. So, don't eat in secret!) Anyway, I scrounged around, trying to decide what sounded good. But I could have done much better. There is always something to learn along this journey. God's grace is enough for me; His power is made perfect in my weakness. I just have to chose to believe it and walk in that truth!
We arrived home from the conferences on Sunday night, and I decided to just wait and weigh myself the next Friday. To be honest, I didn't really want to see what the scale had to say! I thought it would be best if I had a few days at home of exercising before getting on the scale again. =) On Monday morning, as I began doing my workout I knew I'd gained some weight. Exercising seemed a lot harder than usual. I had to push through it and deal with the sore muscles on Tuesday morning. It was also harder to curb my appetite, as I had been feeding my tummy more than it needed all week and at odd hours.
One thing that always makes me smile is when Bethany wants to exercise with me. She was eager to join in on Monday morning, and it was a nice boost to my motivation as I got back into my regular schedule again. I had Leah take this video of the two of us working out in our laundry room. Lead told me that even though she was tilting her camera to take the video, it would turn out right side up. NOT! Sorry for the sideways view...just tilt your head. LOL
Long story short, I got on the scale and saw the number 177 flash up at me. Seven pounds gained. Ouch. That wasn't a happy moment as I stood there on the scale, fighting to push all of the moments of regret out of my mind. It was painful, realizing that I had pushed myself back so far. This is not what I needed to do! At one point in time, I had been 12 pounds lighter. Why couldn't I keep losing? Why? Why? Why?
There are lots of questions that I still don't have the answers for. But at least right now, I should be able to lose these 7 pounds in the next few weeks. I can work to get back down to where I was! (How pathetic is that...)
This post is long enough, so I'll stop here. I'm hoping for a good number this week, because I've been doing great! Praise the Lord for His power to change and to restore.