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Saturday, March 26, 2016

On Success and Failure and Getting Up

Jean Sexton muses:

Things seem easy when you are being successful at attaining a goal. People praise you for your success and compliment you on lost weight. Milestones are celebrated. Being physically able to do more is its own reward in some cases.

In my case, being able to do more led to a spectacular failure.

While I was sick, I spent all my energy on doing "normal" things. It took energy to walk around my apartment, to take Wolf to the door to do his thing, to wash my hair, even to microwave food. I couldn't even muster the energy to go grocery shopping and had to hand over a list to a friend to pick up for me. When I finally was free of the daytime oxygen, I quickly ran out of energy while shopping and only got essentials.

The last time I was able to go shopping, I felt so much better that I made a menu in my head of things I could fix ahead and dishes I could buy and fix later. I went crazy with "this ingredient means I can also prepare this dish" and got a lot of things. I replaced spices and herbs that I hadn't used and which had gotten stale. One of dishes I bought for was a snack that I love and hadn't made in four years. After all, I needed fresh garlic powder, the Worcestershire sauce that was needed for homemade sloppy joes could be used in it, and onion salt isn't that expensive.

I had been eating soup or salad for dinner for weeks. On Sunday I froze the tomato soup I had made (eight bowls worth) and had some salad for lunch. Then I made potato salad, sloppy joes, and the nibbler's bowl snack I like. I ate far too much. In the morning, my scales told me the verdict: I had failed to meet my weight goal for the week.

Am I upset? Yes, and mostly with myself. I like fixing food and I was so proud I was able to do so much. I hadn't really considered the consequence of eating all of it.

But I will get back on the wagon. Sloppy joes can be eaten without the buns (and the buns will freeze and can be used for a time when I don't have potato salad). The "I haven't had this in forever and it is so good" urge is gone from the nibbler's bowl; once I see how much room the frozen sloppy joes and their buns take up in the freezer, I can also consider freezing the snack mix I made. I can hold off on making baked beans until I run out of the sides I did make. A cake can wait until much later to be baked. And I will walk more.

The important thing is that I will not focus on the failure. I will focus on the success of being able to cook. I will alter my plans so that I can compensate and not add to the weight. I will add more activity to my life and take the weight off.

In short, I fell, but I am getting back up. At least this time the bruises and scrapes are metaphorical. I know what made me fall and I can avoid that pitfall again. I will be successful and make my goal. All I have to do is keep my determination high.