I don’t get too busy too often, and when I do, it’s usually not for more than a day, maybe two. This last week, though, has been non-stop busy, and it’s given me a huge appreciation for those of you who’ve told me how hard it is to plan your menu for a day, let alone a week, because your schedules are so hectic. I kind of get that now.
I forgot to eat dinner on Thursday night and ate a bowl of Grape-Nuts when I woke up very hungry at 2 a.m. I slammed down a Subway Veggie Delite on my way home from Pittsburgh late Friday night and it sat in my stomach like a lead balloon. (For the record, I love Subway’s veggie sandwich, but the bread was overkill after a day saturated with simple carbs.)
Saturday I was up early, went to a bridal shower, had lunch with my daughter, came home, showered and went out again…another missed dinner. When I got home at midnight, I had a PB2 sandwich and a Hershey Bliss. Granted, that’s a far cry from the days of grilled Spam and Velvetta sandwiches or 3-egg ham and cheese omelets, but still…chocolate and peanut butter at midnight?
It’s not easy to be prepared for everything and all circumstances, but I had advanced warning for several of the things that made me busy. But rather than plan my food like I usually do, I flew by the seat of my pants. Not my most stellar move.
The crazy business of the week involves many things: Mathilda’s death (we put her down last Tuesday, poor girl’s legs just weren’t going to work anymore), my knee, the lack of hard-core aerobic exercise, and, without boring you with details, a kinda sorta messy personal life. When it rains it pours.
It’s rained like this before when I’ve lost weight and…surprise, surprise…I was unable to maintain my weight loss. The culprit was always eating whatever whenever and not giving any thought to my body and what it needed. The things that were falling apart around me superseded that and I sought comfort in food rather than a fully alive and functioning body.
I can see how this could happen again, but I’ve got a rock solid maintenance mentality on my side. I trust that all I’ve learned in the last four years will keep me from straying too far.
I also trust the guidance of the Buddhist teaching of the second arrow, that when we encounter pain (when we’re shot with the first arrow), we have the choice of how we handle that pain. We can blame or whine or indulge (hello chocolate cake!), trying to run away from the pain (thus shooting ourselves with the second arrow), or we can experience the pain of the original arrow and live from within that pain and work out the best course of action that will not further our suffering.
Sometimes it sucks to feel that first arrow. OK, who am I kidding? It usually ALWAYS sucks to feel the pain of the first arrow. But in maintenance, I’m going to do all I can to not further my suffering by piling on a few or 20 pounds.
This week I will do my best to stay mindful, to treat myself and my body kindly. Not eating, carbohydrate shock – these are second arrows. And god knows I’ve got enough to deal with with that first arrow than work around the emotional complications of that second one.
In terms of food and taking care of yourself, how do you deal with that first arrow?