First, let me just talk a little bit about “falling off the wagon.”
I can’t really speak to other addictions (unless we’re going to have some words about coffee) however, in terms of eating healthy and making mindful eating choices I have found that there is a long stretch of the wild wild west in my head where I am thrown form the covered wagon and bounced squarely on my butt in the middle of no-where left to forage for food at Subway, McDonalds and Wendy’s. The bright beckoning signs of the various grocery stores alludes me as I go for the places I KNOW I can find something everyone will like, and I KNOW I can afford.
That… my friends is the genius of Marketing to those of us that are outside of our normal comfort zone surrounded by choices most of which are new and unusual with a few standout regulars… the franchise fast food places.
My “wagon” pulled into Boston this weekend. We had planned to stay overnight then forge ahead to New Hampshire where we’d visit friends.
The overnight in Boston was planned out as follows: Arrive in Boston, Friday night at 8PM, grab Dinner … somewhere…. then grab Breakfast… Someplace, and leave by 11ish to reach New Hampshire and the comforts of home (albeit someone elses home) by 12ish.
As is sometimes (ok frequently) the case, even the best laid (and for me … vaguest) plans go awry.
My 13 year woke up with a fever and sore throat (squashing the trip to New Hampshire) and the reason we were in Boston… didn’t take 1.5 hours, but about 5 hours.
Three hungry kids.
One 5 hour car ride home
NOTHING BUT FAST FOOD.
Here’s the thing
Off the Wagon, Into the Wild Wild West
We were in a hotel that has SKYWALKS to the mall and was across the street from something called “star food” which from what I could see was a grocery store. So, yes, we could have walked from our room, outside the hotel, into the grocery store. What did we do? Starbucks. WHY? because I knew what to expect. I was already completely overwhelmed by the view from our room… my sensory overload was complete by walking through the mall, and seeing so many strange and delightful things.
In retrospect, I understand how I limited my view, and it had a lot to do with the belief’s I’m wrapped around, and having three kids with me and needing to be “the one that knows” and the one that “provides” and not having to show any doubt or confusion even though it was all so new.
I didn’t even TRY to make mindful choices
As a parent I am pleased with the weekend. I can literally count on one hand the number of times my kids and I have stayed in a hotel. That’s generally not the kind of vacation or get away that we do. We had a lot of fun just drinking in all of the sites and sounds of Boston… without really leaving our hotel much. The views were spectacular. I loved bringing my kids and we had lots of fun. As an experience for them, they saw how we found things that were familiar and how when we needed to know something we asked questions. That’s how we learned that we wouldn’t have to take a cab anywhere, because our hotel was connected to everything we needed through inside walkways. We learned how to GET to the hotel in the confusing sites and sounds of a new City. My kids saw, by my example that when I didn’t know something that I needed to know I found the information.
I can see the Wagon
In the distance, over a few rolling hills… and definitely a mile away, I see the wagon. I guess maybe, I thought that the wagon would just kind of swing around and pick me up, you know… meet me where I am. I think maybe sometimes that has been the case and it’s really less about where the Wagon is… and my “thoughts” about the access to the wagon.
You see, as I’m writing this it occurs to me…. that the more I think about the struggle, the more real the struggle becomes.
Worry is like a feeling that’s manufactured. It’s like trying to see into the future and figure out a plan that take into account all possible variations and situations… and when I look at the my weight loss goals and think about them as hard or a struggle… that’s what they become.
I can hear my sister Annie’s voice (thank god for my sister) telling me to “reframe” that internal conversation. Start a different story. Less about falling off the wagon, and MORE about how far I have come. How much I have learned about myself and how much weigh I have dropped as a result. I can hear her (like a grown woman being a cheerleader) telling me I AM FAN-FLIPPING-TASTIC and that this was just 2 days in a year that spans 365 days. That I can make new choices today, that I did great over the weekend and next time I’m in Boston, I WILL go into that grocery store and that the next time I travel I WILL plan a little better and include APPLES and FRUITS in the road trip munchy menu.
We all need an Annie
And so, with that mental image of my sister steering the chuck wagon around looking for me, as I stand waving my arms… “I’m over here!” I know getting back on the wagon requires two things.
- My decision to make choices in line with my goals
- Allowing my Support Group to help
I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Comment below and let us know how we’re doing!