planning: hold on loosely, but don’t let go

Week 1: always the hardest, in whatever new thing you’re doing. For us, more than once we have struck up a conversation about what we miss and what we can’t wait to eat or do again once this restart is over (lets just say that Bar La Grassa and Burch have come up more than once). At the same time we are trying to focus on what we want/like/enjoy (not what we don’t want, don’t like and don’t enjoy; good ol’ law of attraction stuff). It was out of one of these conversations that we were able to talk about the thing that we think is the key and the lock and the door—the whole dang shabang—of our success.

*You’ve got to make a plan and stick to it! 

On making a plan:  I will be the first to admit that I am swayed happily and easily with the weather patterns of life. I love a dramatic shift in plans (more than I should); the more dramatic the better actually. I am the one you want by your side in a crisis. I had to learn these skills early on in life. And though I didn’t choose this path, its what I’ve got and I really want to wield my powers for good.

Ratchet—from my vantage point—doesn’t share this trait. She is a list maker, a Taurus, strong and convicted, a planner and project manager. She is organized and things in her life have a place and reason for being there. In our marriage she and I have taught each other so much. This key to our success is something that comes to her naturally, and perhaps is obvious to most of you. For me, its revolutionary.

There are a lot of tools out there for making plans. Some do notebooks and food journals, for some myfitnesspal is a lifesaver. I won’t bore you with my opinion who has the right option or idea. I will simply share what works for us here. Like anything else, take it or leave it.

*unless you can’t

So day 1 for us this week. The weather and traffic coming home from work was a serious shit-show. Yes, we planned to go to circuit class at 6:15 Monday night, but the weather, two emergency vehicles, a 3 car spinout and some dumb neighbors crushed that dream. I was so damn crabby I could hardly be around me. I wanted to give up less than a day into the plan and order pizza, watch the West Wing and start over. But, we didn’t. I picked up Ratchet, we went to the damn gym with the rest of the post-resolution population of Minneapolis and ran. No, it wasn’t class as I had hoped, but it was something more than nothing.

Days 3 and 4 each had their fair share of surprises and whooops-a-daisey moments too. But we made this plan, and when a curveball was thrown, we just swung again. We kept swinging. And it wasn’t pretty. We both almost passed out at the new gym class on Wednesday, but we learned that next week we’ve got to up our carbs to be able to make that not happen again. You’ve got to just live and then learn, really learn.

Or better said, you’ve got to hold on–loosely. But don’t let go.

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how did we get here?

Rachel, 4 days in.

So a few days ago we threw it out there and told you we were back. So, what happened exactly?

I think it was mid-holidays, we’d had a sugar-y treat nearly every hour around the Christmas clock. I know that we are not alone in this, it’s an international condition around this time of year. Anyway, my pants started feeling slim fit (even though they weren’t) and Ratchet kept asking if we should be making better decisions: less sweets, smaller portions, and how about a burger without a bun?

2 years ago we started down this road, but 6 – 8 months ago we went off-roading, and not in that super fun whooo-hoo sort of way. I made some job changes. I left one I loved, dearly. Grief consumed me, and I consumed pie. A lot of pie, and also, frites.

You know what sucks about weight gain? It just sneaks up on you. Honest to God, we both thought we were doing alright. I mean, not great, we could do better, but doing reasonably well. And maybe we were, by “normal peoples” standards. But lets get real, we’re not “normal” sized gals. (I’ll save expounding on that for a future post)

We were cooking fine for ourselves at home, our white rice is now brown, our milk is almond, we never ever make pasta anymore. We rarely have bread in the house, we still choose turkey and chicken over other delicious protein options. But slowly–a little at a time–infrequent treats were back. Dinners and brunch out, once maybe three times a week. Lindt sea salt chocolate squares after every (ok most) meal, ice cream was a staple over the summer months. Cinnamon puffins breakfast cereal–cripes–even typing it makes me crave a bowl of it. My father used to say “everything, in moderation.” But when you are an addict, addicted to something socially acceptable or not, its hard (impossible?) to discern where moderation ends.

comeAnyway, this is just a little bit of how we got here. It’s only my side of the story. Ratchet may have other things to say, most likely much different than mine. A whole lot of little things led us to this past Monday – start over day. But the good news is, now we are here. Present in this moment, in these choices, committed to new plans. We’ll share what they are in the next few posts.

I love this Rumi quote. It sums exactly where I am. You too maybe?

Join us.

ps – This post is far from perfect. But I’ve re-written this bitch 4 times now and I just want to put it out there. Its day 4 of no sugar and it’s just not pretty right now. There you have it.