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.


it ain’t pretty: confession 8 weeks in

Rachel: feeling rather confessional

I like sugar. Going cold turkey off the stuff—meaning no fruit, no sugar, nothing other than the sweetener they put in my whey protein shake to make it taste delicious and an occasional dried apricot—has been hard. I’ve stayed strong, not even feeling the need to cheat, until today.

My relationship with food is one that has defined my whole life. The restaurant business and “THE Meal” has been central sweat and joyto my understanding of who I am. I am driven by these daily rituals, in private and in public. I have made my living around serving people who gather to share a meal. Alone in my home this morning I want to share a moment, so I am not so alone.

Since starting this whole escapade of fitness I’ve tried to get in an extra workout each week, from 3 to 4 a week. Today, I did it. Some of you may have seen, Ratchet kicked some serious elliptical ass last week and did 30 minutes and 400+ calories. Not to be outdone, I joined her this morning, same stats. It feels like I’ve just climbed to the top of Mount Everest (or at least to the top of Buck Hill). See picture; it ain’t pretty but it sure feels good.

Every morning except of course what we call “2 oz hashbrown Sundays” sweetie and I make oat bran. Of all the choices on our limited menu, this is the one we agree we like the best. We add some almond milk (unsweetened) and cinnamon to it. And it is fine. But every morning this bowl of goo calls out to me “brown sugarrrrr … I need brown sugarrrrr!” I have kept this little voice at bay. I have talked about it with Ratchet and Ann and Marissa. I have reasoned with it. I have said not until I dip below the 200 mark. But today, after reaching one of my goals and knowing I can stick with it, I gave in.

And it is good.