Following a new track
Have you ever used a calorie counting app? I used to keep track of every calorie I would eat in a day. Not because of an unhealthy obsession, but as a way to help myself become a more balanced, healthy eater. I would eat with my eyes or let my mood determine what I would indulge in. I knew I needed structure in my diet and I needed evidence to show that I was not eating a well-balanced meal.
While I love the healthy stuff, I would also overindulge in the "bad" stuff. I used to add way too much sugar in my coffee, and since I would drink more than one cup a day I can only imagine just how much sugar I would ingest (more than the amount in a can of Coke for sure!). Of course, I knew exercise was important for a healthier lifestyle so I found what worked for me, but I needed the structure and the schedule. I had to add it to my calendar because I would otherwise "forget" to exercise.
I never felt guilty, per se, or I wouldn't kick myself for not following my goals, but I knew I needed the help. I did my research and would tell everyone what I was doing -- I needed the accountability! My family was very supportive, and they made it more fun!
After a couple of years of following this new structure it all just became a habit. I didn't need the calorie counter, I didn't need to remind myself to run, and I didn't need the motivational Pinterest board. I had reached my goal of a changed lifestyle.
It became second nature to follow portion control, to not eat after a certain time, to drink more water, and to do yoga before I would start my day. I had to enjoy that and be proud of it! But now it's like I've lost track. I would forget the last time I've exercised (having a two week break is long overdue). I would forget the last time I didn't have fast food. I wouldn't call it falling off the wagon, because now I know better.
Again, the guilt is not there, I am not kicking myself -- but I am hurting myself. It's not ok that I can't get through a H.I.I.T. workout that I used to breeze through, and it's not ok that I didn't have water in the morning before my coffee. Not taking care of yourself is simply hurting yourself.
So I admit, I have lost track of my healthy lifestyle. But I know I can readjust. I can move along to a new level of a reset.
Just because you have lost track of something that you purposely worked hard to get to does not mean you have to start all over again from the bottom. You are still in a new place.
I know I don't need to do the same routines I had to do before. The new changes are still in me, I'm only adding something new. I am now in a place for creativity. There is so much more I can do, and I am excited to explore that. One of them being, following a cookbook.
A year ago I used to fear and tremble over a recipe I found online. I would follow the directions exactly as they were written, but it could always use just a little something more. Now, I can browse the same recipe but adjust it to my liking -- because I know what to expect the outcome will be, but I can now make it better.
Be open. Be flexible.
My husband has been a huge help with my cooking since we got married. I would defend myself to him if the mac and cheese wasn't cheesy enough "But I added the amount the recipe said." But he would just tell me, "You don't have to follow the recipe exactly." I thought "Insanity! Why wouldn't you follow something outlined with specific details?" But that was the problem, it didn't work for his tastebuds. So now I know, add a little more cheese.
I was on the right track, but I needed to make a new one where we both can follow. I'm not the same person I was a year ago. Now I know I have the freedom to add more or less to a dish even if I'm following a recipe! Disappointments come when we don't reach our expectations. But I wonder if those expectations really work for us in the first place. If they don't, then it's inevitable that we will be left disappointed and stuck in the wrong cycle.
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.
— 3 John 1:2
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
— Proverbs 19:21