Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In which force majeure doesn't force me off program

It was back to normal this morning:

5 am alarm. 6 am bootcamp. And I loved it.

It's weird to type a sentence like that, still hard to believe this is something I enjoy and miss, but I do.

I really missed working up a good sweat.

Due to last weekend's power outage/freak snowstorm, I had gone 4 days without a workout. Four days! With no school, no power, no sitter, that meant no gym, understandably.

But I didn't freak out. I tamped down my Type-A all-or-nothingness and chilled out. Previously, I would have been susceptible to "Well, if I can't work out, why bother watching what I eat? I'll just get back on track when everything's back to normal."

Pretty sure you can guess how that usually worked out.

But this time, it was different. I went into this rudderless experience with the philosophy, "I will do my best and only worry about what I can control."

That meant not feeling guilty about a missed workout, the 5K for which I had registered and couldn't run or the fact the coming days would not go as planned. The coming days that, mind you, were coming right before my holiest of holy days: monthly official WW weigh-in.

The storm rolled in quickly on Saturday. My son and I were at an afternoon birthday party and when it was time to go home, I made a quick stop at a grocery store on the way for some essentials - which you see in the pic above. That's my storm-panic shopping: buttercup squash, bagged salad, Pepperidge Farm sandwich thins, sixer of Diet Coke and green grapes.

There's a snowstorm coming. In October. So, you know, make sure you have enough squash on hand.

We were in the store for 10 minutes and when we got out, the roads were much worse than I anticipated. They were so bad we couldn't make it up any of the three hilly roads leading home; I tried for 45 minutes, but it kept getting more and more dangerous with slippery roads and snapping tree limbs and power lines. I appeared on my friend's doorstep with my son, a bag of grapes and the six-pack of Diet Coke, requesting shelter for the evening.

The next morning, we made it home and reunited with my husband and our two girls, but we were still without power. We headed over to my brother's home on the coast, where it was appropriately fall-like instead of Ice Station Zebra.

The kids played, the guys relaxed and my sister-in-law and I went off to Trader Joe's to get food. I was so happy and so lucky I could pick out a favorite meal from TJs amidst all the chaos (this and brown rice, if you were curious).

We ended up staying over at my brother's Sunday night because we still did not have power and school had already been cancelled. There was plenty of food that could have called to me: pizza, cupcakes, snacks and other goodies in abundance in the house. And they did. And I thought about it.

I find my Weight Watchers experience revolves around control, planning and routine. During this past few days, I had none of that. And while it was tempting to just eat whatever I felt like to feel better (that's what you do during a storm, right?) I knew that giving into temptation would only make a stressful situation worse - especially when the power would come back on, but my frustration at myself for giving in would linger.

So I hung in, hung on and made smart on-plan choices. A successful Operation 5.1 was still a possibility. After putting in 28 days of hard work, I wanted to hang in and not quit in the last few days. And I'm glad I did.

It wasn't natural. It wasn't easy, but it was real, solid progress.

Now everything's back to normal, the kids are back in school and I can be proud of having thrived - on program, without a net - through a sticky few days, instead of wondering what could have happened had I toughed it out.


  1. Great job, Melissa! Letting go of the perfectionist tendencies can be rough, but you're rockin' it!

  2. "There's a snowstorm coming. In October. So, you know, make sure you have enough squash on hand."
    Love it - only a Weight Watcher thinks like that LOL

    What Trixie said - "you're rockin' it!"