Saturday, August 1, 2009

Progress Isn't Just Measured in Pounds Lost.

In 12-step programs there is a saying: Progress not Perfection. I wrote in response to a comment on a post: Progress isn't just measured in pounds lost. I came home late last night and tried to write my blog but couldn't. I kept falling asleep. I reread what I wrote and thank God I didn't publish the post. I could not get my thoughts together.

Part of what threw me was that I wasn't yet able to write about having had a chocolate malt while I was out with my husband. Intellectually, I don't believe there was anything wrong with that. It was a conscious choice on my part to allow myself a treat. But the subconscious fear was also there, waiting to sabotage me. Will this trigger me to start eating a lot of carbs again?

There are a lot of so-called experts out there who believe that carbs, especially simple carbs like sugar, trigger binges. They may be right. But a freshly made turkey or a spit-roasted chicken can do the same to me and according to the gurus, protein isn't supposed to do that. So was the malt the healthiest choice I could have made? No. Was it a bad choice? No. What's going to make me binge? The malt or the guilt? I vote guilt.

Today, I am right back on my protocol. I may eat a little less to make up for yesterday's extra calories. I may not. I am one of those "get a phone call may travel" kinds of people. Some days I have an idea what I'm going to do for lunch and supper, other days I don't. I always leave myself open to possibilities.

So is progress not ever having a chocolate malt? Or is progress making it a conscious choice to have a treat and then getting right back on my food protocol? Is progress pretending I didn't have that chocolate malt or going ahead and writing about it and working through the issues it brought up?

I think you know where my vote lies.

All things in moderation is a very Biblical concept. Do I want to flaunt that chocolate malt and lead others astray who might not be able to handle it? No. I would not flaunt alcohol in front of an alcoholic either. What's right for me is not right for everyone. We learn the difference through trial and error.

Let me tell you. I see so many people beating themselves up for gaining a lb., not reaching a certain BMI, falling off their food protocol, losing too slowly. I think they would be better off keeping a progress journal with entries like: My stomach doesn't stick out farther than my boobs. I can sleep on my stomach. I'm not snorting myself awake. I can cross my legs now. I can walk for over an hour. I had a treat and got right back to my food protocol. I didn't binge. Good for me!

I've said this before in an early blog: Don't "should" on yourself. Don't "should" on others. Don't let other people "should" on you (don't internalize their criticisms.) Or, as the Bible says, "Judge not that ye be not judged."