Weeks like this one are a reminder to me about how everything I do takes a conscious decision. A concerted effort.

That being unconscious, or refusing to make conscious decisions, really puts off the inevitable. Which is having to go back to making conscious decisions.

I spend many, many weeks in a year on some sort of an exercise and food plan. It gets redundant. It gets boring. It gets predictible. It gets old. I won't lie. It takes work to find new variations of healthy foods and to find new recipes and to cook and to plan it out. Very often, I find myself in an eating rut. Then sometimes, like this week, I eat my way through it and most of those foods are not on any kind of a plan that someone who is training for anything would eat. And the worst part is, I do this to my children. Because they eat what I eat. I send them messages that this is ok.

And I watch the calories go past my lips and as I'm watching that ticker go up (because I know how many calories each thing I am eating is) the numbers go up fast, like the numbers on an odometer spinning wildly and I don't put the brakes on.

And while I'm doing all that, of course I don't work out. Because we're busy! How can I fit working out into a busy travel schedule?! I mean, no one does that! It's impossible! (sarcasm.)

The gentle reminder about my consciousness or rather, unconcsiousness, comes a few days later when I step on the scale and the news is not good. I am reminded that I have to make a conscious decision just to do the small things, to put on my workout gear, to substitute a lower calorie hotdog instead of the full-fat kind, to plan my travel meals and snacks and to simply find the time to work out. That it's not impossible. But I have to be conscious.

Now I have to backtrack. All the hard work I have done has to be redone. All the miles I've logged have to be re-racked. All the calories I've burned have to be re-burned. That's the unfortunate part.

But, it's a small price to pay for a "gentle" reminder, right? Because there's nothing like a number on a scale to remind you of where you could go if you're not careful and I take the news with mixed feelings. I am scared of where I'm headed if I don't stop. I just plain feel gross and big, all those same feelings I used to just eat my way through long ago, but I am relieved a little that I am conscious enough to know now that I can catch it early. But, it resurrects all that bitterness inside me, the bitterness around the fact that no I cannot eat everything I want anytime I want to and yes, I will pay for it later. That's just how my body works. I hate that, I have always hated that and I will always hate that. Most times I just get over it and move on, but today, there it is! Waving its hands in my face! Lingering.

This is a cycle of ups and downs. The weight-loss journey never really does end. It just goes in a different direction. Of course, this reminder means it could certainly put me back at the beginning if I don't stop now. And I don't want to be back there. I don't ever want to be back there. I was so unhappy back there. That just wasn't me.

I'm not the give-up type. But sometimes I really, really want to. Even now, almost at maintenance, the journey doesn't get much easier. But the hard is what makes it good, right? It's what makes the ending so much sweeter. Now that's an ironic adjective.

Well, the alarm's ringing now. It's time to wake up and break the cycle. I've been unconscious long enough. I made a conscious effort to pack my stuff and put my bathing suit on and I made a conscious effort to eat a healthy breakfast. I have about a dozen more conscious decisions to make before I go to bed tonight (like lunch, dinner, snacks, dessert -- or no dessert-- planning for tomorrow, and food shopping) so wish me luck mkay?
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