The Rabbit Hole

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Over the past few days I’ve been thinking about where I was a year ago and the difference is astronomical. Fall is a slippery slope for me and it all starts going down hill from here.

When I feel the weather getting crisp and see the leaves start to change my inner fat kid starts to take over and decides that the only proper way to celebrate the arrival of Fall is to get a pumpkin spiced latte… and a cookie. This wouldn’t be a big deal if I did it every once in a while but this time last year I pretty much did it every day.

I knew it was bad so I’d start to search for healthy recipes before heading out to the grocery store with the best intentions in mind. But somehow I would take a wrong turn in cyber space and before I knew it I would be  swept away in photos of apple pie, cinnamon rolls and anything baked with pumpkin.  I would already feel deprived because I was telling myself I shouldn’t eat any of these things and the deprivation just made me want it more. I would start to feel sorry for myself because I wasn’t allowed to have these things (even though I had a cookie for breakfast) and I would lament over how unfair it was that I wasn’t able to enjoy the festive goodies of the season.

After drooling over these forbidden foods and having already given in to the pumpkin spice latte and a cookie I’d feel like I had already ruined the day as far as eating well was concerned. So, I’d head to the market with a shopping list in hand that only listed the ingredients for a delectable pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe that I had found on Pinterest.

During my drive to the market I would decide that I was just simply too tired to actually make anything from scratch. So I’d go through a drive through for dinner instead and swear that the next day would be better, only it wouldn’t be because I’d already fallen down the rabbit hole…

It was like I was Alice in Wonderland and that cookie I had with my coffee was the thing that causes Alice to grow until her face is plastered against the ceiling. The only problem was that I couldn’t find that little bottle that was supposed to reverse the process. My inner fat kid was the Mad Hatter who was steering me in wacky directions. Suddenly I was spiraling out of control…

Before I knew it,  I had found myself trapped in an “All or Nothing” mindset that usually ended with me stuffing my face with some horrible food item that I didn’t even want to eat but felt compelled to consume since I wouldn’t be able to eat it the next day when my “diet” started. Everything was centered around the next day… or the next, when everything was supposed to magically get better.

Fast forward through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and I ended up weighing ten pounds more than I did when I walked out of the hospital with an inflated uterus after having my baby. You’ve seen the pictures… you know.

Eventually I came to a point where tomorrow was today.

As the year has progressed I’ve managed to lose 40 pounds but not without it’s fair share of slip ups.  I’ve learned a lot and I’ve found that the times that I’ve screwed up the most were a direct result from being impatient. I also found that I ended up having the most success during those times when I just cleared my head and simply made the decisions that were best for me in that very moment. During those times things just seemed fall into place. I naturally made healthier choices because they felt good.

This Fall I feel like I’ve come full circle. I just got done eating a bowl full of roasted brussels sprouts for lunch and I’m about the head out the door for a nice long run in the crisp cool air.  I have every intention of fully enjoying this beautiful Fall day. Later on if I decide that I want to eat a cookie I’m going to eat the damn thing and I’m going to enjoy that too because it’s all about balance.

The most important lesson I’ve learned is that the key to improving your life is self acceptance. Accepting yourself as you are doesn’t mean that you are settling.  It’s about appreciating where you are in the moment so that you can appreciate where you are going. You may hate where you are in the moment but at least you’ll know where you are so that you can start taking the steps to where you want to go.

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And with that I’ll leave you will a song that reminds me of the queen of hearts. The video is weird but the song makes me dance my ass off.

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