What I Do

“One of the most important things I’ve learned in life is to ignore most of what people say. I watch what they do instead.” ~Amanda Patterson

My coach came and cleaned out my kitchen yesterday afternoon. He was in need of a guinea pig in order to complete an assignment for a course that he is taking, and I resemble a guinea pig quite often. My kitchen probably wasn’t the most ideal one for the purpose of his assignment, because I have made many healthier changes to my kitchen over the past few years. I am not perfect though. My family isn’t always on board with the healthy changes that I have made, and my kids have varying degrees of pickiness which present a field of hidden landmines to navigate when cooking. Still, there were some things found in my cupboards of which I was slightly embarrassed by their discovery, mostly greatly expired items. It looks really bad when your coach asks you if you know what year it is as he is checking out the expiry date on a jar of applesauce!

I had forewarned my coach that there were Fruit Loops in my cupboard, and he already knew that I had a stash of chocolate. I was asked if I am tempted at all by these things in my cupboards, and my answer was a most definite no. I can state that with complete honesty. Do I miss enjoying those treats? Yes, at times I definitely do; however, missing them is not the same as being tempted to indulge. I am organized, detail-oriented, focused, probably somewhat OCD, and driven to reach my goals, and my current goals require me to go without those unhealthy but oh so delicious treats. There is a lot of chocolate in my cupboard, at least 7, 8 or more bars of dark chocolate, from the plain 85% to 70% and flavoured. I even have some salted caramel dark chocolates which were given to me at Christmas! With my love affair for salted caramel and chocolate, the fact that I still have these in my cupboard is a testament to my determination!

But my focus and determination doesn’t mean that I am never tempted. It may be quite easy, for me, to turn a blind eye to the goodies in my own kitchen or at my workplace, yet I am still human. Just a short while ago, I was out and about running an errand or two, when there in my field of vision was a McDonalds. Now I see this McDonalds all the time. It shares a parking lot with my place of work and is close to my Starbucks and a couple of grocery stores I often shop. I don’t recall the last time I had McDonalds, yet I suddenly found myself craving French fries. In a very bad way. I even began to justify in my mind how I could allow myself to indulge. I could just get a small sized portion. I would track it on my food log. After all, fries aren’t necessarily taboo for me right now; they just aren’t the best choice. I’ve carefully planned for consuming additional calories today in preparation for tomorrow’s deadlifts. See! I was tempted. I even had worked out a plan as to how to fit it into my errands. I’d get my few groceries, get my coffee, go through the drive-thru and then go home. All of these thoughts and manipulations occurred in just a handful of minutes. I was going to go for it.

Then I didn’t go for it. I knew that I could have. I knew that the world would not end and my goal would not shrivel up and die if I had a small serving of fries. My coach has told me that I could allow myself a few treats, accounting for them by adjusting my macros, and I know that I could do that quite easily. I choose not to, because I know how easy it would be for me to find more ways to justify less than stellar eating habits. If I fail to achieve my goal, I want that to be due to factors that I cannot control. It doesn’t matter how much weight I deadlift next month if I cannot make the necessary weight class. But even more than my desire to break that record, I decided against the fries, because I know that there are people watching me.

I’ve got a lot of people in my corner, cheering me on. They believe in me. Sometimes I don’t understand why they do, but I don’t want to let them down. As much as my kids may mock my healthy habits, my training, my powerlifting and my goals, I hold to the belief that they are always observing and learning from me, even when they would strongly deny it. I want to be a woman of integrity, even if that means that I don’t cheat myself by cheating on my “diet”. Sometimes achieving a big goal requires a lot of hard work, sacrifice and determination. Whether or not I reach my goals, I know that I am gaining just as much, if not more, from the process and the striving than I ever will from actually achieving the goal. I can say a lot of things (although being an introvert it is highly unlikely that I would), but what I do is ultimately of much greater importance.

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