The thing to remember about this way of life is that one never arrives. We don’t get to a place where we no longer need to pay attention or where we can turn back to our old habits. It is a continuing journey. There is no destination where you disembark.
Sometimes, I get dangerously close to forgetting this. Although, I struggle and have to work daily at making the right choices, I am thankful for the struggle because, if I forget where I came from, I will end up right back there. Thankfully, I have people in my life to whom I can confess my struggles, to whom I can confess my wrong choices, and those people will give me the tough love that I need.
If you are new and you frequently ask yourself if you can really do this, I am here to say, YES YOU CAN DO THIS. Struggling is part of the journey. Just because I am down 87 pounds now and have hit several of my goals does not mean I can let my guard down.
I still make mistakes and bad choices. Just a couple things I have recently done have taught me that I am not immune from the consequences.
I love cantaloupe. Juicy, lovely, sweet cantaloupe. It is allowed on the ketogenic diet. But, as my good friend Brian says, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” I recently discovered this truth. I discovered that even though I have lost 87 pounds, and I did it with an incredible amount of discipline, I still have control issues when it comes to quantity.
Prior to Keto, I was able to consume large quantities of food, in one sitting. Those of you who are or were obese and are familiar with bingeing, know what I am talking about. It was nothing to eat half a cake, almost a whole bag of chips, three ham, cheese and frito sandwiches back to back. (What? I thought it was tasty.) Now, I don’t eat those things, but I do still sometimes struggle with the over eating.
Back to the cantaloupe, it is on the plan, but one afternoon I cut one in half and intended to have a small serving. Well, I ended up eating a whole half because it tasted so good and hey it’s allowed and I am not far from my goal so it is all good. No. I then ate the other half and then 30 minutes later I sugar crashed and took a nap. From cantaloupe.
And I kept telling myself, ‘It’s allowed.’
I recently made a low carb coconut cake. It was the size of a dessert plate. I made it because I was on Pinterest, saw a picture of it, and just like the old days, I said, “Mmmmmm that looks good! I am making that!” So, I did. It’s low carb! I made it, ate half and something in my brain didn’t feel right. I went to my accountability group and confessed what I did and that I was actually struggling with what to do with the rest of it. My friend said to throw it away. Just throw the rest of the cake in the trash and be done with it.
And, honestly, I am disappointed with how I felt about that. It was hard to throw it away, but as the friend pointed out, the money was already spent. I didn’t need to eat it and frankly, I had no business making it to begin with. I broke my rule and ate it out of food lust and not because I was truly hungry.
Another day, I made low carb blueberry muffins. A dozen. I told myself that even if I ate all twelve it wouldn’t do a lot of damage because – DUH – low carb!!! Not true. I ate four in a row. Felt stuffed. Then from the Splenda, had gas all afternoon. Now, that was pretty. Not. I gave the rest away instead of continuing down the road of destruction, but see?? I still have behavior issues. It is a daily battle.
What I am trying to tell you is that it is normal to struggle. True, it can be more intense in the beginning and over time the temptations are fewer and farther between, but the temptations are still there. They won’t ever go away, but you can learn how to deal with them through the support of others on similar journeys and by intentionally keeping your mind alert and healthy. As long as we realize it is something you have to contend with, then you can learn to live with it, but if you are telling yourself you can’t do this because you can’t handle the struggle then that is wrong thinking. Realize the struggle goes with the territory and get coping skills instead of setting yourself up to be defeated.