Monday, June 6, 2016

Lead Me Not Into Temptation

The Gathering of Cousins. I am the one with the beard.

This weekend was a special occasion in the family: two of my cousins are hitting their 50th birthdays this year, so a party was organized to get as much of the family as possible together to celebrate. It was wonderful - family members came in from as far away as Georgia to be there, and I got to see people that I hadn't seen in years. It was so nice to see uncles, aunts, and cousins without everyone wearing black for a change.

The problem came when it was time to eat. The aunt who organized the event was very concerned, wanting to be sure that there were items that fit into my diet. I assured her that I could eat most anything that came off of the grill. relieving her concern. No, the problem wasn't that there was not food available for me.

The problem was that everything else look so good.

There were huge bowls of potato salad. Tortilla chips with my mother's family-famous salsa. A beautiful marbled birthday cake with butter cream frosting. There were 3 coolers filled with different kinds of beer!

And here I was, without Lor, who couldn't come thanks to the effects of her pre-surgical diet. Alone and unsupervised, in a wilderness of food. 

I knew I was going to fail somewhere. I am no stranger to my own nature. So, I adapted. I made sure there was always a bottle of water in my hand, so any time someone offered me a beer (which was frequently - my family has watched me in action at get-togethers for 45 years now) I could just wave my water at them to show that I was supplied. I couldn't possibly live without some of Mom's salsa, so when items started coming off the grill I put a healthy dose of it on my burger instead of using chips to eat it. And I did have a single serving (about 2 Tablespoons) of potato salad, which I ate as slowly as I possibly could after I had finished both a lettuce-wrapped burger and bratwurst.

 I didn't go anywhere near the birthday cake.

All things considered, I didn't do too badly. It worked out to only about 10 grams of Carbs (almost all from the potato salad.) This time last year it would have been a couple of fully loaded burgers, a couple of bratwursts, a pile of potato salad, and a bowl filled with chips to go with Mom's salsa. This would have all been topped off with as big a slice of cake as I could've managed interspersed with half a dozen beers.

And I wonder how I got to 302 pounds?

The visits with family members were gratifying, though. Those that don't follow Misdirected all commented on how good I looked. Several that do look in here from time to time thought I had already gone through surgery, on the basis of my appearance. I actually laughed and joked and visited, instead of hiding in a corner, hovering over a plate, hoping no one would talk to me. I even participated in family photos without trying to hide in the "back line", behind everyone else.

Though it was nice to have everyone tell me how good I was looking, it wasn't the 33 pounds I've lost so far that made the difference for me. It was knowing that I was finally making changes in my life and sticking to them. At our next family get-together, I will have been through surgery, further committing to this new lifestyle of not being shackled to obesity. I will not have regained every ounce plus some extra pounds from failing on my latest fad diet. And looking forward to success, rather than anticipating failure, is making all the difference in the world for me.

Looking Forward To The Next Family Gathering,

- Hawkwind

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