After reading Heathers post I reflected on my journey down the road of the Fitness Challenge. I really don't think that I would have lasted the first few weeks if I didn't know there were others trying out the path. If it had just been up to me to take on the path alone I know I would have convinced myself that it really wasn't something I was capable of. Somehow knowing that others are out there giving it their best, helps me to stay motivated to keep trying. As I think about the times in my life when I have felt like the abandoned and beaten traveler on the road to Jericho and the people, sometimes total strangers, that have helped me to know I was not alone and have left me feeling full of gratitude.
I have thought a lot about the guilt I feel after eating. and it always comes when I exclude myself from others. Not only when I try to sneak a treat privately to myself, but also when I choose not to include myself in a memorable treat occasion. For example, Gilead asked for cupcakes for his birthday. I am not really fond of cupcakes, so had decided not to eat one and save sweet points for something I really wanted. Yet as we were singing and Gilead was blowing out his candles, I realized that my not eating also gave the feeling of not celebrating this little boy of mine that I really wanted to celebrate with. Was it really worth those five points in the grand scheme of things? I thought about the look I would get from him like the others I have seen on my boys faces when they have asked "are you going to have any Mommy?" There is a certain guilt that comes with this exclusion as well.
The week of Thanksgiving is a good example of how I see my personal motivations for food are changing. We spent Thanksgiving in a one bedroom cabin in Nauvoo. We packed our own simple Thanksgiving dinner including pumpkin pie.We made gingerbread cookies the next day at the cabin. I will always treasure the memories that flood back every time I smell or taste gingerbread cookies because of the fond memories of enjoying warm-out-of-the-oven gingerbread cookies in a cabin with my family. As far as points go- the week of Thanksgiving was half of what I had previously earned in the weeks prior. If only looking at points, that week looks like a failure- but it was the first week that I see as a real success. Every sweet I ate was enjoyed with my family. Not once did I sneak treats or feel guilty about anything I ate the whole week.
I have learned so much about myself from this journey. I am glad that my successes are not gauged wholly on points or grades and that I can recognize that joy and fulfillment come from making those decisions that will help me stay on the road to happiness.