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I spoiled things good this time.

My worst fear came to fruition with morning. I got up, had some breakfast, thought my knee was feeling pretty good, so I went to my 10am Zumba class. My mind and body were ready to really get into it. This is usually where I get my adrenaline rushes, so I had a little extra energy during the first few songs. The instructor included one of my favorite “oldies” in her playlist so when it came on, my adrenaline surged and I did the moves with gusto! Then a heartbeat later, I came down wrong on my sore knee and I knew it was over.

I finished the song with no jumping or twisting, yet the pain was still there. I thought I could possibly modify the moves for the rest of the class, but everything I did, short of standing still or just stepping forward, was painful. So I grabbed my things and left. I pointed at my knee when everyone looked at me questioningly and they seemed to understand immediately. Most of my fellow classmates, and even the instructors, have had injuries here or there over the years so they knew that I probably just need a good long break and then I can come back again. I am hoping that it heals within a week, but I will be extra careful and only start again when I am at 90% movement or better. It will just about kill me to miss my favorite classes though.

So what did I do after I left class? I went for a 2.5 mile walk, of course! As it happens, the weather was unseasonably warm today (mid-60s!) so I was actually thankful for the excuse to walk along the path that goes the golf course next to the gym. It was extra windy, though, but that did not detract from the warm, fresh air and sunshine. There were lots of people on the path too. They were walking, running, chatting with friends, riding bikes with their siblings and obviously enjoying the day. I walked past many houses, too and saw one family putting Christmas lights up. They even rented a lift and put lights on the huge evergreen tree next to their house! (I sent the picture to my husband and called him a slacker.)

I was not walking as fast as I usually do, since my knee was still complaining a bit with some of the steps. But I was not in a hurry. I actually enjoyed the “pause” and tried to notice everything around me. There was some green grass on the golf course, even though it is rare to still see it in November in North Dakota. All the deciduous trees were down to a few leaves but I imagine that today’s windstorm took those off as well. There were actually little leaf tornadoes going past me as I walked. I watched one big leaf do many circles in the air as it rode the wind. As I walked, my mind took a snapshot of the pictures in front of me. It’s so easy to rush through life and miss out on these small moments in time. I was glad that I got to be a part of the glorious morning outside with the world.

My youngest daughter offered to make lunch today, to fulfill an assignment from school so it was nice to have that chore off of my list. I took a nice hot bath first and then came out to chicken alfredo mixed with spaghetti noodles. I measured out about ¾ cup and tried to eat it slowly. It was really good, but high in calories. I knew that I would not have enough calories for supper if I had another helping. Instead, I ate some cut up fruit with light Cool Whip on top. It was the perfect sweet treat to finish the meal.

I stayed home the rest of the day, doing laundry and working in my office. I made a few trips to the kitchen, looking for snacks. If I wasn’t on this journey, I would have given in to lots of cravings. It’s still not easy to walk away from foods that feed my emotional hunger. I was not particularly upset about anything but I was not looking forward to anything either. I was just doing the mundane chores that need to be done to keep a household going, along with planning and preparing for another work-week. I suppose I was bound to come down from the completely relaxed and euphoric feeling that I had during and right after vacation in Florida last week. The real test would be getting through the rest of today without giving in to those cravings, trying to re-create that feeling artificially.

I let myself have a few cups of left-over Target popcorn and a Fiber-One Brownie before I realized that I should make supper early so it might stop me from any more snacking. I peeled and cut up potatoes so I could boil them on the stove while I cut up onions and then sautéed them with ground beef before I mixed in the rest of the ingredients to make chili. My family used plates and put mashed potatoes on the bottom with chili on top, but I just ate the chili with light sour cream, shredded cheese and 8 saltine crackers. I also made 4 slices of toast with butter on them, so I had one of those as well. Then I put 2 fudge bars in a bowl with light Cool Whip on top. I probably could have gotten by with 1 fudge bar, but I planned to track them in my app so I told myself that it was a calculated decision and not an emotional one. In the end, I was over on my calories by about 350, which is still enough to lose weight but not at the rate of losing 2 pounds a week.

Rather than looking back on my mistakes over this weekend, I decided to make a plan for the following week. I’m afraid that winter is set to arrive so I will need to dress warm each day. (The temps will be in the 30s.) Since my knee is giving me trouble, I will do more walking and some different classes, like aqua fitness and cycling. I should do some weight lifting with my upper body for a change too. Maybe those different activities will trigger some more weight loss. It’s common for the body to get accustomed to the same exercises so it seems to plateau more often. This change might be just what I need to make more progress again.

As for food, I will have to stop and buy some more fruit tomorrow, but otherwise, I should have no trouble eating my normal breakfast, packing my low-cal snacks and sticking to light lunches. We have a few leftovers in the fridge, so that will take care of one night of supper. I looked through the freezer yesterday and saw lots of frozen meal ideas, too. As long as I keep my calories low during the day and make sure to get some activity, I can eat the same foods as the rest of my family for supper. (I just eat less of it, of course.)

Even though I feel a little stuck right now, at least I can look forward to the holidays and possibly seeing my extended family. Until then, I just need to buckle down and remind myself why I am doing this. It’s my biggest dream of all time. I have wanted to lose my excess weight ever since I first put it on back in 1997. There have been times when I lost most of it, but this time, I want to KEEP it off! It’s not going to be easy, but if I have proven anything to myself in the last few months, it’s that weight loss IS possible and I AM good at it.

My next goal is one of the biggest ones of them all – to weigh less than 200 pounds. I call it One-derland, because it will be WONDEFUL when I get there. No more excuses. No more disappointments. Failure is not an option. I have come this far and I will NOT let it go to waste. If I work hard and stay consistent, I am only weeks away from that new frontier. I can do it! I will let NOTHING get in my way – including a little knee injury. Ok, so I can’t do a celebratory dance right now, but when I hit my goals – and I will! – I will invite my family and friends, crank the music up loud and shake what my momma gave me, which I shaped and molded into something I can be proud of. In fact, consider this your “save the date” invite. By next summer, I will be rockin’ a new “bod” and showing the world that you CAN work hard and make your wildest dreams come true!

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