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More road blocks.

The scale is not cooperating again and to add to the disappointment, I am on quarantine for 2 weeks because I was a close contact. My tracking and exercising are staying fairly consistent but I am not writing in my journal everyday anymore and it’s driving me bonkers. My “all-or-nothing” way of thinking is really causing havoc in my mind. At the beginning, I wrote every single day for over 100 days and then I started writing brief notes on some days, rather than complete paragraphs. I knew I couldn’t write for 2 hours every day for the rest of my life but I was afraid that if I slacked off, in any respect on this journey, I would gain all of the weight back. It’s not a good attitude, but it’s all I know. So what does a girl do when she feels like she is stuck in a cage? She plans a way to BREAK OUT!

The first thing I needed to do was fix up my office so it would be a more inviting and productive environment. Sadly, it’s the one room in the house that is used as a “dumping ground” for things that we need to file and put away, including mail, photos, school papers, etc. so I immediately had to organize my personal things. It’s also my scrapbooking and Girl Scout troop supply room. Then you add in a desk, printer, bookshelf, filing cabinets and a big table. I barely had room to walk in and out! So right away, I had to make room for work papers, another computer and a few files. Next, the old chair had no cushion left and the hydraulics no longer worked so we bought a new one. Then my wonderful husband installed some lighting and a power strip so I could see my work better and listen to my radio while I worked. My office was ready for Monday morning!

Next, I had to make a plan to exercise daily. When my girls and I were home from mid-March to June, I streamed quite a few classes from the local YMCA and I noticed that they continued offering many classes throughout recent months so I went on their Facebook page and found the upcoming schedule so I could find some times that worked in my schedule. There is one particular instructor that offers a 30 minute class and she does an amazing job with choreography, focusing on core muscle groups, and giving high and low-impact options, while continually saying motivational and inspirational words to keep pushing us through until the end. I am always sweating and feeling accomplished when I am done. I plan to take many of her classes this week.

Plus, the beauty of being quarantined at home is that I can take walks in the late afternoon, before the sun goes down, since I do not need to drive home after work. My neighbor will be home, too, so we already made a plan to walk every day, as soon as I am finished working. (But I can always work for an hour or so after we get done walking, too, since home is work and work is home.) The sun sets around 5:30pm, so as long as we get started before 4:30pm, we will get our walk done before dark. Thankfully, the weather will be warmer than average – between 40 and 50 degrees all week! – making our walks even more enjoyable. As long as we wear jackets, gloves and ear coverings, we will be just fine. Even my dog Buster has a little coat. (He is so darn cute in it!)

Making a food plan should have been first on my list, but it’s my least favorite chore. We placed a WalMart grocery order and made sure to include fruit, eggs, low-cal bread, chocolate and a variety of meat. I kept some fresh meat in the fridge for suppers this week and put the rest in the freezer. With a house full of the foods that I have been eating fairly consistently and fit within my plan, it should be easy enough to stay on track. I will happily eat the same 335 calorie breakfast each day, so that is not an issue. I know I need to keep my lunch under 500 calories, too, so I can save the most calories for my supper meal. This strategy has worked the best for me and I plan to stay on course.

The final, and most important aspect of my plan, is to remind myself of all of the reasons that I am on this journey and find ways to keep my mind fixated on those two words that will get me to the finish line. I BELIEVE. There is really only one reason to explain how I got here – me! – so why shouldn’t I keep believing? I am down about 32 pounds and my clothes keep getting looser on me. When I look in the mirror, I am still surprised at the skinnier face looking back at me. My arms, legs and collar feel smaller and even bonier than I remember. Progress is being made, even if the needle on the scale is harder to move than it was at the beginning.

In essence – I GOT THIS! Everything is prepared and ready. It might feel like “Groundhog Day” all over again, but isn’t that what life is all about? We wake up each morning, eat, go to work or school, eat a few more times, maybe run children to activities, get some exercise and then go to bed so we can do it all over again the next day. If I consistently eat fewer calories than I burn off each day, I will keep losing weight. The day to day grind is not glorious but the changes that occur over time are worth all of the hard work and sacrifice.

While my options are more limited right now, making me feel like I am trapped behind bars, my rate of success and plans to keep going forward make me feel free and alive. There are plenty of things that I can control, like when and how I exercise, what I eat and how I spend my free time. If I continue to focus on the things that work the best, I will stay on the road of progress. It’s not rocket science. It’s just sheer will and determination to keep moving forward. Put more barriers in my way? Watch me knock them down. You say this is not going to be easy? Ask me if I care. I am not done yet. Not by a landslide.

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