18 lbs. That’s the damage. After two weeks of eating big breakfasts, big lunches, and big dinners that included alcohol, stepping on the scale when I returned home from Ireland and Scotland was a sobering experience. I expected it, however, and I had already made my peace with it.
This is important. In the past, I went on vacations and struggled with what to do and how to eat. I was emotionally wrecked many of those times, and it caused me to not be able to enjoy the trips as much as I could have. I also would give in around half-way through the trips and allow myself to eat whatever food or drink was available and representative of the location or culture I was visiting, but the guilt I would feel was immense. It weighed me down.
Not this time.
I let myself enjoy the food and drink without guilt, without self-doubt, and without remorse. The result was a more peaceful and enjoyable vacation, and now that I’m home, it is allowing me to tackle my diet head-on. I’m energized, excited, and smashing past the hurdles to drop the weight. As of today, I’m down 10 lbs out of the 18 I gained on the trip, and I’ve set my goal for another 12 lbs to get me to 165 lbs.
The most difficult aspect of a healthy lifestyle is the mental game we play against ourselves. We are married to these foods and the way they make us feel. It may be because we take comfort in the memories the food brings us, or just savoring the flavors is so pleasurable. But eventually, we have to push past what we think feels good in the short term to what actually benefits us in the long term and makes us feel better overall. What I’m trying to say is that pizza tastes great. It really is a comfort food for me, and while I’m eating it, it’s heaven. But afterward? I’m bloated, I feel sluggish and slow, and within a few hours, I’m craving something else. I don’t miss that at all. I much prefer the lean, satisfied feeling I have throughout the day, even after I eat.
So now, as the title says, I’m getting back to brass tacks. I’m bearing down on a proper diet, and I’m keeping my eye on the prize (how many more analogies can I write?). Whatever it takes, get your head in the game and steel your focus on a goal. My goal: 165 lbs and eating right. I won’t settle until it’s done.