I’ve been off the grid for a while and I can feel the toll that it’s taking on my sanity. These past couple of weeks I’ve wanted to write almost everyday but I haven’t been able to find the time. I managed to squeak through this week’s weigh in without having written anything, but I know that it’s not in my best interest in the long run to neglect this aspect of my recovery plan.

While I’m technically on vacation this week and last week it’s not been very vacation-ey. I’ve been dealing with house selling/house buying stuff every day, not to mention all the regular tasks of being a mother and wife and taking care of this house. (I totally get why hotel vacations are more fun than condo vacations because in the hotel you can’t do all the cooking and cleaning and laundry etc.) But I shouldn’t complain, I’ve been to the beach a lot and read a whole book, which is 1000 times better than what I could have done at home.

Which is pack.

I’m starting to think about all that’s waiting for me at home and it’s increasing my anxiety level.

I’m trying to remind myself how totally debilitating the anxiety used to be and how it’s not now. It’s uncomfortable. For certain. But, I’m sleeping, I’m sticking to my food plan, I’m exercising regularly, and I’m working really hard to maintain some perspective.

Except for once. Sunday morning at about 4 am I woke up wracked with anxiety about nothing new. It was all the same old stuff that’s been going on for months. Nothing at all new. Yet, my mind was racing, my heart was racing, I couldn’t sleep, and the feelings of panic were inescapable.

I’m considering the possibility that it was just a random fluctuation not caused by any of the things that I was doing. But, if I’m trying to find a cause for that effect through my eating (which is, more often than not, the right way to look at things with me) than all I can come up with is that on Saturday night I ate some rice and beans.

Since finishing the weight loss phase of The Dukan Diet I have not followed the exact parameters laid out in the book. I’ve been much more restrictive with my food plan than the diet instructs because the more liberal approach didn’t work for me. Reintegrating the carbs, even in the form of beans and rice and other whole food, whole grain, natural foods, messed with my head. So, I’ve just avoided them altogether in my normal day to day eating.

This diet has given me back my life in a way I didn’t think was possible. But to keep that sanity I have to stick with a food plan that’s pretty tight. Dukan allows “celebration meals” twice a week by the end of the consolidation phase. But I don’t take them. Once in a while, if I go to someone’s house for dinner or I’m stuck with terrible options in a restaurant  I didn’t choose, I give myself the freedom to have some whole food carbs, like rice, beans, or starchy vegetables like potato or corn. I’ve found that giving myself that leeway keeps me sane by keeping the feelings of deprivation and resentment away while allowing me to learn to “roll with it” when life throws me a curve ball. This has been a very important lesson for me, one I’ve spent my whole life struggling to find, and I’m incredibly grateful for the balance it’s given me.

So, with all of that said, Saturday night my husband and I got to go out. We had a great time. We did some shopping and I got a new pair of shorts (which I desperately needed since all of my shorts were too big), we walked around, and we had dinner at a great Mexican restaurant my husband found. I wanted a margarita or some sangria. But my food plan doesn’t call for them so I didn’t order them. I wanted the chips they put on the table. But my food plan doesn’t call for them so I didn’t eat them.

My husband, who’s been dieting the past year as well (albiet on and off) is at a happy stable weight. (He’s never really been overweight in his life and had only about 10 pounds he wanted to shed and did.) He had 3 margaritas and ate a fair amount of the chips on the table. He commented on the fact that I wasn’t eating any and said, in an off hand way, that I was “better” than he was because I was abstaining. It didn’t feel like being “better” or “good” or anything like that and I said so. I told him, “the stakes are just higher for me”. And they are.

My meal was going to be served with rice and beans and I had decided earlier in the day that if the meal I ordered was served with rice and beans I would allow myself to eat them, sort if like the “celebration meal” Dukan instructs you to have.  It wasn’t a whole meal, there was nothing else, not a whole meal, drinks, dessert, etc. just the rice and beans. I ate part of what I was served and I stuck to the parameters.

After dinner we took a long walk, went home, paid the babysitter, and went to sleep. Great evening all around. But then 4 am rolled around and there I was awake in the midst of a (very very mild) panic attack. I rode it out, finally got some more sleep around 6:30 am and then woke up to the day at about 8:30 am groggy and unhappy.

I was in  a bad mood all that day.

What was different that day? Nothing, except that I’d eaten rice the night before. Not even that much rice, just about 1/4 cup of cooked rice.

It couldn’t be that.

Could it?

I just don’t know.

I weighed in at the same weight this morning that I was last week. I think that is because I’ve gotten an hour of exercise in everyday that we’ve been away and it counteracted the increase in my fruit consumption and my daily dalliances with peanut butter.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the rice. For now I’m going to sit on this thought for a while and see what my mind makes of it but I’m trying hard not to jump to any conclusions.

After all that writing the only conclusion that I can be sure of is still just to put one foot in front of the other: stick to the food plan, exercise, write, and keep on trucking.