So as a parent with a child in a youth theater production of Willy Wonka, I am required to serve on a committee that helps get the show off the ground. This is the 3rd play my oldest daughter has participated in and it has been a great experience. The commitment for both of us, however, is HUGE. Not being one that likes to solicit donations from businesses, I have signed up for the “props” committee for every show. I enjoy making stuff and working backstage during the show in helping get all the sets and props onto the stage at the right time. For this show, I somehow find myself building a large set piece – a “Golden Ticket Tower” that will light up when each of the characters find their golden ticket and then turn off when they each meet their “demise” in the chocolate factory. I have logged about 50 hours in my little “volunteer” project to date and it just left my house in the bed of a pick-up truck wrapped in tarps and blankets. All those hours and my project is being driven 30 minutes across town in the pouring rain. I am so relieved to be done and absolutely exhausted. This is one of the bigger projects I have taken on in a number of years – coupled with all the other things I have to do as “mom”. But I did enjoy many aspects of it. I love working on wood projects – I love my saws. I was always a little scared of them but now I am totally comfortable. I borrowed my dad’s old Craftsman jigsaw and it really takes me back to when I was young and watched him always working on projects around the house. I inherited 100% of my “engineering” brain from him – he is always one to have the wheels turning to figure out how to build something. I also have my mom’s artistic side and the painting and design aspect of this project was fun too. Add to all that the electrical hook-ups and remote controlled lighting I came up with and it was just a good use of my “gifts” – gifts I feel like never get used any more because I am just a chauffer, cleaner, launderer, cook, dishwasher, etc.
Projects like this are good for me in other ways. I can say I have not thought about food very much over the last few weeks. I am thankful for the Optifast products to eat every few hours to sustain me. I did notice a couple of times when the project was encountering some technical problems I would come in the house to collect my thoughts and regroup – and it was then that I would think about eating. THAT is my “stress eating” – or “emotional eating” or whatever. THAT was a famliar feeling from the past but the good thing was that I identified it, kinda laughed about it actually, then got back to work. The old me would have had a bowl of Cheetos.
The challenging thing this last week has been “the streak” and I’m proud (or crazy) to say that it continues. I’m on Day 13. On Thursday night I met one of my goals – I ran the entire mile. As Dr. Ziltzer suggested, I slowed my pace down a bit so I could complete the entire thing. That worked pretty well. I was actually going faster than when I was running 3 or 4 years ago, so that was encouraging. But last night my husband and I worked on the tower until midnight. I was so tired, sore, covered in paint and sawdust. According to my pedometer I had already walked miles and miles just in my garage working on this….but, to me, that didn’t count as “the mile” so instead of crashing in bed, I got on my treadmill at 12:30 am and started walking. I’m just proving to myself over and over that I really can make time (and, more importantly, find energy) for exercise … and exercise really hasn’t been an issue for me but doing it every.single.day was not happening. And, really, there is nothing wrong with taking days off from exercising. The point of this is not the exercise but the healthy habit building. A more effective “streak” for me would probably be eating vegetables. I HATE vegetables and I can confidently say there are many more days (pre-Optifast) when I eat NONE rather than some. This streak is teaching me about doing things I don’t necessarily want to do, but have made a commitment to doing.
So, I have a few more props/sets projects to work on in the next few weeks but none will be as involved as the one I just finished. And as soon as we get done building, we move into the theater for technical week rehearsals and then about 9 shows. It is all worth it. The smile on my daughter’s face when she is on stage and the fun she has with her theater friends is worth the exhaustion. There are great families in this organization and we will remember these experiences together for a long time.
The show closes towards the end of February and this will most likely mark the end of my “full-fast” period. I will have been on it for 20 weeks and I feel it is time to transition to a partial plan and start working on eating some of those vegetables. I’ll be closing in on my goal (actually trying to figure out what my goal is) and will have lost somewhere around 70 pounds by then. As for now, the show must go on!