Hi, Ben here, and I’m embarking on a mission to not be fat when I turn 42. To do that I’ve partnered with Profile by Sanford and I want to take you with me on my journey.

Profile Food
Ben Kuhns

I’m into the fourth month of my Profile Journey, and I’m coming out of the worst few weeks I’ve had. I may have had a hard time recently, but I learned a few things.

I talked before about how in early August my wife was unexpectedly laid-off. She’s since found a new, and better, job and things in our house are settling down. We’re catching up on things that that had to be put off. Plus school has finally started, so our evenings are getting back to a nice rhythm of supper, showers and sleep. All before 8:00 PM. Well, maybe 8:30. OK, 9:00 PM some nights, but it’s better than our usual summertime chaos.

During August, the shock of the job loss and the ensuring stress from the recalibration of our lives pulled my focus away from my weight loss journey. There were times things had to be done, so I didn’t eat lunch or supper. Which would cause the python-wannabe in my brain to try and get me to eat 10,000 calories at once and not eat again for days. There were things to do and my brain tried to tell me I didn’t have time for silly stuff like paying attention to what I’m putting in my mouth. Now, I didn’t fall completely off the wagon and make a breakfast, lunch and dinner tour of Sioux Falls’ best buffets. But I did have handful of chips here and a bit of spaghetti with the kids there. That I realized was a victory.

In the past when I’ve faced stressful a situation like this I would have paid absolutely no attention to my health, let alone what I’m eating. I may have had a struggle staying on the plan in August, but more often than not I DID. The main reason was my Profile coach. We talked each week. Well, she listened to me whine each week about how my weight loss had stalled and how angry I am with myself for that handful of chips. But, she held my hand and (metaphorically) slapped my face, telling me it’s ok to slip up. The main thing is how you recover. Do you just lay there and give up, or do you pick yourself up and continue.

And I’ve picked myself up. Each time I slipped, I may have been disappointed in myself, but unlike every other time before Profile, I didn’t quit. That is an amazing victory. My weight loss may have stalled, but I haven’t gone up, and I have no desire to stop the program. I think the takeaway from this bump in my journey is that this healthy lifestyle I’m learning about is integrating itself into my being.

As life has calmed and I’ve reflected on this, and talked to my coach, it seems that I lost ‘top of mind’ when it came to my diet. I know the concept of top of mind from marketing. The idea is that a business or product needs to create top of mind awareness in the public, so that when someone needs to buy a spatula, they first think of Spatula City, because SC’s marketing has been so good, so the consumer goes there.

The top of mind that I lost was that when it was time to eat, I wasn’t first thinking about what I need to eat on the Profile plan. At the bad times, I’d just eat whatever, or not eat at all. Doing this knocked me out of the ketosis, and sidetracked my mindset. Sure there were moments last month that were stressful and demanded attention, but they weren’t so bad that I couldn’t have my morning meal replacement shake.

In addition, I fell victim to my own hubris. I was starting to get into a grove and thinking that I didn’t need to think about this anymore. I lost sight of the fact that the habits I am breaking are ingrained deep in me. No matter how good a hitter I was becoming, when I took my eye off the ball it smacked me in the head.

Not thinking about what I shoved in my gaping maw is what got me into this; thinking about what I eat will always be central to my new healthy lifestyle. That’s not a bad thing, I’m learning. But, I still need to actively think about what I’m doing each day. On my coach’s advice I started logging my food again. I did it at the beginning with much success. Writing down everything I eat helps me see that I’m actually eating, and that I'm eating all I need. That visual helps me battle my brain when it thinks that we need to eat something. I know I’m getting all I need and can show that part of me the written proof.

I’ve also restarted planning. I know what I’ll be eating all week. Not just my Profile shakes, but my lunch and dinner. It seems like a small thing, but it helps so much. It keeps eating at the top of my mind. When it is, I know I’ll stay on the Profile journey.

Keep up with Ben's journey by bookmarking Ben's blog. Got a question or comment? Connect on Twitter or email at ben@hot1047.com.

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