lesgymbag

Yesterday was the first time since Saturday I had a decent workout, for all manner of reasons:  Pulling an all-nighter (dumb, dumb, dumb); hubby using my car while his was in the shop, etc. I’d started my weight-loss program exactly one week ago, and felt like I was already blowing it.
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So I was excited to finally get back to the gym. I packed for a two-hour session of cardio and strength training. Then I prepared a Creole Pork Roast for dinner, slicing onions, dicing green peppers and putting everything into the slow cooker.
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Let me pause here for a second, for those of you don’t use crock pots: In a very short period of time, your home is filled with tantalizing aromas. It’s what I love about slow-cooked meals. Very Suzy Homemaker. Very Mother of the Year.
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After dealing with a couple of small projects, I left for the gym around 2 p.m.  I arrived slightly hungry; I’d forgotten to eat lunch. No big deal, because it’s finally “me” time. I distract myself on the elliptical by watching Ghostbusters for 20 minutes, then do my usual two sets each on 10 different strength-training machines. My reward for a good workout is 10-15 minutes in either the spa or sauna, followed by a long, hot shower. By the time I leave, I’m totally relaxed.
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Not so much yesterday. I, along with two women, are stretched out in the blazing hot sauna. I’m on the upper bench, eyes closed. In those quiet moments, I usually start with prayer, then let my mind just drift. Which is what I would have done, except I kept hearing some odd, twanging sound. Then, the other ladies started snickering. I opened my eyes and looked around. It must’ve been the questioning look on my face because the other two just lost it. Over their laughs, I not only heard the sound again, I felt it. The entire racket was emanating from my midsection. By the time I got home, it was nearly 5 p.m. I hadn’t eaten in seven hours.
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When I pulled into the garage, my son and daughter came out; he volunteered to take her to cheer practice because he needed my car for errands.  I’d just handed him the keys when the smell hit me: Creole Pork Roast.  Garlic, thyme, cayenne, crushed tomatoes … And I was all alone with it.
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For a week now, I’ve been eating dinner no later than 7 p.m. Because of my family’s active schedule, most nights no one’s here to eat dinner until after 9 p.m. That’s been great for me because by the time I’m preparing dinner for everyone else, I’ve already eaten and am not tempted.
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Unless it’s something that’s been cooking all day in the crockpot. Like the Creole Pork Roast. I stood in front of it for a few moments, inhaled deeply … then went to the refrigerator, poured myself a tall glass of Crystal Light and drained it while spreading a toasted bagel with low-fat cream cheese.
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Whew.
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Today, I’m going to stock up on Luna Bars—protein-rich, natural nutrition bars that come in a variety of flavors (one tastes like Thin Mints)—making sure I keep one in my purse at all times. I can’t always maintain control of my schedule, but I can control my appetite.

—LESLIE J. ANSLEY

Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.