Survival Mode

It’s Saturday and I feel as though I have been a little detached from my mission of tracking my progress.  That being said I have rocked this week as far as being compliant to my Engine2 Challenge and that is a big win!  My sisters and I had prepped 2 big pots of food last Sunday putting ourselves in great shape for success.  What we didn’t predict is the impact that food would have in light of Snow Storm 2017!  We were hit with a pretty major storm on Monday evening which left me stranded in Brandon at my older sister’s house. My two younger sisters, who are doing the challenge with me, were stranded on the Trans Canada highway along with 70 some others behind a jackknifed semi-trailer.  They spent 15 hours huddled in a car together in a winter storm that brought visibility to zero.  We were both sent into survival mode in two different directions, me with the challenge and for them well ensuring they stayed warm.

Now you may say to yourself, “Scott you can hardly compare being stuck out in a storm with maintaining a diet plan.”  Although on the surface you may be right that their survival situation may have been more detrimental in those moments but every time I concentrate on nutrition I am rewriting a future not dictated by my past and ensuring my survival for years to come. In the big picture it really is about longevity.  Having a history of being over weight matched with a family history of heart disease topped with me creeping up on age 50 there are only so many more chances to make a change.

While my sisters were huddled together trying to keep warm conserving gas for God knows how long, I was left with the task of staying on plan nutritionally. I left the house with my meals for my work day not really thinking about what my contingency plan was if the storm did hit.  I knew the potential was that I would be staying in the city at my sister’s house and that she has plenty of healthy food and she is very supportive of the Challenge  which I have taken on.  What I didn’t plan for was having to enter the grocery/department store looking for a charger for my phone.

I walked into the store with one mission, getting a charger, that’s it.  What ensued was 30 minutes of negotiation while I talked myself down from the ledge of poor nutritional choices.  I do eat pretty healthy most of the time, I just consume a little too many healthy carbs and fats which don’t mesh well apparently with my current body state.  I walked through the store hungry, big mistake! I did my best.  I cruised by the sushi counter because hey there’s vegan sushi!  I leaned over the selections and nothing truly matched or looked appealing and then I remembered that the Engine2Diet is low sodium and I enjoy my soy sauce with sushi.  I stopped at the deli counter to see if there was a sandwich or a wrap that would do, yeah right.  I made a Beeline for the health food aisle realizing that I was in dangerous territory.  I felt like I was in a movie scene of a bad dream with wrong choices looming over me every direction I turned.  I even picked up a bag of baked chips praying that there wasn’t any oil in them(uncontrollable laughter).  I was one step away from caving and 5 steps away from the bakery!  I paced back to the freezer department and stumbled on these babies:

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Now although these weren’t 100% compliant as they had a little bit of oil, I consider myself a winner to have picked something that was 99% WFPB and only 1.5g of fat compared to the fat content of everything else that was taunting me.  I went back to my sister’s and we cooked these guys up and enjoy some homemade, baked and oil free fries.

The second night I was stranded in Brandon I whipped up some Forks Over Knives Shepherds Pie.  It was delicious and filled the gap.  I had made it through a couple of days unplanned relying on my own navigation system.  Only those who have struggled with food addictions can completely relate but insert any addiction and you get the idea.

You are probably wondering what happened to my sisters.  Here’s the Storm Rescue story. They were rescued, along with 7 miles of stranded vehicles, by our neighbours in the community.   The big difference is that my sister’s live in Alexander so for them they were guided home.  And those pots of quinoa stew and chili that were sitting waiting to be eaten for 2 days?  It warmed my sisters up, kept them on the challenge and the rest we sent over to the temporary hostel for those who were stranded a long way from home.

It is a glimpse at the sad state of affairs that our modern society struggles with.  We’ve evolved from thinking escaping an attack from a wild animal or searching for food and water is “survival mode” to navigating a plethora of food choices, money woes and relationship conflicts being the main causes of our “fight or flight” responses.  I’ll write about that another day.  Today I am just happy that the people who were caught in that storm are safe and that in light of chaos I still have the survival skills to keep myself on track.  We build momentum on small successes.

Take the time today to look back on all the success you’ve experienced this week.  No matter how small, don’t allow your saboteur to discount those achievements.  Just like my physiotherapist says,”you have to build and strengthen the small supportive muscles to become strong in the end.”







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