Testing resilience and sustainability with any food lifestyle is a continuous process. Attending a wedding weekend brought less than optimal food choices to my fingertips testing my power to resist and persist. Mentally prepared for three days of choices teetered on mishap and maintenance. Twelve weeks seemed enough to solidify the expertise and food choice proficiency, as well as twenty weeks of dumbbell wielding, boot camps priming my body for physical stamina and strength. Finally, my elegant black dress, made for ten pounds less of me was less than optimal, yet workable. Wanting to feel stunning as an attendee of a wedding I had known about for a year felt less than grand.

Friday evening, a smorgasbord of Italian fare decorated the table: fried calamari, chicken parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, Caesar salad, and wine. Patiently awaiting Saturday night wedding food, I cultivated determination to make healthy choices. Choosing salad, calamari while edging off fried breading with a knife, and scraping chicken to get to the core of its center (baked chicken), and resiliently using my power for good. I kept my composure, “took the gun and left the cannoli,” all of them, and the tiramisu. The following day I maintained salad consumption and protein in whatever form offered. Celebrating a definite victory with food choices, I felt empowered.

Finally, the wedding dinner to indulge arrived. Choosing two ounces of red wine and at least six ounces of protein felt stable. Yet the dessert buffet offered extensive choices of candy, chocolate baked goods like those from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Choosing the cookies ‘n cream cupcake had more to do with frosting than cake, a delicacy that could be dissected and limit consumption. As a controlled decision, it felt good to choose, but limit taking too much. An inner voice said, “Choose what you really, really, really want, and leave the rest.”

I wanted the frosting that rose out of this masterful cupcake. Eating frosting from a cupcake may sound as appetizing and strange as eating the inside of an Oreo®. Yet for some of us, that portion is all one needs for utter elation and euphoria. With jubilation, I ate the sweet, savory icing from a cupcake, journaling the quarter cup of frosting into My Fitness Pal and called it a wrap. By dawns early light, I had achieved the honorable, and survived a fun-filled weekend among family, complete with responsible food choices. The wedding was beautiful; the outfits worn with confidence, and the travel with food preparation for the plane.

Monday morning has arrived, boot camps scheduled, detoxification of sugar underway, and strengthening my resolve physically and mentally after leaning into normalcy of life and a special weekend. Celebrations often offer less than optimal food options. Delicacies not designed with the body in mind, yet instead on behalf of the taste buds, hardly recognize their physical effects upon the gut, how they digest, and affect the waistline.

Even with holidays, celebrations, and unique events, we may maintain a commitment to a healthy lifestyle while choosing to move off the beaten path occasionally. Will these occur often? They shall not if I empower myself to make healthy choices even in limiting circumstances. Yet in picking and choosing the altered unhealthy path, I prepare and purposefully intend outcomes and a return to the core beliefs of self-respecting my body with healthy choices.

Knowledge and perseverance, to establish a strong, healthy result while eliminating destructive behaviors that prevent best actions, is powerful.  Although the weekend was successful, the amount of energy and decision making it takes cannot be underestimated. Energy and determination utilized for overcoming vulnerability is necessary. Old patterns pounce when the armor cracks and fragility arises; sugar and alcohol fuels flames. With power tested, resilience won, and sustainability of a healthy lifestyle trumps the sugar! Power of maintenance is sweeter!