Every journey includes challenges – that’s an inherent part of going on a journey. Consider, for a moment, how insanely boring a book, movie, or story would be if the “hero” never faced any adversity.
With that in mind, I must confess that this week has been full of challenges for me. I can’t pinpoint why, but my urge to eat insane amounts has been unusually high this week. Maybe it’s because I added granola to my morning oats? Maybe it’s that my school schedule has been off kilter (with snow and delays)? Maybe… it’s just a tough phase? Whatever the reason may be, I have drooled over EVERYTHING. The urge to EAT has been crazy intense and completely unrelated to physical hunger. I had done well holding it together all week, but tonight… well… I lost the battle. I was doing well until I got home and ate and ate and ate. There is a part of me that feels terrible about this. My stomach is stuffed, and I’m disappointed. This same part of me is screaming that I have just undone everything I’ve worked so hard for. It’s yelling that I’m doomed to be fat forever, so I might as well embrace it and eat some more. In the past I would listen. I would continue to feel worse and worse. I would eat and eat. I would accept that I cannot change my genetics. I swear the mental side of losing weight is a million times harder than physical part.
I am committed to this journey – all of it. That means I can’t let that old voice be the only one in my head, and it certainly can’t be the one I focus on. There is another voice that points out (quietly, but logically) that one bad day will not cause me to gain 47 pounds. It points out that, since I only keep healthy food in the house, the damage done today was quite minimal. What feels like complete disaster is really only about a 2000 calorie day. It’s not the end of the world, and I am not a complete failure. I had a bad day. I made choices I regret. Life goes on. I can and will make better choices moving forward. Heck, I’m already doing that by walking away from the food to type this.
Those of you reading this who also struggle with food will understand (I think/hope) when I say that it’s the feelings that come with food that make conquering it so hard. Stuffing my face can feel good, and that can be followed (very quickly) by self-disdain, disgust, and regret that appears to only be alleviated by eating more. My changing habits (including how I shop and what I keep in the house) kept things reasonable tonight. That, in turn, makes it easier to stop and get back on track. But the loss of control is still… overwhelming? disappointing? upsetting?
When looking at the big picture, today’s 2000 calories will barely even appear as a blip on the radar (remember, I ate 3600 calories on New Year’s Eve & I usually have a 2000 calorie day each week). The dismay comes from how I felt about eating. I don’t feel like I made the choice to eat tonight. I feel like I was attacked by food shoving it’s way into my mouth. I suspect I will fight this battle many, many more times, but I’m not giving up, and I’m not letting one bad day stand between me and my healthy future. I refuse to allow the voice of doom to be the loudest voice in my head, so even though I’m terrified that I’ll gain weight, stop running, and go back to my old ways, I’m going to make my normal oats for breakfast tomorrow. I’m going to pack my yogurt, salad, and an apple for lunch tomorrow. I’m committing to no snacking tomorrow (because I know that’s always a problem for me). This is NOT the end for me – it’s a moment of adversity to add some excitement to my journey. 🙂
This was not one of my better days.