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G-g-g-g-good to the Bone

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

So I recently (successfully) completed a motivational bet to lose some weight, and now I’m headed on vacation in two days. As part of my 6-month plan I’ve worked in a 10-day ‘break’ from my weight loss to enjoy my vacation without worrying about finding an internet signal to look up calorie information or saying no to exotic foods I really want to experience. Not exactly a free-for-all, but a vacation from my day-to-day goals, if that makes sense. I will still record everything I eat, as best I can, and will track it when I get home. I’m hoping that entering all that food at once when I return will help me immediately get back on track with my good habits. (I’ll also be signing up for another bet.)

My first “day off” was yesterday, and I started my day with a pain au chocolat--a favourite treat I haven't had in several months. It was amazing. It was so warm and light and buttery I wanted to kiss it gently before I ate it. It was so good! But--it was also so huge and so greasy. I was shocked that this used to be a 3-times-a-week breakfast for me--sometimes followed up by something more substantial, too.

At lunch I went to a food truck (an area I’ve been avoiding for awhile owing to the proliferation of delicious pulled meats on french fries) and somehow walked away with a quinoa salad and a vegan cold cantaloupe soup. I did have pizza for dinner, but it was homemade, whole grain, no-sugar sauce, and light on the cheese.

In short, I kind of suck at being bad so far.

Somehow I doubt I’ll be able to say the same way when I get back from vacation, but it’s an interesting feeling to have trouble enjoying things I used to feel I "needed". When I started eating within my calorie range I anticipated that I would always struggle with feeling deprived… I found so much joy and comfort in buying and eating junk food. But—eating junk that often also made me sad in a deeper and more long-standing way. Although I still like eating unhealthy food in moderation, I definitely don’t miss the shame and regret of overdoing it. I knew I had negative feelings about it at the time, but I didn’t think that the benefit of losing those negative feelings could ever outweigh the comfort I used to find in junk food. How wrong I was!

I wonder sometimes why I didn’t start this sooner. I remember knowing that I would wish that I had, someday, but at the time I had too much other stress in my life to consider changing anything. Somehow it seemed like I would need to change my whole personality to lose weight. It was the fear of giving up my day-to-day comforts and source of control that prevented me from forming healthier habits before now. I could not see down the road far enough to find a place where I would be able to have comfort and (even more) control through new, healthy, habits. New habits are not comfortable, but they don't stay new for long.

I’m certainly no pro at this and I know I have a long way to go yet, but the ride feels easier today than it ever has before.
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