Have you ever noticed that when people go on diets they are really excited about the yummy food they are eating, how they went to the gym and burned X amount of calories? They have goals and they are excited and they are ready to climb the weight mountain, shedding pounds the higher they go. They spew motivation and positive thoughts and they keep talking about how good they feel. That may be how I eventually feel, but that is not how I feel right now. If you happen to be the type of person that can change their diet easily, I am jealous of you. Truly. Because for me, it is a grueling and dark couple weeks to move me from where I was to where I want to be.
I, like many Americans have slowly put on pound by pound, year after year till I realized I only wear dresses now because I don't fit in my pants. I gained 10 pounds writing a book a year and a half ago, and I carry my weight around like a badge of honor. One I would really like to give back.
I have fallen out of good habits like exercise and no late night snacking, and embraced sugar addiction, binge eating and self loathing. I traded Paleo eating for fast food and that oh so convenient $5 pizza that is right on our way home. It's like a beacon of light to an over stressed, over committed mom who is so tired of making sure her kids eat right, that I can't find the time to take care of myself.
If I wasn't disappointed in myself for total and complete lack of control, I was tired of complaining about the situation I put myself in. It's like salt in the wound when you are the only one to blame for the reason you are unhappy.
I don't want to be at my heaviest. Especially since I don't have a baby to blame it on. That excuse I stretched for two years, but she is turning five so I had to figure something else out. I don't want to be the person who complains about needing to say no to processed foods and trying to drink more water while I chase my burger with a soda.
More than feeling like a hypocrite, verbally supporting one healthy lifestyle while my pocketbook supported another, I was tired of feeling like crap. Oh man, the depression would set it, I would become lethargic, irritable and lazy. I would feel guilty about being lazy and tired, and then would have to battle those emotional wars with the mental ones. Man, with all that war going on inside, no wonder I had no energy to change the way I ate.
Two weeks ago however, enough was enough. I don't know what happens in that part of my brain that decides when enough is enough, but it happened. I have wanted to change my habits for some time. A year actually. But I would let my history of failure dictate my future and according to my determination, I was already a failure, so I didn't try. I don't know why now I was fed up enough to do something about it, but I was.
I want to wear pants again! I don't want to be a slave to addiction and cravings. I want to be a person who is disciplined and values my life and health enough to make a change for myself and my family.
I set a plan a couple weeks ago. I didn't make it public because my pant wearing self didn't need this to be a public battle, but a personal one. I had to do this for me. I must do it for me, because doing it for other people hasn't worked for me in the past. The other reason I haven't been public about it is because I have mostly been in a sleeping or headache induced semi conscious state since I started.
Let me just put this out there.
I HATE. (Did you read that right? When I say HATE I mean I loath, I despise, I complain, I become the worst snarky dark version of myself for about a week or two that I don't even want to be around me, yet I can't leave. It's like I punishing myself for making better choices. It SUCKS.) I HATE dieting and making healthy food choices. I would much prefer to eat whatever I want when I want it with no consequences. Doesn't that sound nice?
I know I know I know, it doesn't work that way. I guess I am still a bit in my whiny stage. And I am sitting in a coffee shop with the most delicious ginger cookies and I can't have one. I mean I won't have one and that bugs me, even though I will be happy about it after I leave. Maybe.
The deal is, I want to respect myself. I really want to love myself and my family in how I choose to eat. I know that once I purge all this crap out of my system, I am going to feel so much better. More than better, my fog head clears and I actually want to get off my couch. I actually want to cook dinner. I like the way I feel, and hopefully, someday soon, all those clothes in my closet will fit me again. All of those are really really good things.
Getting there just really really sucks.
It's like when you are going to buy a new truck and all you see around you are trucks. I can't have chips, so that's the week that chips go on sale, friends have a BBQ, you eat at a Mexican restaurant, the Toilet paper is now stocked in the chip aisle. All around you; chips and salsa and guacamole and nachos and now chips come in every type and flavor. Ugh, the torture. Shear and complete torture. I want them, I crave them, I feel like if I don't have them then I will be angry and hungry and don't I deserve chips? I mean I work hard all day, I manage my kids and their school work, I am busy writing and cleaning and cooking, I think I deserve chips! Oh yeah, but I told myself I couldn't have them because I wanted to punish myself. No I don't want to punish myself, I want to feel better, but if this is feeling better than I want to feel like crap forever. I hate this feeling good idea.
I go to bed at 8 pm because no amount of Tylenol is curing my caffeine headache. For two days I lay on the couch with what feels like a detox hangover. I demand everyone please be quiet because my eyes can't open without my stomach hurting. Speaking of my stomach, I know that once I start eating healthy I am hungry for at least a week. I mean constant hungry, I already ate everything I should, but its not cake so I am still hungry. After I start walking again because my hang over has ceased, I go to bed at 9 pm because I am so tired of being hungry that I would rather sleep to get me closer to one more day being done on this stupid diet. My husband doesn't know what to say to me and I feel like I take a vacation for a few days never really seeing him because I can't see past my hunger and cravings. If I can, its the inside of my eyelids as I try to sleep off the hunger pains. I am pretty sure they have a word for that. Oh yeah, sleeping to avoid your life is called depression.
So far, starting to eat healthy means I have colossal hungover headaches that no amount of meds cure, irritability and depression. Then I start questioning my judgement because it doesn't really sound like I am in a better place. At least when I felt this way before I had a box of mini chocolate donuts and a glass of wine to keep my company.
Now I just have green tea and it is so so so not the same. Not nearly as comforting and cuddly.
But then...then... I wake up and I feel a little less depressed. I think to myself, huh, my smoothie this morning actually sounds kind of yummy. And slowly, oh so slowly, my energy starts to return after its two week vacation.
I know these things about detoxing the junk of your system. I know it because I have a very long and personal relationship with this process. I have read so many blogs and books and articles and listened to interviews and watched TV about it. I have watched all the documentaries. Trust me. I get it. But you know what no one is ever talking about? No one every talks about how freakin hard those few weeks are.
No one is telling you that not only will you feel like crap, but you will mourn your old life. You will mourn your best friend the doughnut because you can't go to him when you are sad now. You have to actually deal with your emotional crap like a real person. I have to say good bye to my late night cravings and do something else while I watch TV or read a book. You don't act the same way at parties anymore either. Hanging out at the food table is your own personal torture devise so you have to devise a new plan. You miss your old habits and its hard to say good bye when you already feel cranky and gross and like the world is punishing you for wanting to be healthier.
It's really freakin hard, and the pay off seems so far off that its not worth the discipline now.
So, if this is you right now, like it is me, I want to encourage you. I will be honest with you and tell you how much it sucks and how much you are going to want to yell at everyone who gets to enjoy a cheeseburger while you don't. That you kind of actually want to rip the ice cream cone out of the hand of a little girl just because you miss the sugar and cold cream so much. Cravings turn you in a person you don't like. But here is the deal friends. If you can understand this dark place exists even just for a little bit so you can get to the other side of loving life a little bit more, than send me an email. I will be your encouragement for you. The space between bad habits and a lack luster life due to eating unhealthy and the joy you feel when you are eating right is a tough and grueling road. It is not as easy as many make it out to be. Or maybe it is for them, and I'm just a big whiny baby about it.
You are not alone friend. You are worth the effort of the really crappy two week journey as you change your habits. I believe in you. You can do it. If you are like me and you want more than a lethargic life that seems to drain you at every turn, and you know that eating healthier is the key, I am here to support you.
You are not alone friend. It's a really shitty two weeks, but the reward really is worth the fight.