Once a year, and always right before our beach vacation I start a strict diet in an attempt to regain my youthful figure! Yes, this is funny because after three kids, and now approaching my mid 40’s, that youthful figure is long gone! Nevertheless, I try to get in some shape and lose a bit of weight, just so I do not feel absolutely miserable about it as I am strutting on the beach! (Strutting? LOL.)
Ugh, dieting. I actually do not hate many things in life. Hmm… The dentist? Maybe. Ants? Well, they really annoy me, but I do not hate them! Dieting on the other hand… Oh my gosh! I just hate it! I really, really hate it! There is a reason why it is called DIE –ting! It is because you feel like you are DIE -ing the entire time!
The worst part of it is, that if I cut anything from my diet (…or out of my life), it instantaneously becomes my new “favorite!” Then, when I see it, I really want it, and my resolve breaks, and I cannot have just a taste, or a bite, I just eat it all! Then of course, the shame follows and I end up beating myself up. This is not a pleasant cycle.
Furthermore, as I am dieting, all I can think about is food! I am feverishly watching the clock for the next time that I can eat. I am also counting calories like a mad woman. Thank goodness for technology and apps like My Fitness Pal for making it nice and simple! However, I did find myself picking wrappers out of the trash at work because I forgot to scan them to log my calories for the day.
I am also watching the scale like a hawk! The numbers have barely changed in weeks – I figured that maybe the scale batteries were bad so I replaced them, except now I weigh even more! Then I decided to weigh my kids because I know exactly how much they weigh – umm, not really, but I figured if their weight was way off than the scale was definitely bad. So one day, I proceeded to randomly interrupt their activities, and made them stand on the scale. Nope. All weighed the correct amounts – I guess it is not the scale. Bummer.
I often try to eat really light in the morning so I can have some chocolate in the afternoon. Strangely enough, “chocolate in the afternoon” time ends up being right after I finish eating my large, very low calorie salad for lunch. Then I rationalize that I just saved soo many calories by eating this salad that I may have 2 or maybe 3 pieces of chocolate! Of course, before it is all said and done, I end up eating a handful! I laugh about this scenario every day because I should just put the chocolate right on my salad! Oh, and why am I eating chocolate while on a diet? Because I have rationalized that it is still not as bad as drinking. Ha!
The rationalizing has now become a madness of its own! The other day I cooked homemade chicken nuggets. There were five left when I was putting the leftovers away. I thought – I am still somewhat hungry I will have one more. I had one and then another. From my calculation that was about 65 calories – I could just have another and make it a round 100, I thought. So, I did. Then there were just two nuggets left, which of course seemed silly to save, so I ate them too. Now I was over my calories for the day and felt like crap for not sticking to my diet.
Of course, I could exercise… but who has the time for that! I am already busy with anxiously planning my eating every single day! Insane.
This behavior has some fascinating similarities to the way I used to drink.
I vividly remember persistently thinking about drinking, and when I could drink, and did I have enough to drink, and did I have enough money to get enough to drink, and then how to drink in order not to get drunk once again.
There was lots of time spent tracking my drinking and measuring amounts! If I did not drink until the afternoon, I was allowed to drink more! If I did not blackout the night before, I was allowed to then drink a “little” more the next night. I even spend precious time searching for wine with the highest percentage of alcohol so I could get a quicker buzz with less drinking, and this was only so that I did not have to drink liquor because that would definitely mean a blackout. Either way it always meant a blackout.
When I was drinking, I would often say that I would drink half of the (BIG) bottle of wine and then save the second half for next day. Then I would “accidentally” go over the half, so I would just have another glass. Then there was not enough left for the next day, so I just figured that I would just finish the wine and get another bottle the next day.
I never thought that it was my drinking that was the cause of all my problems; it was always some outside force, or because I had a bad day or a good one, or I fell in love or fell out of love, it was a sunny day or rainy day, and on and on. I even blamed being caught for a DUI because I got lost following friends to a party – and not because I drank many Long Island Ice Teas and did a whole bunch of shots!
So here it is in black and white, I simply cannot moderate, it is either absolutely nothing or totally everything, and dieting does not fit because I cannot eat nothing, and I cannot eat everything either.
So well… I feel a bit stuck. However, I am going to keep trying. Now that I can see my crazy behavior and I am very aware of it, maybe I can slowly change it.
Have you had a similar experience with dieting or drinking? Do you have a hard time moderating too?
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