I wrote two posts in advance for today. I had not planned to do that, but an inner debate was waging and this became a strange way to think it through.
This is the second post. The post I wrote after living with the other one for several days and seeing how it fit, and how it made me feel. That post was about confession. This post is not.
Let me set the stage for you. Rewind one week. Our niece and her new husband were coming to town for an overnight visit. (Yay.) We offered to host all the local in-laws so our honeymooners could see everyone while in town. (Fun.) But then the wrench got thrown into the works: beloved niece wanted to have subs from a local restaurant. She craved them from her home several states away and wanted to satisfy that craving while she was here. (Eek!) And I knew having overnight guests meant little time on the computer. (Start writing.)
So here was my dilemma – get a sub and eat what I suspected was non-whole grain bread (despite the word ‘wheat’ on the menu) for the first time in months… or order a salad and have everyone wonder why as they give me funny looks. I did not want to eat the bread. Really. No craving for it. And I was worried that eating it might make me want more stuff that I shouldn’t be eating, stuff I had avoided eating. I worried that eating the bread might derail my diet and start my slippery slope of weight regain. But I really did not want to have anyone ask me why I wasn’t having a sub from a restaurant with the word sub in its name! So I considered my options and looked at the online nutritional information. The only salad with protein added was 1000 calories! Unbelievable! I decided I was better off risking the bread. And I decided that my dieting muscle was stronger now than my emotional muscle. So I preferred ingesting something off plan that I didn’t even really want over handling my embarrassment in not partaking. And I told myself that I needed to prepare for a life full of eating challenges, times when I would need or want to exercise moderation in my diet. I rationalized my intended actions.
I read my original draft over and over. It started with the words: “Last night I went off my diet.” It ended with me wondering if I had made the right choice. Of course I wrote it days before I actually encountered that choice and without knowing how my body or mind would react to the first poison non-whole grain bread in months. Sometimes I thought I was at peace with my planned cheat; sometimes I thought I was being weak to eat something I wouldn’t choose to eat just because of what others would think. I really struggled with what to do and the choice just did not seem clear cut to me. It was not just about going off plan or not. There was still that notion of how to incorporate this way of eating into my lifestyle in a way that I could live with forever. Should I start that night… or not yet. Had anyone ever put this much thought into ordering a darn sub before?!
I envisioned myself the morning after. I pictured the scale. I imagined my public admission of cheating, because I was going to admit to it here and on my diet forum. (I am all about public accountability right now.) I thought I had made peace with my little planned cheat, but I realized that I had not. Did I really want my diet resolve to be influenced by people around me? Did I really want to waste a cheat on something of someone else’s choosing? Or did I want to get up the next day, unafraid of the scale.
I honestly didn’t make my dinner decision until the moment I placed the carry-out order over the phone. (And by then I had found a less caloric salad option.) No sub for me. And while I was very aware of what I was eating, I don’t know that anyone else paid attention. If they did they didn’t say anything. Either then, or when I later skipped the highly caloric non-diet friendly dessert.
Ironically, the number on the scale took a jump upward this morning. But at least I know that it wasn’t because of something I chose to eat that I didn’t really want to eat. Am I happy with my decision? I think so. I can’t regret not cheating, after all. But I have to look back and be amazed at just how crazy indecisive I was. And how I spent so much mental energy on a silly sub.