Friday night was the first time in a long while that I went to bed with regret about what I had eaten that day. And I woke up with that same regret and disappointment in myself. I remember those feelings from my former life and I don’t like them.
For two days in a row I cheated on my diet. They were not horrible cheats. Actually, everything I ate was South Beach friendly. But I ate way, way, way too much. I ate one serving. Then got up for another. And another. And so on. A lot of trips to the pantry. A lot of food inserted into my mouth. And I ate it in a way that reminded me of the person I once was. I ate when I wasn’t hungry. My mind was saying “eat” while my stomach was saying “full.” I ate things that clearly didn’t satisfy me in some way. I ate for some unknown reason. And I ate knowing I would be mad at myself. Heck, I was probably mad at myself while I was eating! I knew in each bite that I would regret it and that I should stop. But I kept eating.
For so many weeks now I have had such self-control. I have to ask myself what changed. Why did I do it? Was it emotional eating out of frustration over this whole shoulder thing? Was it because I actually had some recent moments of feeling almost thin and this was self-sabotage? Was it that Triscuits are a kryptonite to be avoided; a gateway drug food that leads to other eating? Was it that I engaged in activities that I know lead to mindless eating? (I really wanted to finish my book and catch up on TV.) Was it because I was alone all evening so could revert to secret eating? And the big question: Does it matter why I did it? Will knowing make a difference? Or is it only important what I do now?
After the first day of cheating, I ran here and wrote a post about it. I committed to what I would do to stop before it got out of hand. But I read the post the next morning and thought about what I had said and decided that I was fine and would just get back on the horse and move on. Clearly that was a mistake. Day two of cheating entailed a whole lot more food. And a whole lot more regret and guilt and concern. And yes, a whole lot more gain on the scale as a result.
So here I am. Usually I like to write about what is going well and I like to write with optimism. It motivates me. It keeps me focused on where I am going and that I CAN get there. It is part of the new me on this journey. But today I have to write about something that is not going well. Because I need help. And I need that public accountability that until recently had been working so well for me.
I know what I would say to someone else who was telling this story. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, today is a new day. So that is what I intend to do. I will not let two days become more. I will not let this become the beginning of my slippery slope. I will find my optimism again. I hope. No… I will! And I will prove Cammy right – I am stronger than a Triscuit. Or any other food. (And I will keep my fingers and toes crossed while I say that.)
For me those two days are a bright red flag. The fact that I overate is clearly bad. The fact that I recognize a potential problem is good. If I now do something about it.
So here is what I decided – time for an intervention. I have you and I have my blog and I am going to use that to put on the brakes. For the next week I am going to avoid the foods that I overate. I have physically removed them from my pantry and sight. And if I cheat, I will come here and admit to it on my blog at the end of a post or in the comments. Because my blog and readers and public accountability are great diet partners. And I need that right now.
So here I am. Back on track again. Moving forward. Taking another step on what is clearly a long journey with stumbles and landmines. One foot in front of the other. One more day at a time. Working towards optimism.