Let’s just say that right about now, if you’ve been reading this blog, you know me pretty well. You know things about me that shouldn’t be known, one of which is that my cardinal weakness tends to lie in, um, well, food. I was about to say, sweets (and NO, nothing else. Get your minds out of the gutter!) but then I remembered my Pizza diversion last week. And then of course, there was the decadent, delicious dinner on Valentine’s night at my favorite restaurant. Then there was tonight’s menu at Pasta Jay’s, which I won’t even go into. Have I forgotten something?
I don’t believe I am a food addict, however. (Yeah, yeah. The first stage is denial, I know). No really. I just have this fantastic relationship with food, and I am an exceptionally relational person. Plus I love to cook. I’m pretty good at it too. I can pick out the spices that grace a phenomenal dish, and daringly attempt to recreate the dish on my own – even to my own detriment.
So, what? My own personal roller-coaster ride exemplifies the ups and downs, mind games, incredible temptations and roadblocks associated with injecting discipline into an everyday life – especially my life. Anyone desiring real change in their life, need only visit me here regularly to see that it requires real, true commitment and the discipline, diligence and determination to weather the storm amid seeming failure. As my mama use to say, “Anything worth anything requires something.”
Plus, as I near the end of this stinkin’ “get healthy again, fit into my summer suit” weight-loss challenge, it’s inevitable that I encounter and come face to face with one of the countless tempting, alluring, tasty treats or “no-no” foods that call out to me relentlessly.
Of course it’s bound to happen, since I am so close to complete success. Go figure. I’m about 3 pounds shy of my goal, and low and behold this great fiend of a “thing” hunts me down. It is the still, small voice in the quiet calm of the day that I hear as clear as a bell. It’s the hypnotist’s chime that mesmerizes me into a dazed trance and tugs at me until I surrender, bowing at its feet. It’s my ultimate torturer, playing target practice with my senses and disabling my ability to reason, rendering useless all cognitive and self-restraint skills.
Hello, and welcome. If you’ve stumbled in here by chance, be afraid. Be very afraid. You’ve just entered my own personal nightmare. Well, okay. It’s not really a nightmare.
Anyone who’s ever tried to slim down, lean out or trim the fat has dealt with this very same horror:
How do we conquer our own personal food demons?
In my case, it’s not a demon, as I said, but a monster. The problem is, mine is not really your everyday, average-joe kind of monster. This guy is not content to stay in my closet, no. He resides under my bed, in my closet, in my kitchen, in the car on the way to my favorite coffee place, at my desk and anywhere else I may be trying to stay faithful to my renewed sense of health.
No matter what I do, I cannot get out of earshot from him. To compound things, my monster is also a shape-shifter. In the past he took the form of a Cinnamon Sugar bagel at Einstein Brother’s Bagels on Academy Boulevard in Albuquerque, New Mexico (because no other Einsteins made them the same). They were toasted to perfection and smothered in butter, tasting like a hot, buttered cinnamon roll.
Then, before I got too smart, my monster shifted into a Palmier cookie from the Champagne French Bakery Cafe in Los Angeles. The mini version, of course. You’d think it might as well be the large one, but no, this monster is clever. You see, it convinced me that the mini palmier didn’t count. Therefore, I could eat one every single day. I must admit, that flaky, buttery, crispy thing was yummy. I finally got over that one by realizing that all that needless butter “in” would only turn to fat “out,” and I needed to regard my body as a temple. Whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins like fish and poultry were all the essentials I needed. But it was a tough one.
Now, as I prepare to divulge the latest shifting of this devious fiend, I want you to prepare yourself too. You are going to laugh in disbelief at how non-devious and obvious this monster has become. It’s almost as if my own personal monster has been dabbling in Buddhist philosophy, and become a Zen-master, fooling my mind to help me reach a higher plane or greater consciousness. The new shape of my monster is: drum roll, please:
The Monster Cookie at Red Rock Bakery Cafe in Moab, Utah.
What kind of joke is this? Can you believe it? You’d think my monster was doing the old reverse psychology on me. Was I becoming too smart for my own good, that it had to shift into something so blatant, even I would be fooled? Or is this the universe’s way of assisting me in finally overcoming the hurdle of the latest decadent food I’ve become enslaved to? Perhaps I’ll take this little realization with me tomorrow when everything starts all over again!
Being enslaved to a Monster Cookie in Moab, Utah wouldn’t be so bad, in any normal person’s life, because most people don’t reside in Moab, Utah. Heck, I don’t even reside in Moab, Utah. So, what’s the problem? Well, my pretties, I do sort of reside in Moab part-time, and it just so happens that THIS part-time session has been during my weight-loss challenge. The hitch with this monster? The one thing that keeps me eating them? Could it be that they don’t have any flour, so they must be low-calorie? Well, that’s the snare, but it’s too good to be true.
Though I’ve not conquered my demons in totality, I like to think that I conquered my monster. Today, I actually did it. I finally conquered the Monster Cookie!
How? I ate every last bit of it. I even licked my fingers and grabbed the crumbs and ate those too. It was all for you, I must say. I had to quiet the monster, so I could report back that I’d done it. And the only way I saw how (in a pinch) was to eat it and silence it’s voice forever (at least until tomorrow, that is). Now the monster is indeed in me. Get it? The Monster in Me? I crack myself up.
Now the real question is, how do I get that thing out of me without going bulimic, and can I do it before weighing in?
You see? I did say to be very afraid.
In my defense I promise in all honesty that I never have nor will I ever cheat at this thing. It doesn’t do me any good. I always know the truth. So does the scale. I won’t lie about what I eat. I won’t lie about my weight. I will always take responsibility for my actions. So if, when I weigh-in tomorrow morning just before sending this, I have gained weight, I will tell you.
Here are my results for this week. Please be kind. Remember, I’ve had quite a challenging few weeks. You’d almost never know I was trying to slim down, now would you?
Start Date: Thursday January 31, 2007
Height: 5′ 5″
Goal: 125 lbs
Beginning weight: 136 lbs
Weight after week 1: 132.5 lbs (02.07.08)
Weight after week 2: 130 lbs (02.14.08)
Weight after week 3: 130 lbs (02.21.08)
Weight after week 4: unknown – no scale! yippee! (02.28.08)
Weight after week 5: 128 lbs (03.06.08)
Weight after week 6: 127.5 lbs (03.13.08)
Net Loss / Gain this week: -.5 lbs – YEAH BABY!!
TOTAL Net Loss: 8.5 lbs UH HUH!
All in all, I am like the energizer bunny of healthy eating. When my world is crazed, and life is busy, and I am traveling and buying property and transitioning in life – I could easily give it all a rest. So many of my friends have said things like, “Give it a rest, girlfriend. You are thin. You don’t need to worry about it, especially now!” But they have always said that. No one has ever come to me and said, “You need to cut back girl. You’ve been eating like a horse.” No one, that is, except my anorexic ex-husband. I actually see this time of transition and hectic schedules, and incredible pressure to be one that demands health to stay alive and to be able to enjoy that life. I can do this, and I will. I know I need it and that’s what truly matters. I will not stop trying. Today is the first day of my greatest success.
So tell me, who, what or where are your monsters? What are your secrets to overcoming them?