I woke up a total grump this morning. Partly this is because they gave me the stinking tetnus shot in my right arm (because I am left handed). Except I normally sleep on my right side, and since my arm hurts like a son of a bitch (the shot was way worse than the injury itself), I haven’t slept well in a couple of days. Add to that that the ER has total fail because the Dermabond they used to hold my nose together totally got sweated off IN MY OFFICE yesterday afternoon because it was 98 degrees and my desk is beside a 4’x10′ window and I start sweating any time it gets above 72. No vigorous activity my ass. So I’ve been by Walgreens to get some liquid bandage that feels mostly like I’m holding this gap together with clear nail polish. Don’t get me wrong, it works. But that claim of “flexible”? LIES.
Add to that, I had a totally unpleasant epiphany this morning. The reason I was able to get down to last year’s low was because for six months, while hubs was down with a broken leg, we had no social life and didn’t go out to eat, or to other people’s houses to eat, and I had complete and total control of our diet. As soon as we went back to “normal life,” my weight started going back up. Not like we go out all the time now, but a couple of meals not at home completely ruin my progress for the week. Because I’m a short chick, who’s over thirty, and sadly my body doesn’t require much in terms of caloric intake, and it takes for-freakin-ever to burn much, and ONE MEAL totally blows the calorie deficit I’ve managed to create for the week. So I wind up with this pattern where I lose x amount of weight during the week, then have a social event with friends or family and gain it all back again. Which makes me feel like all of the exercise I do and the other hard work is for absolute nothing.
And that is not only crazy making, but it makes me blow my top, TNT-explosion FURIOUS.
Not at my friends and family (at least when I’m being rational). It’s not their responsibility to cater to my dietary restrictions since they aren’t life threatening via food allergies. But damn, how am I supposed to pick the veggie tray (if it even exists, which it usually doesn’t) over chips and cheese dip? I have zero self control when faced with yummy, delicious food. It is my KRYPTONITE. I do fine at home because I simply DO NOT bring this stuff into the house. And it’s not like we eat tasteless crap. We eat healthy and mostly it’s delicious. But the rest of the country mostly doesn’t operate on this principle. The portions are out of control, they use full fat everything, and even their “healthier” options are not really healthy (and ARE tasteless and nasty–why should I waste good money eating shitty food out if it’s going to be gross?).
Susan made a post this morning about how she is failure’s bitch and holds me up as an example of awesome because I have self-discipline. And I do. I work long hours. I get up early even though I’m chronically underslept. I do the freaking workouts several times a day even though I really actually hate working out. I pick up my house and do my dishes and make the damned bed even though I’m usually wiped out. I have self-discipline in SPADES when it comes to absolutely ANYTHING but food. But when it comes to food…I am failure’s bitch (go read her post, it’s funny, and that joke will make more sense).
In Simply Irresistible they say men think about sex something ridiculous, like 360 times a day. That’s about how much I think about food. I enjoy food. It’s one of my chief pleasures in life. If I’ve had a crappy day at work, I can come home and make something wonderful, and I feel better. Totally self-medicating. Because I get no personal satisfaction out of 80% of the stuff I do with my day (hence why I call them the Evil Day Jobs). So I look for satisfaction elsewhere, and food always delivers. I love the sensory nature of food, getting lost in the scents and the tastes and textures. I love inventing new recipes and sharing good food with others who enjoy it too. One of my favorite food related memories is when my husband’s pack of boy cousins (five of them ranging in age from 12 to 18) were staying at our house and fell on whatever it was I’d fixed them like a pack of starving wolves. I love seeing my food enjoyed and I love enjoying it myself. And I have a SERIOUS problem with entitlement. I love food, ergo I should be able to eat as much as my husband, who is literally twice my size. Who, if he did what I did, exercise-wise, would probably drop like 50 pounds in a month. Because he’s a man.
And when I eat at home, I usually manage pretty well. When I’m IN CONTROL. It’s away from home, when other people cook (when it’s rude to not eat what they fix, or to bring all your own food because they didn’t cook something healthy) or at restaurants that’s just the kiss of death. Over the weekend I mentioned that Mom and I had Sonic for lunch, and I made the concession to get a plain, single patty burger (even though burgers just aren’t RIGHT without cheese), medium fries and a coke. And blew my calorie load for the WHOLE DAY. What the hell am I supposed to do when a SINGLE MEAL uses up 90% of my piddly 1200-1400 calories (because of that short, woman over 30 thing)? Not like I eat fast food often, but ANY meal not at my own house tends to fit those caloric parameters. So I often feel like I have the option of being social and a part of the family and being fat (or at least perpetually 10-15 pounds over where I should be) or being a thinner recluse. It’s like the two are totally mutually exclusive.
I don’t actually expect anybody to have any answers, but I definitely feel like a fail right now at Goddess In Training. Susan is tasking me with learning to be more Zen about food. In the meantime, I’m waiting for my nose to heal so I can go do some vicious workout and work off some of this frustration.
Kait, I’m totally there with you. Food is my addiction. I think about it a lot. In fact, I have to be careful in my writing not to focus too much on the meals the characters are having because only foodie readers would appreciate it. I actually had a reviewer mention it once. I don’t have the answers. I actually got fired from working at Weight Watchers because I started gaining weight (mostly after I hit menopause). What I’ve been concentrating on is letting myself have one or two cheat meals a week. If I can stay in control the rest of the week, the cheat meals are my treat. Eating out is really hard when you’r trying to stay in control. I think we all have our weaknesses. But I’m like you…it makes me so MAD.
Aww, sorry to hear about the evil day 😉
And I’m just like you passionately love to think or talk about eating, love cooking but most of all, LOVE eating *dreamy sighs*
And once again I agree: if you meet people and go out, it’s bound to go together with eating more, if for nothing else than the simple reason that eating is always better when you aren’t eating alone, and snacking while chatting happens without you even noticing it!
(ps. I love Simply Irresistible! Would love to try that magic éclair, looks sinfully delicious!)
From one food bitch to another – I hear ya sister:)
O.M.G! Loved this post. So honest and funny at the same time.
I soooo feel your pain when it comes to food control. It’s my biggest downfall as well. Especially maintaining self-control at social/family events or when hubby says “wanna just grab dinner out???” How does one turn that shit down??? I usually answer with a resounding “NO, I don’t want to eat out and watch my ass grow….grrrr….just tell me where we are going and I’ll stay fat for the rest of my life!” LOL!
It’s a constant struggle – you aren’t alone! Best of luck and if you find any tips/tricks on getting zen with food, be sure to share and we’ll all do the same! Maybe together we can finally conquer this beast.
Off to check out Susan’s post.
I hear you. Cutting eating out to once a week was one of the key things my husband and I did for our healthy lifestyle change in January. Getting over the idea that I had to eat everything on the plate when we do eat out was a big part of it too, because, as you said, the portion sizes are completely insane. David had to give up the social aspects of going out to lunch every day with his co-workers, and took a lot of “why are you trying to lose weight” peer pressure from them, which he managed to ignore eventually (although it can’t have been easy). It feels like our whole society is geared around eating large amounts of high-fat, high-calorie food.
My take on the social stuff situations: I am now dealing with the social pressure of both being close to the size I should be and trying to maintain it. I don’t think I’m rude when I refuse food. I really don’t, and I think I’m pretty clear when say that I “can’t” eat a whole slice of your delicious cake or I can’t order dessert with you. (And if there was a pattern of not having food I could eat, I wouldn’t think I was rude for eating before the event and just being my charming, non-eating self with a glass of water while everyone else ate.) I am 5’2″ tall with the bone structure of an elf. The size my shoulders, the length of my arms, and my flat chest wants to wear is a Girls-14. I know my body cannot process what’s offered. Sometimes it’s okay, but the smaller I get the more I feel pressured by others. At size 12 it was, “Hey, you look good, have you lost weight?” At size 4 it’s “Whoa, you got skinny.” (Which, btw, I’m not really; size 4 isn’t what it was 25 years ago.) And it doesn’t always sound…totally happy for me, if you know what I’m saying. Maybe it’s because I’ve been a 16 pushing 18 and have been on the “oh come on, have some dessert” end of it. Ultimately, my responsibility is to me. Whatever their motivation is for giving me a hard time, that’s their stuff to deal with, and I even kind of understand it. It’s just not on me.
Stick to it. You know it’s the tetanus shot and the painful nose that’s pulling you down. Give yourself a non-food treat to help you feel better. You could tell your friends you can’t eat wheat which would cut out all breads, cakes, pasta, etc. (which is most of the calories anyway).
My husband actually CAN’T and the end result of them adapting for his dietary restrictions, which are a reality, has involved things like full fat cheese, heavy cream, and full fat everything else. This is a far cry from the 98% fat free cream of whatever soup the recipes would ordinarily use. Plus the bread, pasta, etc. are entirely the part I WANT because I don’t get them at home due to hubby’s gluten intolerance.
Bring your own food. Or eat just a little. Those who care about you won’t mind. Those who do mind…meh. Why eat with them anyway. As far as food allergies who says you don’t have them? Your hips seem to think you do. So act as if you do. You have every right to care for yourself. Better a few explanations up front than all this misery you’re putting yourself through.
That’s like telling an alcoholic to stop with just one drink.
As someone who is obese I get the food thing. But I also know beating yourself up doesn’t help. We wouldn’t talk to strangers the way we do to ourselves.
the man vs woman weight loss is a real problem if I ate twice what my wife did i would lose weight. she was medium tall for a woman and had a large frame so weight was always a concern for her so I know the paradigm you are facing. As for exercise it may help to think of it as making you stronger and feeling better not to lose weight. Short of running marathons or professional dancing it is hard to use up more calories in an exercise session than a single snack item provides.
You’re not a total fail. We all have our moments. However, when that happens, we go back and start training.
Hope the GIT is going better! My fail comes in chocolate and bread form. And you know how much bread there is out there… How is anyone supposed to give up bread?