I dropped off the face of the earth for a while (at least on here) because I went completely off plan. That's the bad news. But here's the good: I finally got through an entire day of eating right and not cheating.
It was hard, and that's an understatement. The end of the day was the worst. I had a headache, I was exhausted, and all I could think about was sleep and food. I went home and ate some pasta with fresh tomato sauce (a can of tomatoes, some garlic and basil, a little black pepper). I ate until I wasn't hungry, and then I ate a little more. I knew what was coming--the cravings, the weak willpower--and I wanted to prepare as best I could, with a full belly.
It didn't really matter. I was full but I wanted to eat. I missed my parmesan cheese and my butter, even the ground beef that I used to add to the sauce. I wanted my old, familiar, comfort foods to hit my taste buds and calm me down. I realize now that's what I've been doing all these years, using food as an anti-anxiety med. So, yesterday, when I went off cold-turkey, it felt like the world was sharper, louder...and it didn't feel good.
I slept and had a full night of stress dreams. It was as if my brain was throwing every typical teeth-grinder at me all at once: I was in my old hometown and had to go back to high school for some reason, I was again working at the deli I hated, I couldnâ€™t find my son anywhere, my family was waiting for me to pick them up and I couldnâ€™t get the car to start, I kept getting lost, I was missing mysterious but important appointments and no matter how fast I moved I couldnâ€™t get anywhere and nothing got done. And shot through it all was one central theme: food. I was hungry in my dreams, but everywhere I went there was no food, or I didnâ€™t have any money, or the food was uncooked, or I was endlessly driving to a restaurant that never appeared. Oddly, though I wasnâ€™t alert enough to know I was dreaming, I did at one point stop and say, â€śWhy do I need to attend high school again? I have a freaking Masterâ€™s degree.â€ť But it wasnâ€™t enough to break me out of there.
I woke late with a sore jaw from grinding my teeth. I didnâ€™t want to get out of bed. I wanted to run to the grocery store, buy bags of comfort food, call in sick and hole up in my house, eating, eating, eating. But I got up, showered, dressed, set my oatmeal with green apple and cinnamon on the stove to cook while I packed my lunch of veggie chili, corn tortillas and a big green salad. I sat at my kitchen table and ate every bite of my oatmeal even though it still tasted bland no matter how much cinnamon I sprinkled on it. Now Iâ€™m here at work, hoping the day flies by without anyone wanting me to do too much because I need to survive this day like I did yesterday. Iâ€™m trying to realize my dream of eating right for one whole entire week, and this is only day two.
But itâ€™s not all doom and gloom. And, really, what I just wrote isnâ€™t doom and gloom, either. Itâ€™s just the truth. Itâ€™s a bit doom-y and gloom-y at the moment, Iâ€™ll admit that, but this is a huge life change Iâ€™m making here and if it were easy-peasy, well, Iâ€™d have done it a long time ago. I knew it would be hard going in, and it is. But I also know that things always get easier with time and practice. We are an adaptable species. I hope I adapt soon. In the meantime, I have to say that even though my dreams were rough, Iâ€™m wide awake right now. At no point yesterday (or this morning) was I hungry. And letâ€™s just say that Iâ€™m making more visits to the lavatory. I wasnâ€™t ever deficient in that area to begin with, but now Iâ€™m a real restroom superstar. And when I looked at a picture of a pretty girl of a healthy weight in a nice dress I didnâ€™t think, for once, that looking like that would be an impossible dream. I thought, for once, that it was only a matter of time.
To all those reading along with me here, and posting wonderful, positive comments, please forgive me for not responding individually to your welcome support. Iâ€™m trying to keep my head down and focus, focus, focus, so I hope youâ€™ll accept a group Thank you! and the knowledge that I really do read all comments and take each of them to heart. They help immeasurably. My gratitude is even bigger than my appetite.