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 couldn’t find my son anywhere, my family was waiting for me to pick them up and I couldn’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 couldn’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 didn’t have any money, or the food was uncooked, or I was endlessly driving to a restaurant that never appeared. Oddly, though I wasn’t alert enough to know I was dreaming, I did at one point stop and say, “Why do I need to attend high school again? I have a freaking Master’s degree.” But it wasn’t enough to break me out of there.
I woke late with a sore jaw from grinding my teeth. I didn’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 I’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. I’m trying to realize my dream of eating right for one whole entire week, and this is only day two.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. And, really, what I just wrote isn’t doom and gloom, either. It’s just the truth. It’s a bit doom-y and gloom-y at the moment, I’ll admit that, but this is a huge life change I’m making here and if it were easy-peasy, well, I’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, I’m wide awake right now. At no point yesterday (or this morning) was I hungry. And let’s just say that I’m making more visits to the lavatory. I wasn’t ever deficient in that area to begin with, but now I’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 didn’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. I’m trying to keep my head down and focus, focus, focus, so I hope you’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.