Tuesday, August 3, 2010
No Free Passes
I get tired of dieting. Sometimes I just want to return to the way I used to eat. It was easier. Open a frozen pizza, throw it in the oven, eat it while it's hot. Now, I have to make so many decisions before I can eat. What kind of vegetables, what kind of protein, how will I cook it? Some days the dinner choices seem endless. I try to stay strong. I make good decisions. I eat well.
I am house sitting right now. This house is full of culinary land mines. The refrigerator is only mildly threatening. The freezer is a repository of all sorts of vegetables, meats, fruits, and one tub of ice cream. Low fat vanilla ice cream. I ate some today. I only ate a half a cup. It fit into my meal plan for the day, so I feel no guilt. The part of the house that scares me the most is the pantry. The pantry is an Aladdin's cave of foodie delights. Crackers, multigrain corn chips, snack bars, pasta, cookie and cake mixes... I am mightily tempted, but I resist. I may have to padlock the pantry door soon, but still I will resist.
I cannot, I will not, sabotage my progress. I find it a bit irritating that the people who own this house left me in the care of so many delicious treats. They know I am struggling to lose weight. They know I am making good progress toward my goal. I'm sure they did not consciously decide to taunt me with their chips and crackers. I am also sure they never realized these items would call to me in the night. Even though the chips call to me with their salty siren song, I will prevail.
I read many posts on various sites--posts written by people who have slipped, fallen, tripped and strayed from their weight loss goals. Each one promises to start anew, stick to the plan, stay with the program, get back on the wagon. I do not judge. I have been in that position more times than I can count. I have commited to changing my life, vowing this time would be the time I'd make it work. Then, predictably, life would get stressful or complicated and I would get off track. It would usually start small, one minor event. Pizza, or ice cream, or chips... Then, knowing that I'd already tasted the forbidden fruit, I would give myself permission to keep sliding down the slippery slope of unhealthy nutrition. Soon enough, the damage would seem insurmountable and I would give up entirely. Losing weight was too hard, I couldn't make all those sacrifices, I would never succeed. It was okay to fail.
I am amazed at the BS I used to tell myself! Truthfully, there is no excuse for failure... not for me. There are no more excuses. If I eat something I know I shouldn't, I make allowances for it that day. I can no longer afford to put off repaying a nutritional debt. If I eat pizza, or chips, or a cookie, I try to make sure that my daily calorie and activity load can withstand the pressure. Now, while I am still very large, I can get away with eating these things. It is relatively easy for me to burn more calories than I consume. Soon, I hope, that balance will shift. As I shrink, I will have to be more and more strict with my caloric intake. This is my time to practice, to get used to doing without treats and substituting healthier options. If I refuse to make excuses now, I will have a better chance to succeed in the future. The habits I establish now will make easier for me to complete this journey.
There are no free passes on Highway 150.