I was helping the Hot Mess Hubby set up a work space for his new side business the other day when I ran across an old journal of mine from 2005. In it, I chronicled one of my many attempts at healthy eating…and as I read through it, I knew I had to share it with you.
I know I’m not alone when I say I’ve spent too many weekends giving one last hurrah to all my favorite foods, then dumping all the junk food on Sunday night and starting a strict diet Monday morning. I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s ever saddled herself with ridiculously high expectations, or set herself up to fail by reaching too high and running too fast (figuratively speaking, of course…if I actually ran, I’d blacken both eyes and would most likely need breast re-attachment surgery). Still, reading this old journal was an eye opener for me.
Without further adieu, we’ll start at the beginning of the journal…on a Monday, of course, because I never started eating healthy on any other day back then. Here we go:
May 2, 2005
My goal for the day was to make healthy eating choices. Mission accomplished! It was harder than I expected. I felt like I was walking on eggshells…everything felt fragile. I didn’t give in. I was able to remember what my real goal is and I stood up for myself. I give myself an A today. I didn’t exercise, but I really made good food choices.
I guess this isn’t a bad start, although it feels a little negative to me. It is really hard to start eating healthy when you have issues with food, so the walking on eggshells thing is dead on…but I know myself. I know that I was already feeling guilty for not exercising – even though I said my goal was just to make healthy eating choices. My heart wasn’t in it. Looking back at this, I can see I was not looking out for myself. I wasn’t trying to ensure my ultimate success…I was just making another attempt at the same plan I’d failed at a million times before.
May 3, 2005
I felt okay this morning. Didn’t sleep well last night, but had a lot on my mind. Last week, I hit 347 on the scale. That’s my top weight ever. I got on the scale this morning and I’ve lost 4.5 pounds. The whole rest of the day I was a happy girl.
Still didn’t exercise today. Did well with my food choices, but I had 3 pieces of string cheese for a snack today and I need to work on that. Not 100% happy with that choice. I give myself a B+ today.
347 was my top weight back then. Wow. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself I would be hitting 381 pounds in 5 years, although I doubt it would have made a difference. I just wasn’t ready to change.
I was already having small bursts of uncontrolled eating. Three pieces of string cheese might not seem like a big deal, but actually…I wasn’t planning my meals at all. I was just grabbing. I remember going back for more cheese…and more cheese – and it wasn’t because I was hungry. This was a “I’m trying to eat healthy again…and I’m scared of failing…and I’ve almost gained 100 pounds since the wedding…which means I’m a horrible, weak person and the only thing I know how to do is medicate myself with food and oh, those little individually wrapped string cheeses are soooo cute.”
You can see I wasn’t ready to change when I say that I “did well with my food choices” and in the same sentence, I’m admitting that I ate 3 pieces of string cheese I didn’t plan on. This is what happens when I don’t make slower, more deliberate decisions: I’m unable to detect my own bullshit. I’m already in trouble and I can’t see it. Whether it’s chocolate or cheese or cabbage, overeating is still overeating…and I wasn’t being honest with myself.
May 4, 2005
Got on the scale this morning and have lost 6 pounds so far! My goal for today was making healthy food choices and 15 minutes on the treadmill. Got hungry before lunch and had to get some melba toast things from the vending machine. The rest of the day was okay.
I got home and made tacos, which I think was a mistake. I love my homemade tacos…I made 6 of them and ate them. I went to bed stuffed and never got on the treadmill. I’d give myself a grade of a D for the day. I know I’ll do better tomorrow.
Still not planning my meals, which is setting me up for failure. This really makes me mad at myself: “Got hungry before lunch and had to get some melba toast things from the vending machine”. Yes…I had to. Otherwise, I certainly would have starved to death before lunch, right? I have enough fat cells stored in my ass to survive winter on the Donner Pass, for crap’s sake…I didn’t have to do anything. And if I had just planned my meals & snacks, running to the vending machine would not have been necessary.
Also…y’all should have seen my face when I read “The rest of the day was okay” and then right after that I ate 6 tacos! Obviously, the rest of the day was NOT okay…but I was already swimming so deep in my own bullshit, I couldn’t see it.
Tacos. Do you know what my homemade tacos consisted of back then? A LOT OF FAT AND GREASE!!! My homemade tacos were home fried corn tortilla shells, which I would sprinkle with salt after I plucked them from the pan of oil…and a pound of ground beef. And, no, there were never any leftovers. Sweet jump’in Jesus on a pogo stick.
So…now that you know my hideous, heart-attack-on-a-plate recipe for tacos…isn’t it laughable that I actually said I THINK it was a mistake to make them? Ya think, Dianne?
And I never got on the treadmill. Day 4 and I’m eating greasy tacos and not working out. Already in a downward spiral…crashing fast.
May 5, 2005
Well, I’ve gained a pound. Too many tacos. Have training at work today, which is going to be all day. Hell.
Gee, I just don’t seem as perky as I did on Day 1, do I? This is only 4 days later. Perhaps I’ve fried myself into a taco coma. Poor Dianne from 2005…I just want to hug her.
I’ll continue the journal tomorrow. There’s more to share – but I want to talk about honesty real quick. Grab a cup o’ coffee and sit with me for a minute…
I get so many emails from readers asking me what I’m doing that helps me stick with it. I always try to answer the best I can, but I don’t think there’s only one way to do this. I do, however, think there’s one thing none of us can do without if we’re really going to kick our food demons in the ass: honesty. Unless we’re honest with ourselves, we’re not going anywhere. It probably sounds very common sense to some of you, but for me it was a hard lesson to learn – and it wasn’t just about honesty, it was also about self-respect.
More than anything else, I hope that sharing my journal with you has shown how hard this is when your “bullshit meter” is broken…and how important it is to be 100% honest with yourself in your own process.
Finding this journal really helped me to appreciate how much I’ve changed. I needed this right now…I’ve been a little frustrated because the 7 Dwarfs of the (menstrual) Apocalypse momentarily stalled my efforts to get to 339. As I read through the journal, my reactions to the way I handled myself back then have shown me once again that the lost, befuddled Dianne from 2005…who sabotaged herself and believed her own bullshit…is gone.
It’s very exciting…and a little scary. Part of me wants to jump up and down, dance the happy dance, and sing to the heavens “I finally get it! I GET IT!!!” Part of me knows what happens when I get too cocky and celebrate too quickly. It’s “Oh my God, I’m riding a bike!!” and then…C R A S H!!! And so, even though I know it’s different this time…that this place in my life feels true and real and just downright triumphant in many ways…I will keep it all close to my chest and hold on to my ever growing resolve with renewed appreciation.
I do get it. I will celebrate. But right now, I’d rather get to the next set of tens…which is only 2 pounds away.
I’ll see y’all tomorrow…I’ll finish sharing the journal then. You won’t believe what i did just 2 days later. Poor Dianne from 2005.