What was I Thinking!

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So…  I’m beginning to question the wisdom of starting a stringent diet right before the holidays.  Day 1 of the 8 week Step 1 – no carbs – was the first of November and at the time I figured “How hard could it be?  It’s just 2 holidays and there are plenty of meats and veggies!”  The 8 weeks will end on December 26th.

As I’m sure you’ve already deduced, the holidays aren’t just the days of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  During this season people bring food to work almost every day.  In fact, it’s everywhere!  Snacks and sweets and other yummy non-diet-friendly stuffs.

When I go to the store – there it is!  On TV – holy cow, there it is again!  Magazines at the checkout line – more holiday food!  My thought of avoiding “bad choices” has completely gone out the window.  No, avoidance won’t work in this particular circumstance, unless I want to never leave my room, and I don’t think my employer would be too happy about that.

So what then; white-knuckling-it?  If you’ve never heard the term, essentially it means just manning up and pushing through it.  Just don’t do it.  Use your will power.  You get the gist.  If you’ve ever quit drinking or smoking, you know that white-knuckling-it is harder than it sounds.  In fact, it’s pretty much considered impossible to succeed at any of those things in this manner.  The human truth of it is, sooner or later, everyone gives in.  There must be other, stronger motivations.

So what are my motivations?  They seem pretty flimsy right now as I contemplate giving up on the diet until after New Years.

First, there’s my health.  I’m not in bad health for such a large person.  I’ve talked about that before.  So that one isn’t much of a motivation really.

Next, I want to get control of this carb craving/overeating thing I’ve got going.  Sweets, pasta, potatoes, casseroles…  I can’t get enough of them.  Even if it doesn’t taste wonderful, I eat and eat and eat it.  This diet promises to help.  It assures me that if I stick to it, I will be able to eat “like a normal person”.  That would really be nice.  But that’s it:  it would be nice.  I’m not committed to it.  It’s not really a strong motivation.

So what else…?  In my dreams I’m thin.  I don’t know if all fat people do this, but my “inner vision” of me is thin.  I can’t help but think that I’m really meant to be a thin person.  I want to be a thin person.  But do I want it badly enough to forgo so many of my favorite foods for 5 more weeks.  And after that, a number of months more where my carb intake is still severely restricted.  Only then, at the end of all that, will I be able to “eat what I want”, and do it moderately.  So what would a few more weeks waiting cost?  Nope, not a good motivation.

I do feel better.  That’s something.  I’m a little more than 3 weeks into this and I don’t feel as tired as I was.  I don’t have as many aches and pains as I did.  I can walk a little farther.  I can stand up a little longer.  But it doesn’t feel like I’ve lost a single pound.  My clothes fit the same.  I look at the same fat person in the mirror.  Is it really doing any good at all?  I can’t tell if it is.  So again, not so strong a motivation.

On the flip side, a very strong demotivater is the very disappointment from my family that I would not be able to partake of the festivities.  They will feel guilty for eating in front of me, which they already have a bit of in everyday food.  They make me special dishes because I can’t have what everyone else is eating.

I want to be able to eat the cakes and pies and cookies.  I want to have mashed potatoes and gravy and dressing.  I LOVE them.  On this diet, if I eat any of that stuff during the first 8 weeks, I have to start over.  Given the odds of my making it till Christmas, should I just put it on hold now and restart after the holidays?  Be purposeful instead of just caving when I’m tempted?

I can try to push it as long as I can and maybe make it, which feels an awful lot like setting myself up to fail.  Or I can make a rational decision to postpone the diet a little longer.  I will do this.  It makes sense and I feel good about it.  Maybe just not right now.

I know what you’re thinking… It’s not that I want to gorge myself on everything carb and gain 20 lbs in the next 6 weeks.  I just want to be able to enjoy the holiday foods while they’re here.

So I decided to talk to my family about all this.  I told them my reasons for quitting the diet, but that I hadn’t decided yet.  The suggestion was made that I break my rule and step on the scale after only 3 weeks, instead of waiting the entire 8 weeks.  That was the motivator I was looking for.  In just over 3 weeks I have lost 18.2 lbs.  If I keep this up, which admittedly is unlikely, I will lose nearly 50 lbs during Step 1.  Even if I only lose another 18 lbs in the next 5 weeks, that would be phenomenal.

I will stay on the diet.  And even though the odds may be stacked against me, it’s worth it.  Even though I can’t eat all the yummy holiday stuff, it’s ok.  There’s always next year.  And by then I should have a stabilized metabolism that can handle the occasional indulgence.  I can do this.

And as an added bonus, my family is now firmly on board with my diet.  I can do this.  I will.

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