Yes, I’m watching what I eat. Yes, I’m exercising. Yes, I’m following a specific food plan for the next 6 days. But that doesn’t mean I’m on a diet. Saying “I’m going on a diet” implies that at some point I will stop eating “healthy” and go back to the way I was eating. So, I’m NOT on a diet, dammit. I am making a move to change my life, inside and out. I’ve always felt like my biggest obstacles in trying to lose weight has been making time for exercise. But I’ve realized that it’s not really the exercise. I like getting my sweat on! Lately, with my husband wanting me to go to the gym with him, and someone to watch the kids while we workout, I realize I don’t have any reason not to bust my butt and do as much as I can while we are there.
I’ve made a lot of realizations in the last month-caution! serious self-reflection ahead!-and part of that is owning up to my shortcomings, recognizing them, and coming up with a plan to fix them. One of the things that I’ve recognized is the fact that I don’t like being told I can’t have something. It only makes me want whatever it is even more! This especially applies to food. I grew up in 2 households. One, my grandparents, where foods were high in calories and fat, sugary snacks were abundant, and eating out was expected. The other one I don’t really remember much-weird, I know, but I can’t remember what I ate as a kid when I lived with my mom other than it usually smelled like shit and garlic or rotten fish, or having stuff in the pantry that I didn’t like.
I would spend whole summers with my grandparents, traveling the country in their big RV, swimming in every swimming pool at every campground along the way. Most of the time, my grandma cooked all the meals, but occasionally we would eat out somewhere special, like the time we ate at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. But whenever I got back home, my mother would do nothing but criticize the fact that I had gained weight and that I was a black as a bear. So I’m remembering all this as I’m trying to define my past relationship with food so I can change it for the future. Right now, I say the definition in it’s most basic form might be: Food means comfort, family, and love in every greasy bite. Family meals meant piling your plate with way more than you could eat, yet packing down every last morsel until attaining “food coma” status.
Now, I’m trying to redefine my relationship with food so it doesn’t just equal warm fuzzy feelings. I like to cook, and I’m pretty darn good at it. But my food has to mean more to me than just comfort. My food has to mean fuel for my body, so I can build muscle to burn the fat, so I can be healthy and strong and a good role model for my kids. In the beginning, I was despairing how I’ll never get to have my favorite foods anymore, and how I have to change my cooking style. But that’s simply not true. I’ve already changed a lot about the way we eat in the house by eliminating the processed junk and sticking with whole fruits and veggies. I don’t fry our foods, and whenever I can, I swap ingredients for lower calorie ones. It’s a slow and steady process, but I’m doing it.
And yet, I say again, I am not on a diet. A diet is something you do temporarily. I’m redefining how I see food and how I’ll eat for the rest of my life. I’m trying not to use food as a reward or a bribe. I’m trying to eat clean, every day. I’m thinking about the long term effects of that piece of cake, or that cheeseburger. Right now, the indulgence of eating those foods is not worth it to me. Right now, those foods are not part of the 6-Day Express plan I am working. Right now, I am trying to jump start the old metabolism and eating that shit isn’t going to be doing me any favors.
I have 5 more days on this particular plan (I started yesterday), and I admit it has been difficult. During the day is not too hard, even though I’m home and making food for my 3 year old. Last night was rough when we sat down to watch a little tv, and it seemed like every commercial was about food. That was torture! Not to mention my lovely SIL sent home 4 delectable looking little cake things when he dropped his mom off. Little Bit just ate the chocolate stuff and the fruit off the top of his, so DH finished it. I had a little taste of the cake; it wasn’t great, so it wasn’t a hardship to pass on more than that taste.
These first days of starting something new are not going to be easy, and I didn’t expect them to be. I’ve read that it takes somewhere around 21 days to start a new habit, or break an old one. I know it will take longer to break a lifetime of poor eating habits, but there is no time like the present, and I am ready to fight for the body and the life that I want and deserve to have. 5 more days of this really strict phase, then I will go back to eating normally. And by normally, I mean eating like I actually give 2 shits about what I’m putting in my body.