So, I knew it was coming. The attack of cravings. Frustration. Difficulty. Hormones!
Last night was particularly difficult, for a variety of reasons. Number one, there were a lot of triggers happening because of the weekend. We do more eating out on the weekends, and for some reason Friday nights are a “let down” night for me. I’m glad it’s Friday, the end of the week is here, and I don’t want to cook OR eat healthy. There are all kinds of emotions tied to the weekend, including the fact that I want to reward myself for getting to the end of another week. Add to that my hormones, and it’s a recipe for disaster. (I’m all about the cliches, you’ll soon find).
So, the kids were eating dinner and I was not quite hungry, physically… but I WAS emotionally hungry. I was definitely in a funk. I could feel it, and Allan apparently could see it in my face, because he asked a few times what was up. Internally, a battle was going on.
Over food. And drink. And my desire to have what I wanted, when I wanted it… right THEN!
I got up and down from the couch. I paced a little at one point. I checked my email. I sighed a few times. I opened and closed my laptop, and considered just going to bed. I even caught myself clenching my jaw AND my fists.
Again… over food. And drink.
In the “old days” (you know, a week or so ago), I would have fought a half-hearted fight and then given in. I would have given a big fat WHATEVER to my body and my health and downed the next Diet Coke.
But last night, I fought through the feelings to the end, and somewhere around 45 minutes into the experience I actually thought to pray. It wasn’t an instant fix, because I have a rebellious mind and spirit, BUT the angst and funk slowly subsided.
I fixed another glass of ice tea while Allan got us something to eat. It wasn’t the most healthy food choice, but it was NOT a Diet Coke. And I was not eating because of a craving, nor was I giving my body a WHATEVER. I was eating because I was hungry. Period.
This morning I woke up feeling renewed, and a little more insightful about the whole thing. And the plain black and white truth of the matter is that I am a two year old. I want what I want, and I want it NOW. I’ll stamp my feet and say, “it’s not FAIR” when I don’t get what I want. And when I do get what I want, I’ll stuff the food on in, and slurp the diet coke on down… and burp and feel… not satisfied.
Obviously I know all this about myself. It’s not a NEW revelation. What IS new is that I’m actually paying attention to the information. I’m not particularly liking it, but I’m paying attention.
When I got up out of bed to come write this post, the first email in my inbox was from Heartlight.org. A verse for the day. It just happened to be this one,
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
– Matthew 6:19-20
I cried a bit. And copied and pasted it. And began writing this post.
And for today, I’m going to pay attention. I’m going to work on finding a NEW treasure. I don’t want my treasure to be diet coke and fast food and “whatever I want, when I want it”.
I have been thinking (and praying) about this 100 pound journey for quite some time now. In fact, I actually registered the domain name for this website/blog a couple of years ago. I tried in 2008 to get started with a new healthy lifestyle and eating patterns (and drinking patterns), but I fell off the wagon quickly.
I’m not sure why this time is different… except that it IS. I am ready. I am confident. I am sure. (And I expect to be NOT ready, NOT confident, and NOT sure tomorrow… since I just put this out there).
So, what is my plan exactly? Well, I have a larger goal of losing 50 pounds by my birthday, which is in October. That’s basically 5 pounds a month, which I think is do-able. That will put me below (gasp) 200 pounds.
Ok, let me just stop for a second and breathe. I weigh WAY over 200 pounds. More than professional football players. More than a lot of men I know (like my dad and brother, who are tall/big men). AND now I’ve just told the entire world that fact. (Not that it’s not obvious when looking at me, but really, it’s not something I go around TALKING about).
And I’m back now.
Anyway… I would like to lose 50 pounds by October. And then another 50 by next October. 100 pounds in 2 years (or so).
I want to NEVER drink Diet Coke (or Pepsi or anything else like it) again.
I want to eat healthy three meals a day, with a snack in between.
I want to exercise at least 3 times a week.
I want to lower my blood pressure, feel stronger, keep up with my kids, run and play with them, and in general start my 40’s off leaner, thinner and happier.
Because all of this will be a process, I’m only focusing on one (or two) things at a time. January is all about kicking the diet coke habit. February will be about the exercise.
And that’s about as “regimented” as I’m going to get. No diet plan or craziness… just real life, taking one day at a time, focusing on one thing at a time… and getting healthier and thinner as I go.
It’s been seven days since I had diet coke (or pepsi). And wonder of wonders, I am surviving! Actually, more than surviving. Thriving! Not missing it! SO glad to be doing without it.
I had a mental addiction, mostly. I’m sure there were SOME physical cravings, but 95% of it for me was about the NEED. I “needed” my diet coke to get through the day. Or so I kept saying to myself.
And when I took a good long listen to those words, I was a bit shocked. I mean, it’s a diet drink. Made up of Sugar (kind of). Water. Bubbles. Yummy chipped ice magic from Sonic. (Because even when I didn’t get a drink from Sonic every day, I still had Sonic ICE in my freezer to fill my glass for my diet coke from a can – did you know Sonic sells their ice by the bag?)
Anyway… back to the words. The “I NEED it to get through the day” words. They hit me upside the head a little. Seriously? I do?
Soon after I realized what I had been telling myself… after I realized the lie I was listening to every day, a little shame and conviction and frustration came over me. Here I had built up a nice little idol full of nothing but carbonation and sugar water.
And not too long after, I started battling kidney issues. Two infections in two months. My blood pressure was through the roof. I felt horrible all the time. No energy. Fatigue. Pain.
It was time to QUIT. Be done. NO MORE.
The mental shift took a couple of months in total, I’d say. And it was an important shift. I had to change the way I looked at Diet Coke. The way I viewed the stress in my life. The way I had been choosing to lean on nothing, and begin to lean on SOMETHING.
I prayed a lot. And cried a lot. Giving up an idol, a false comfort, a “need”… it’s not easy. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be an issue, right?
And now… just at one week after letting it go, I feel good. Strong. Confident. GLAD to be rid of it. Amazingly enough, I didn’t really have much of a withdrawl.
Yesterday, I wondered if/when I’d first feel a “craving” for it. That was answered today. Although, craving might actually be too strong of a word. Allan was getting ready for work, and I thought, “I need my diet coke”. Many times in the past, he has gone to get me a Diet Coke before he went off to work, and I guess the activity of the day triggered the thought. It was actually a really cool moment, because it DIDN’T turn into a craving or a frustration. It made me smile to recognize the trigger… the thought…
And then I made some decaf ice tea, and ate a few crackers and some cheese. The moment was over, just like that.
My name is Char, and you’ve reached my personal weight loss blog. I have a lot of weight to lose. Something close to 100 pounds…
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