So over the weekend, I was quite proud of myself. Even though we went out to dinner, I made smart choices and ate smart portions. I didn’t snack. I made sure I still got my vitamins and healthy checks. This included forcibly stopping myself from eating DELICIOUS blueberry risotto from Tranquil and bringing the rest to PA so my mom could try some. I’m sure she’ll enjoy it — and, if it’s not in my house, it occurred to me that I WON’T/CAN’T enjoy it further. So everybody wins.
Sometimes, making the choice to (for example) NOT eat your leftovers after a sinful “treat” dinner out on the town is the best thing you can do. Portion control with high-PP foods only works if you don’t end up eating a large portion, spread out over a few days. It’s still the same 42 PP of macaroni salad, or whatever. Just not in one day. It’s still useless nutrition-wise, and it’s still damaging, weightloss-wise. And that’s the hard part. Knowing the limits and boundaries of a treat — knowing when treat-time is over.
And, to the point of this entry and its title: not indulging in treats just because you can, or just because no one is watching.
I’ve noticed that my biggest adversary in the weight loss battle is my ability to nickel-and-dime myself into an extra pound or two. Howso? Oh, a cookie here. A few more bites of risotto there. A “treat day” more than once a week. You know how it goes. Those little momentary indiscretions — dietary infidelity, really, “cheating,” as people say — don’t help me. They just make everything harder. And they erase the hard work that came before them.
Now, don’t get me wrong: there is A LOT to be said for adopting the mindset that each day is a fresh start and a chance to start again. Not giving up or torturing one’s self is hugely important if you’re gonna stick out this WW business for the long haul — something I’m still trying to master. But there’s just as much said for not being too lax with yourself. Cheating on your healthy lifestyle with ex-habits from less healthy days only hurts in the long run.
And here’s the thing — here’s the real, honest-to-Pete-thing — when you want to sneak food, or candy, or whatever your Achilles’ heel is — who’re you sneaking it from? Is there someone in your life who wants you to lose weight more than you do? If so, maybe you’re working on weight loss for the wrong reasons. You should be committing to healthy choices because YOU want to commit. And you know what that means? It means that when you make bad choices in secret, you’re only hurting yourself. That stolen bite of brownie? That fast food you bought and ate before getting home? Or whatever it is that you do? You’re hurting your OWN chances at success. You’re crapping on your OWN hard work. You’re erasing your OWN effort so far.
I tell myself that, when I’m tempted to make a mistake and eat something stupid just because I’m alone. I remind myself that this journey isn’t for my friends, or my mom, or Chelsea, or even for the wedding. It’s for ME. And you know who gets screwed if I screw up? Me.
Tell yourself that your body’s memory is longer than your mind’s — that it keeps un-fudge-able records, knows your secrets, and has been there through every decision, whether good or bad. And even if your partner or your friend doesn’t know you ate those three cookies, your body does. And you know what else bodies do? They always tell the truth. So all those stolen moments with the jar of cookies or the bag of candy or the risotto or the McDonald’s? They’re not going to be a secret once your body processes them.
And then, the truth is out.It reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite authors, Jeanette Winterson — in it, she’s talking about romantic infidelity but the result for weight-loss is actually quite the same: “Cheating is easy. There’s no swank to infidelity. To borrow against the trust someone has placed in you costs nothing at first. You get away with it, you take a little more and a little more until there is no more to draw on. Oddly, your hands should be full with all that taking but when you open them there’s nothing there.”
— JW, Written On The BodySo before you reach for that forbidden snack just because nobody’s going to notice — remember who will, and how, and how hard you’ve worked. And remember that, as with all infidelity, everyone loses.
(Or gains [weight], as the case may be.)