Last night was a weird night of sleep. I didn’t know what else to do with myself so around 9 pm I settled into bed with a book. I drifted off sometime shortly after that. I awoke after what seemed like hours. I looked at the clock- 10. Really? So I got some water, shut off the lights and crawled back in bed. I slept again for what seemed like an eternity. I woke up, looked at the clock- 11:04. WTF?!? Really? What is going? By that point I pretty much felt wide awake again. I mean, in my mind I had already had two full nights of sleep. I tossed and turned for a while and eventually drifted off to dreamland.
Thankfully, I couldn’t sleep in too late thanks to my trusty alarm clock- Zoe the cat. Typically she starts to feel playful sometime between 4 and 6 am, and today she chose to start on the early side of things. After a few moments of her delicately pawing at my hair, I decided to just saw “screw it, I’m up.” This lead to a very long leisurely morning of cleaning my kitchen, catching up on The Daily Show and Colbert Report, perusing Facebook and making my lunch. I even had time for a quick kitty snuggle session.
I wasn’t really hungry this morning. Usually even just the site of food is enough to make my tummy rumble, but even after making my lunch for today I wasn’t the slightest bit interested in eating. Nothing sounded good, and I just didn’t feel hungry.
I was having another weird feeling, however. Doughnuts. All I could think of were doughnuts. Fluffy, glazed, chocolate and sprinkle covered doughnuts. There was a huge part of me that wanted to just chuck this whole 21 day thing and get a doughnut. Hey, I don’t have to write it down or tell anyone. I’ll be the only one who would know.
And that’s usually how to slippery slope starts. A doughnut here, some candy there, and poof! Three days of hard work gone. One of the major downfalls of living alone is that I can give in to my vices without anyone seeing me. It was easier to resist the pints of ice cream for dinner or doughnuts for breakfast when I had roommates. I would be way too embarrassed to let them see me eating that crap. I would really only indulge when they weren’t home.
What else is going on here? I wasn’t really hungry, like I said, but that doughnut occupied my mind like a bee trapped in a jar. I left my house and wandered over to the grocery store. Now, I love going to the grocery store, but sometimes it can be a dangerous place. So many options, so much junk food! I wandered around for a bit trying to find that one thing that would be healthy AND satisfy my weird craving for doughnuts. I have to admit that I did do a casual walk by of the doughnut section. Alas, I decided it wasn’t worth it. I could find something- anything else- in this store that would be a better choice. I settled on coconut water and a gingersnap Lara bar. Not ideal, but it worked for a while. I really like Lara bars. Each one only has whole ingredients and there’s usually only a few.
As I was waiting at the bus stop it occurred to me that the doughnut craving was really less about the doughnut and more about the treat factor. Really, it would be something to look forward to and enjoy (if even only briefly) because really I was neither looking forward to or enjoying going to work. My job isn’t bad but it’s just not what I want to be doing with my life. I have a plan to change things up, but for the foreseeable future this is where I’m at. The doughnut would be a way to numb the pain a bit.
This became even more evident when, after our regular 9 am meeting, the doughnut craving hit hard again. It’s hard everyday to report on what I’m working on when really I’m not working on much and I’m not sure what to do. I thought I would tackle some data analysis, but apparently that wasn’t the right answer for my boss. Oh well, she’s leaving at the end of the month anyway. When I got back to my desk, I felt this overwhelming sense of dread about being there. I tried to soothe it with some Facebook surfing, a walk around the office. Hell, I even had a second wind of productivity, but I just couldn’t shake the dread and the doughnut craving.
I took a mini field trip to Bartells. While most of the time it is very convenient to work downtown where everything I need is just a few steps away, there are times when this gets me into trouble. Even while at Bartells a made a quick trip down the candy aisle to see if there was anything that would fit my craving that I wouldn’t feel too bad about eating. I chose beef jerky. Again, just like breakfast, not ideal but not the worst. This just goes to show the kind of trouble I get into when I don’t make breakfast!
Now back at work and hit with a third wind of productivity. It didn’t last long.
Since I was up at 4ish this morning I had time to make a hearty lunch for myself- zucchini noodles, onions, spinach, eggplant, and spicy pork sausage covered in pesto…yum!
We have a small table in our kitchen at work. No one ever sits there to eat since everyone either eats out, eats at their desk or doesn’t eat at all. Usually the table is covered with the day’s newspaper, various brochures or articles. And every once in a while there are treats. Today, for example there is a small box of doughnuts, a ziplock bag of cookies, and some kind of walnut cake. They are leftovers from a meeting yesterday. All day they’ve been sitting there and I was doing so well to resist. Finally I just couldn’t anymore and I had one of those giant delicious chocolate cookies.
After the deed was done, a coworker walked by my office having obviously just eaten a piece of something from the table. She looks at me with a knowing smile and said something to the effect of “so bad!” This coworker is always doing some crazy diet- juice fasting, low fat everything, basically not eating. She seems to think we’re in some sort of “fat sisterhood” because even on my first day she quietly let me know that our insurance doesn’t cover weightloss programs…um, thanks? We talk about it occasionally but where our paths differ is that while I would be happy if I lost weight, I want to be healthy. Her only goal appears to be losing weight. I’ve often seen her eating lunch in her office and it’s usually a tiny dixie cup with some sort of powder mixture in it. Not sure what it is, but I can 100% guarantee it’s not as good as what I had 🙂
I don’t say all of this to feel superior to her. I ate the cookie too. We’re both struggling with the same problem, just going about it in different ways. Her comment “so bad” is what really got to me. Does it do us any good to associate words like good and bad to food (with the exception of taste)? It’s as if by eating the cookie we’ve committed some sin that we’ll have to do penance for. My personal feeling is that if we look at it that way, we’re always doomed to struggle. Who could resist the temptation?
I think for me a chance in mindset is happening. Many of us have been taught that “healthy” food doesn’t taste good and therefore all of the tasty foods are bad for you. I have found that if I make really tasty healthy foods, the sugary crappy stuff is much less appealing to me. Then the choice doesn’t come down to good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. Now the choice is tasty foods that make me feel awesome (steak and butter!) tasty foods that make me feel yucky (store bought cookies).
Who knows, maybe eventually those store bought goodies will no longer be tasty to me. I’ve often read about people who give up sugar and then say most sweetened foods are too sweet for them or that they don’t taste good anymore. I’m not at that point yet, but if I cut them out for 21+ days maybe I will be.
What I do know is I’m ready to get off the train of never ending struggle with weightloss. Sure, eating whatever I want whenever I want seems easier in the short-term. But you know what isn’t easy? Not being able to find clothes in most stores that fit me or don’t look like a tent; feeling constantly hungry because my body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs; not feeling comfortable in my own skin most of the time because of the extra weight. No, I think passing on the cookies and making my own food from whole, unprocessed ingredients is a much better alternative.
I had planned to go to yoga class tonight after work, but usually by the time 5:30 rolls around my enthusiasm is gone. I made the decision that at least 2 days a week I’ll use my lunch hour for yoga class. I used to do that when I belonged to the YMCA and I always felt so refreshed in the afternoon.
Last night was a lazy night (so lazy in fact that I am writing this Friday morning :)). I ended up just lounging on the couch for a few hours. I made a baked yam and some bacon for dinner. The yam was covered in Kerrygold butter…gosh, I love that stuff. It was satisfying without a lot of effort.