When I realized I had surpassed my all-time high weight sometime last fall, I knew I had to put the brakes on my eating and weight gain somehow. But for reasons both pragmatic and petulant, I decided to wait until January to start.
The pragmatic: I know my history of failure. I know how hard it is to be tempted at the holidays. And I knew how hard the one other time I made it through the holidays on a diet was – when I had “permanently” given up sugar, although obviously that didn’t last – because I’d started the diet mid year and felt I never got to say “farewell” to my favorite holiday goodies. So I thought if I was going to have a realistic shot at real, long-term success, I’d be better off waiting until mid-January. Nate and I both have early January birthdays, so I figured we’d got out for a “last hurrah” dinner, enjoy a decadent dessert, and then buckle down. In the meantime, I would have a leisurely good bye period to enjoy all of my favorite goodies, holiday and otherwise, a few more times.
The petulant: In addition to all the above, I was just plain scared. Like I said, I’ve failed over and over and over and over and…you get the gist. A part of me didn’t WANT to change, b/c I knew it would hurt and it would be hard. Was losing weight really worth losing the emotional comfort of food? The thought struck – and still does strike – terror in my heart. Holidays aside, my sugar cravings had become so large and intense that the thought of changing my diet made me want to cry. So I set a future date on it, hoping I could come to terms with it in the meantime, and also continue to gorge myself on whatever I wanted until that date.
If I’m honest, on some level, I honestly didn’t think I would ever start. It’s so hard to conquer that inertia, not to mention how hard it is to give up that emotional safety blanket. So the fact that when mid-January rolled around, I started at all is actually a victory of sorts. We ended up starting about a week later than originally planned, but start we did. And now I’m two weeks in, and feeling actually quite satisfied and good. Even the longest journey is composed of many small steps, right? But you have to take the first one to get there, and that’s what Day 1 of this diet was for me.
I’d originally planned to write in this post about what plan I’m following, but I’ve already spent more time on background than I’d intended. In an effort not to write a novel, I’m going to stop here and come back later to write a second post about what, exactly, my weight loss plan is and how I chose this plan.