I think one of the hardest posts to write is a post where you admit that you screwed up. That despite your best intentions to NEVER screw up and have a flawless journey to goal weight, you screwed up - you did something to put the journey in danger. I hate when I have to write a post like that. But, today I do. I have to write it, because it's the truth, plain and simple. And I want this blog to be the truth about this monumental transformation I am undertaking in my life.
Last night, I screwed up.
Chris had gotten tickets to go to the movies last night - originally we were going to see a preview of 'The Internship', but I wasn't feeling really high on seeing that movie, so instead we went to see 'Star Trek: Into the Darkness'. Well, Star Trek was showing in the VIP lounge - which is a fancy, cushy movie theater replete with servers, a special menu, private bathrooms, couches, recliners, love seats...you get the picture.
I was having a really good food day and was right on track - so, I wasn't too worried about going out.
I guess I should have been.
When we got to the movie theater, we ordered popcorn and drinks. The drinks, no problem - Powerade Zero - I don't mess around with carbonated, sugared drinks any more. They are a trigger item for me, and I know that I just can't have them and stay on track. Apparently I also need to add movie theater popcorn to the list of items that cause me to downfall.
We arrived at the movie theater a little early, but we asked to have our popcorn brought to us when the movie started to avoid issues with pre-movie snacking (yes, this movie theater had servers that brought your food and drinks to your seat - loved that!). Chris and I chatted and got comfortable - we were enjoying the atmosphere, and we were both excited for the movie. We were both feeling a little hungry and talked about ordering dinner to eat during the movie, but I wasn't impressed with the menu and so we decided against it.
I should have ordered dinner.
I hadn't eaten anything since lunch - hadn't had a mid afternoon snack - and the movie was starting right about the time I am usually getting dinner ready. By the time they brought the popcorn to us, I was feeling ravenous - and that popcorn tasted so good - I was losing control. Before I knew it we had finished the bucket, ordered a refill and finished that one too.
We didn't even make a good choice and order the popcorn with no butter. We got "light butter" - whatever that means. Butter is butter and we shouldn't have added it period, but we did. Yep, we weren't kidding around with the going off track thing.
I don't know if you have ever 'calorie priced' movie theater popcorn, but it isn't pretty. Chris and I basically each consumed a large bucket of buttered popcorn.
Oh my hell. Not worth it. Not even a little.
After the movie, despite feeling bloated and gross from the popcorn, Chris and I decided to go to dinner. WHAT??? We decided to go to dinner even though both of us were stuffed from popcorn? This, right here, is fat behavior talking - "Well, we ate popcorn - but that is really just a snack - forget the number of calories we just ate - we still need to eat dinner, right? I mean, we need real food!!". That is absolutely a behavior that I used to display, and often, and it certainly helped land me at 430 lbs.!
So, regardless of the fact that we were stuffed and had no business eating anything else, we went out to dinner. We ate at a Mexican food restaurant that wasn't very good and certainly wasn't worth the amount of calories we consumed there. We ate the chips...we ate the food...we ate everything that came near our mouths! When we left, I left feeling so full it was disgusting - I felt physcially ill.
Eating until sick. Another ugly fat behavior that was a common occurrence for me before January 2013.
By the time we got home I was so full and so sick, that I had to immediately lay down. I was feeling so bad, and I regretted it all. I had made bad choices. I had allowed behaviors that were counter productive to my goal to rear their ugly heads - and I had given in to them. I was so disappointed in myself.
After a little while I fell asleep. I would like to tell you that the evening ended there and I was able to put it behind me and move on - but that just isn't true. At 3:30 AM I woke up. I was incredibly sick to my stomach and I knew that I was going to throw up. I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom - and everything came up. I had eaten so much crap that my body literally couldn't handle it and eventually just rejected it.
HORRIFIED barely covers how I feel when typing that last paragraph.
I guess this is the battle with addiction, right here. You're on track, you're doing great - and then BAM, you give in and let the addiction claim power over you again. Then comes the realization, again, that this is a lifelong battle and it is going to require daily vigilance - and honestly, that feels a little depressing. You also realize that letting your guard down, justifying the bad behavior - even for just an hour or two is not just detrimental, it is down right destructive!
The circle of addiction is so hard to break because 1) you're addicted to something - in my case food 2) when you fail fighting your addiction it makes you feel terrible about yourself, and 3) when you feel terrible about yourself, you are inclined to run toward the addiction that for some reason makes you feel better - for just a moment - but when that moment is over, you are right back to feeling like a failure and then the cycle repeats.
I am worried. These last few weeks I feel like I have allowed certain behaviors - specifically eating out WAY too much - to sneak back in to my daily routine. Sure, I track what I eat in my food journal, but bottom line, eating out is a trigger for me and not amount of journaling or tracking is going to change that. Also, as that behavior sneaks back in I swear my mind starts to process justifications for other behaviors that "aren't so bad".
And this is my pattern - this is when I fall off the wagon - this is when it all falls apart.
I don't want that to happen. I feel TERRIFIED that it might, because I DO NOT want it to happen. And maybe feeling scared and terrified that it might be starting to happen is the wake up call I need to be more vigilant.
When I finally got out of bed this morning and started getting ready for work, I committed that today was a new day. I also forced myself to face the scale - to get immediate feedback about how this slip up was affecting my progress.
It wasn't pretty.
Nonetheless, I couldn't go back and fix what happened yesterday, no matter how much I wanted to. I played with the idea of fasting today - I mean, if I didn't eat anything today then that would make up for the calories I ate yesterday - RIGHT (said with a very sarcastic tone). I also played with the idea of seriously restricting my calories for the next few days - again, that was definitely going to take away the bad choices from yesterday - RIGHT (again, apply very sarcastic tone)!
Ultimately, I decided that neither of those things would truly help me get back on track. Following the my plan, sticking to the eating schedule, tracking every bite, and recommitting myself to the journey - that would get me back on track. And that is what I am doing today.
I am also trying to analyze just what is going on with me. Trying to figure out why I am allowing some bad behaviors to creep back in. I know conventional wisdom says that during weight loss there will be slip ups, but I'll be honest, I disagree with conventional wisdom. I don't think it is OK - EVER. We would NEVER say the same thing to a drug addict or an alcoholic, so why do we when food is the addiction?? For me, this is a fight against addiction and slipping up is not OK! And figuring out what caused the slip up is IMPORTANT. It's going to take some serious introspection, but I need to figure out why this happens and then get a strategy in place to deal with it.
Anyway, that is my story. I screwed up - I've been screwing up. Again at the crossroads - give in, or fight it and move forward.
I'm fighting and moving forward. Going back just isn't an option. Letting a screw up take four months of hard work down - well, not going to happen.