One word: OREOS. Or maybe I should say, two words: MANY OREOS.
Ugh. It started out innocent enough. After putting Coco to bed Matt and I settled into our new evening ritual–watching 4 episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Living the dream, people. Living the dream. Anyways, I made some popcorn (a not too terrible snack) and after consuming that, I of course wanted something sweet. The Oreos that I had gotten the other night were practically screaming at me to be eaten. So I had one. And then another one. And then another one after that. And then I stopped counting. It became an all out binge which I rationalized away with the dangerous mentality that comes with what I like to call Diet Eve. Let me explain.
[For those of you that watch How I Met Your Mother this new term is going to be…wait for it…Legendary!]
What is Diet Eve? It is the enemy to all weight-conscious individuals and I started to become familiar with it around 7th grade. This is probably the ball-park age for most adolescent girls to enter the treacherous world of insecurity, self-loathing, and idolatry–idolatry being the mythical body that they wish they had.
I remember the day I stepped on the scale and had my first episode of scale-horror (this is another term that is so obvious I am not going to define it for you–if you are a skinny chic who has never dealt with this than just stop reading. You don’t belong here.). Yep, I was probably about 13 and I saw those numbers and cried in disbelief. Somehow the joyful “I’m bigger than you!” pride of my childhood was replaced with “I’m fatter than everyone” despair of adolescence. I overreacted and like a wild woman started racing up and down our street (ah, Shady Lane) in hopes to make the numbers go down. I think I even weighed myself after running. I cried, I agonized, I lamented my humongous body. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. This scene played out over and over again throughout my teen years.
Now, I’ve been through a few pudgy stages in my life, and ironically, this weight that I was grieving over was actually my skinniest adult weight: this was what I weighed the day I got married. Ha! I wish I could go back in time and slap that silly junior high girl and tell her to just get over it and enjoy being a kid. I commend my sweet Mom who had to put up with SO MANY episodes of me crying and whining about my body. While there were probably a few times she got fed up with me, she always encouraged me and made me feel like she and my dad thought I was beautiful. And even when I came home from my freshman year of college–weighing 20 pounds more than I did in high school–she still made me feel ok. That’s a good mom right there.
Back to Diet Eve. I still haven’t defined it. So here it is: Diet Eve is the mentality that dieters engage in the day before they start their diet. It’s the binge that ensues when you feel fat but still want to eat yummy food. You rationalize that the next day you will serve penance for the evening’s errors. The next day you will only eat vegetables. The next day you will only drink slimfast. The next day you will run ten miles. Admit it! You’ve succumbed to this treacherous mentality.
If on Christmas Eve Santa’s elves help pack the sleigh, then on Diet Eve evil minions scour the cupboards and fridge for potato chips and chocolate. I thought I should include that incase you missed the connection. Just in case.
So why is Diet Eve evil? Why is it your foe? Because it promises you empty things. Maybe you have more will power than I–you probably do. But in my experience I wake up from a jolly night of Diet Eve and there is no Dietmas. Well, I might start out my day with oatmeal or one egg or back in high school–a Slimfast. But by about 3:00 pm the promise has worn off and I want chocolate again. 6:00 rolls around and I’ve had a little more dinner than I should. Screw it! Give me dessert! Heck! I’ll just run five miles tomorrow.
You see what just happened? Another Diet Eve has commenced. Jiggle thighs, jiggle thighs, jiggle all the way! If you have about three consecutive Diet Eves you can count on gaining a pound. People say things like, “Oh, I just gained five pounds from that cheesecake.” But here’s the thing, there is no way one bad meal or even one bad day is going to make you gain five pounds. But if you engage in this behavior repeatedly the pounds will pack on. This is what happened to me back in high school–the peak of my dieting career.
After getting married–gaining a little weight–and having a hubby who did not care in the least, I relaxed. I stopped dieting. I stopped having Diet Eves and my body actually just went to a healthy, normal weight. Sure, the tabloid hookers seduced me with their skinny shoulder blades and thigh muscle (how can the thigh serve as a muscle?? Mine will never operate as anything other than a jiggle zone, and I think I’m ok with this). Yes, I’m talking about you, obnoxious Kiera Knightley. If her acting career ever plummets she can double as a coat-rack.
|Kiera about to clobber a reporter for asking about her upcoming role in The Coat Rack.|
Anyways, last night as my mind raced with sugar and my stomach churned with Oreo-overload, I remembered my dieting days. I remember being a slave to diets and never being happy. Fun activities like a shopping day with my Mom turned into tearful tantrums and pity-parties. I compared myself to all my friends and agonized that I was the largest. I should have just enjoyed a day with my Mom. I should have just enjoyed my friends.
So last night, or actually early this morning (I didn’t go to bed til after 2:00 am), I reflected on my checkered dieting past, and I do NOT want to go back to it. I don’t want to have Diet Eves because I don’t want to diet. Sure, I need to be healthy, and I need to be able to fit in my old clothes because I can’t afford new ones–but I WILL NOT go back to that insecurity of my past.
It was a good reality check for me. Of the 40 lbs. gained in pregnancy I’ve lost about 25. Not too shabby, right? Well, the 20 came off during the 3 days I was in the hospital. Thank you, water weight. The other five have come off over the past month. That means I have a while before the last 15 will drop. As I tossed, turned, and twitched from all that sugar, I vowed to just be ok with myself during the next few months. I vowed to kick Diet Eve in the face if she ever comes back to manipulate me, and if I ever get the chance–look out, Kiera Knightley! But other than that, I’m just going to chill out, enjoy my kiddos, enjoy my hubby, and have an Oreo if I feel like it. As long as I keep that mentality, I’ll be fine.
It feels good to grow up and out of that insecurity. I know its not over, and it will come back to bite me when I’m not looking. I know that this life is full of insecurity. But I was glad to have what felt like a victory over Diet Eve. We’ll see if I can keep it up.
|And keep a sense of humor, of course.|