The “D” Word

I had a horrible weigh-in yesterday. Like super bad. The scale said I was up about five pounds from the previous week. Which made me feel like crap.

I could sit here and pretend that I don’t know why. You ever notice that a lot of people say they have “tried everything” to lose weight but they just can’t?

For 99.99% of people, this is a total excuse. If you don’t have a legit medical condition that prevents you from losing weight, the reality is that you aren’t doing what you should be doing.


And that’s me right now. I am MORE than capable of losing fat. I’m exercising. But my diet isn’t what it should be and needs to be.

“Diet.” It’s a nasty little word, isn’t it? It conjures up all sorts of negative connotations in my mind. I associate words like “deprivation” and “drudgery” with it.

And I’ve been sticking my head in the sand for two years now resisting it.

Disclaimer: when I refer to “diet,” I’m not referring to something like Atkins or South Beach or anything diet-industry related. What I am referring to are the foods we eat every day. Those foods make up your overall diet. Some of us have a diet of Chinese food. Some of us prefer spinach. Some of us–ahem–have a diet of junk food.

About  six months ago now, on October 1, 2016, I stopped drinking pop. Cold-turkey. I had been drinking an insane amount of it each week, and even though it was diet pop, I knew it was just feeding my bad-food-habits addiction. Plus, it was putting a serious strain on my wallet–not to mention my teeth.

So I made up my mind that pop and I were done. And I dumped it.

And just like the ex-boyfriend you love inspite of how horribly he treats you, it was insanely hard to give up pop at first.

I’d tried to dump pop numerous times over the years without any success. A few days into a resolution to be done, pop would whisper in my ear seductively, reminding me how much I missed it. Time after time, I’d give in and let the evilness back into my life. Into my diet.

This time was going to be different. I had no clue HOW it was going to be different, but I was determined to succeed.

It was a pretty hairy ride. I pretty much white-knuckled it those first few days. And the first few weeks. I can recall a few times sitting outside a gas station drooling over the thought of a diet Mountain Dew, my brain screaming at me to just give up and give in already. Every time I went to the grocery store, the coolers containing all the pop by the registers would mock me. “You can’t do this. You’re too weak,” they hissed.

I remember making it to three days without pop, and I was pretty impressed. At 10 days, I was sort of amazed I had hung in there that long. At 20, I started to get excited. Maybe I COULD do this. And when I hit the 30 day mark, my doubts were gone.

Every time pop tempted me or mocked me in those first 30 days, I had an internal argument with myself about why I was dumping it. I reminded myself why pop was so bad for me. Why I needed to ditch it. How it was just a drain on my wallet, and how it was starting to wreck my teeth.

For those of you who know me, I’m good at arguing. I can make a logical, rational argument like nobody’s business, and frankly, I like to win.

Sticking to my argument against pop and resolving to win each time it nagged me, got me through those first 30 days.

And then it got exponentially easier. I’d accomplished a major victory, but more importantly, I was on a winning streak. Each day without pop was a “win,” and I had 30 “wins” under my belt. I didn’t WANT to go buy a pop start that record over at day one.

Am I just never going to have a pop again? I don’t know. I probably will. I’d like for it to be like alcohol where I don’t totally abstain from it, but I’m very conscious of how often I drink it. It took a long time without booze for me to feel in control enough where I can have it now occasionally. And I think I will get to the same place with pop. I figure I need at least another six months under my belt without it to even consider allowing myself the occasional sip. That’s how out of control pop has been in my life.

I bring up my pop story because I am realizing I need to do this with junk food as well.

Actually I realized that a LONG time ago, but I’ve been in denial about it.

I didn’t want to dump pop. And I REALLY don’t want to dump junk food. But it’s time.

When I started this journey, the exercise and hard work alone was enough to get me to shed some fat. But that fat loss has stalled out. It’s not a plateau that I just need to “push through.” It’s that my body has reached the point where I can’t continue to lose on exercise alone. My body is not going to give up the ghost until I start feeding it the right diet.

Denial time is over. 😭😭😭

I hate that it’s come to this. I hate that I am going to have to exchange all the food I absolutely LOVE to obtain my goals. It doesn’t matter that my brain recognizes that this will be good for me. I just flat out don’t want to do it.

But I want to reach my goals more. I want to be fit. And maybe the thing that I want most of all is to feel like I am in total control of what I put into my body.

As with gaining control over other out-of-control areas of my life, this is going to require me to go cold-turkey. I can’t allow myself to find substitutions for things. That’s a slippery slope for me.

So, for example, pizza is done. This means I don’t just stop buying pizza or ordering it from Pizza Hut. No. This means that I also don’t get to make a “HEALTHY” homemade pizza. No cauliflower crust pizza. None of that. Pizza is a junk food that I struggle with, so I don’t get to compromise by modifying it. If it’s pizza, it’s out. For at least a year. Possibly longer.

Let the panic attack begin.

Because we aren’t just talking about pizza. We are talking about ALL junk foods for me.

Traditionally, when I eliminate a junk food from my diet, I replace it with something else. Like, I used to eat a lot of Doritos. But I noticed they were giving me heartburn and making me feel literally sick after I ate them. So I gave them up and promptly replaced them with pizza.

This is how I roll. Dump one loser, start a relationship with another.

Popcorn is another junk food of mine. Now, some people might say it’s a healthy snack. It has mad fiber after all. But popcorn isn’t healthy when you binge on gigantic bowls of it. Drenched in butter.

Could I eat LESS popcorn?  Sure. Will I? No. The reality is that I don’t have enough control over junk food right now to allow ANY exceptions.

This means I don’t get to replace popcorn with rice cakes or something like that. I don’t get to substitute a “healthier” junk food for a less healthy one. I’ve tried that before. It’s always a slippery slope for me and never works. Who wants boxed wine, for example, when expensive champagne is out there?

April 1, 2017 will be my sixth months without pop. And it’s going to be my first “official day” without junk.

I thought dumping pop was very hard, but this is going to be worse for me. However, I KNOW it’s possible. I’ve done it with booze, and I’ve done it with pop. So I can do it with junk food too.

Basically if it’s a food I’m tempted to binge on, it’s out, it’s not an option. No one binges on fruits and veggies so I’m good to go there. I like meat a lot but I’ve never said, “I’m upset, let’s pig out on steak.” So meat is fine. Eggs are fine.

Cheese and potatoes and dairy (like butter) might be out though. I mean, I guess the fact that I’m saying the word “might” means it needs to be out.

Seriously. No butter or cheese?  I’m not kidding about the panic attack thing. The fact that I don’t even want to THINK about a year without cheese or butter tells me that these are probably THE two most important foods for me to eliminate.

So they’re out.

And this is NOT going to be fun.

My next post will be Monday, April 3.  Let’s see how badly I’ll be white knuckling it, shall we?

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