Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Dark Days of the Diet and the U Turn Towards Tomorrow

When you have been ambling kind of rudderless and you know you are off course, there is something incredibly powerful about grabbing that keel and pointing the boat in the right direction. For the first time in a long time I feel like the wind is at my backslide.  Finally,  I am heading towards the routine that made me feel so good about myself last year.

Case in point: today. Instead of meeting a friend in Vegas for the Wine Spectator's Grand Tasting gala, which is an annual event I try to attend,  I am home with my family.  Sure, it was a fantabulous excuse to have a buddies weekend in Vegas eating, drinking and gambling, but when my friend started waffling over whether we should go, it was just too easy to duck out and stay the course that began earlier this week.

Last night, as we celebrated our anniversary, I convinced Amy that we should just remain home where I could cook a nice healthy meal.  Now I know a guy should put some energy into celebrating a momentous milestone like  15 years of marriage, but we really had a good time just hanging out at home.

Thru the week, I backed the attack with home cooked meals at work. I went to the gym a few times. I started drinking lots and lots of water. All the staples of my program. Nothing bold. Nothing daring. Just familiar basics.

Was I perfect? No. But it has been months since I have felt like this and already I am feeling a difference physically and mentally.

How did I veer to a place I vowed never to see again? It started slow with baby steps and pre-cheats that became a gateway to unsanctioned eating. I recall one day going into the lunch room at the office where there were stacks of pizza boxes left over from an office meeting. It didn't matter that I had already eaten lunch just moments before. The boxes beckoned. I found a slice of margherita and tore into it with some ravenous delight. Instead of quickly jamming the pizza down my throat in some crazed sneak, I boldly sauntered into the hallway - slice in hand - where I bumped into a colleague.

I am sure he thought - "What is Elzer doing with pizza in his hand?" But I shot him a look that said "Don't fuck with me. I wanna be bad."

And that attitude that began as delicate little tastes and polite little bites evolved into a mini-collapse of the mentality that helped me drop 130+ pounds.

The difference these days is that normally I wouldn't slap myself into submission until I had gained all my weight back and then some.  I was able to catch myself relatively early in the relapse. I think more than anything else it is because I saw most of the family echoing my behavior and I didn't like where it was going. In truth, it was Amy who was leading by example. She never abandoned going to the aerobics classes the way I just cut off going to the gym. As a result, I think she maintained her loss best thru what I will affectionately designate as the dark days of the diet.

I dunno what will happen next. Lots of stuff is going thru my head. Each day is a challenge. Today we go to the movies. I want popcorn. I want to have that instant gratification of wanting what i want when I want it. But I just can't live that way. Others may have the metabolism to handle those desires. I am not that fortunate.

So I have to build up, once again, an ample reserve of attitude that allows me to beat down that wanton lust for won ton or popcorn or whatever tasty treat is tempting me in the moment.

If the last few months have taught me anything, it is that this fight will be lifelong and it will have victories and defeat.  I wish it was more stable but it isn't. Never has been. Never will be.

Copyright, 2010, Steve Elzer. All Rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Look

On Monday i went to dinner with members of my family. My brother took one look at me and I could see his concern in his eyes. "So, are you still going to the doctor?" he said among other gently nudging, prodding questions.

This was purely his polite code for "dude, you're packing em' on again."  

The truth is I have been off the range for months. Yesterday, I went to the doc and checked in for the first time in 5 or 6 weeks. The scale tells no lies. I am up more than 20 pounds since my low.

I am disappointed but I am not in a death spiral. The wake up call had actually come before "the look."

I am carb free for close to 40 hours now. So now it is back on the plan. I cancelled a bunch of lunch and future dinners and am bringing my own food into the office from home. Tonight, Hannah and I are going to the gym to work out for the first time in a while.

I will lose what I gained by this time next month.

No one ever said it would be easy.  

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Partner in the struggle

A friend who is also struggling sent me a note today.

"I have lost my mojo and need to find it again."

I suggested we meet at Shakey's where they have fantastic fried Mojo potatoes.  

Misery loves company. 

And so it goes. 

The mindset is everything when taking on a life change. 

When you want to cheat and feel like you can just deal with the consequences, you cheat. 

This has been a lousy week to try and get on track. Three dinners out and three food centered parties makes it hard to stay true and on course. 

I plan to begin anew on Saturday. 


I will find it again.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Schizo Boy, The Bulge & The Spotlight

"I'm still here," I say then I disappear.

For weeks on end I go AWOL only to pop up like that rascally gopher crawling out of his hole in Caddyshack. I stick my head above ground, do a quick little dance and grin. These posts lately have felt like nothing more than me shaking my chubby hips before quickly scurrying back underground.

Frankly, the commitment has been a bit schizo.

So what happened to me? What happened to that steely resolve? What happened to that walk with my wife where I declared "we are never going back there!"

All I know is my pants are uncomfortably tight. The dedication to diet is on shaky ground and my program collapses like a house in Haiti once the tremors start.

I wish I could say that my jeans were washed in hot water and they shrunk.

Not so.

I certainly can just switch to the next size up but that would be too easy. That would be waving the white flag of defeat and surrender. I would rather live with the tight waistband that serves as the pinching and painful reminder that I gotta get a grip.

No more time outs. No more celebrations.

I am turning the spotlight back on and crawling out from underground.

It's the only thing I know that works in my battle of the bulge.

This will be the first of at least three posts this week.

Photos and written material by Steve Elzer

© Copyright, 2010