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.

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