One hundred sixty point five. THAT is the horrendous diagnosis I saw on my bathroom scale this morning, just one week and two days after I hit a goal that took me 831 days to accomplish. THAT nasty number is 5.5 lbs. ABOVE that goal. THAT nasty number is the weight I was as far back as wintertime. THAT is a MAJOR step backward on a quest that has taken me a long, long time. Worst of all, it's all my fault.
Last Monday, we over-treated. I don't like to refer to it as "cheated" because that always reminds me of infidelity or someone fudging their math test or their taxes, and I don't feel this is as deliberately evil. I do admit overindulging, and I did it for the point of celebration of the finalization of a marriage-gone-bad and also the hitting of my weight goal after many, many months. Tuesday, we over-treated again, because we had leftover treats in the house from our Monday mayhem. Knowing that moving into maintenance would require me to make up for that over-treating, I decided that I will stay at my 1,200-calorie regimen until I maintain my goal weight for two weeks in a row, then up my calories a bit for maintenance and only weigh in occasionally; the last thing I want to do is create some sort of psychological, self-defeating obsession that has my family calling for an intervention, though I do think my love of food would prevent me from ever suffering from anorexia or bulimia. After I decided on that post-celebration plan, I did pretty well Wednesday through Friday. I even did okay most of Saturday, doing the whole give-and-take routine for breakfast and lunch, knowing I was going to nibble a few naughties at the school festival. The trouble came with an impromptu family bonfire Saturday night. I went there with 1,300+ calories already under my belt, but I found myself unable to resist s'mores and - even more so because I LOVE salt far more than sugar - countless roasted weenies. (I know it's cancerous and all, but I love them burnt to a crisp.) So, Saturday was shot.
I did okay on Sunday and Monday, but then came yesterday, Tuesday. I knew I was going to weigh in this morning, and I knew I was supposed to stay at 1,200 calories. Again, I did fine for breakfast and lunch and even had my nicely calculated dinner entered in my Nutrition Tracker. Enter a change in plans: a short shopping trip to a nearby town, with my sis and two elder neffies. I'm a Dollar Tree junkie, and since ours here is closed for remodeling, we had to make a trip to the nearest one in the next county, as I'm in need of many supplies for my daughter's upcoming high school grad get-together. I'm much too cheap to pay more than a buck for tablecloths and forks and photo boards, so it was worth the trip, even though I had to leave those yellow-vested hotties in my driveway. What was NOT worth the trip was the bazillion calories I ate because I had absolutely no willpower...again.
Next to that nearby Dollar Tree, we spotted a sign for a cute little family-owned place called Yutzy's Cheese House. I'm a fan of small biz, and I have had them on my Facebook likes for some time but have never been there, so we were excited to make our virgin voyage into their little shop. Lo and behold, as soon as we stepped in, we were accosted by the scent of fresh-baked bread, surrounded by homemade candies of all kinds, not to mention facing a big deli counter of meats and cheeses. I don't know why we expected anything less than that caloric assault on our sensibility, but we simply had to check the place out. At first, I tried to be good. I perused the shelves of jam, looking to see if they had any sugar-free peach preserves. (I have always loved peach preserves because they remind me of my Grandma Dude (yes, her first name was Dude, folks, short for Drumeda), who used to blend them up so smooth they were like baby food but were delicious on toast. Darn. Now I want some. I think I kept some Gerber coupons somewhere...) I avoided the candy aisle for a time and definitely stayed as far as possible from the cheese, which is my main nemesis. (I could eat lbs. of provolone in one sitting...and I admittedly have.) I perused, poked, and pondered. My boyfriend was even there, and his sweet aroma worked as a temporary distraction.
No offense to Yutzy's and their yummies, but I spotted nothing low-cal, sugar-free, or even lowfat, but I had that nagging feeling that I simply had to buy something, since our trip to Yutzy's was a first for us. The temptations were hard on my sister and daughter as well, and they are still working toward their goal. In the long run, we did not fare well. Not only did my daughter and I walk out of there with a bag of gummy fried eggs and a giant bag of dehydrated marshmallow bits (those marshmallows that lurk in Lucky Charms) and a sugary lollipop and a giant pecan/chocolate/caramel turtle, but my sister also fell prey to her own sweet tooth and bought lemon bars and puppy chow (the cereal/peanut butter/chocolate/powdered sugar kind and not the Purina kind, which would likely have been better for her, with at least a little protein of some sort.) To make matters even worse, true to small family Christian business tactics, the Yutzy lady gave us each a loaf of fresh-baked bread because it was our first visit to their adorable little shop of dieters' horrors. So, what did I eat for dinner last night instead of that healthy 418-calorie din-din I'd already entered in my tracker? I ate about a google of calories, folks, all in the form of a ton of candy and half a loaf of bread slathered in butter spray--as if spraying the butter on made it any less horrible. (Before Google was a website with a capital letter, it was a giant number, folks. Google it if you don't believe me).
Last night, I went to bed at 8 p.m., in a rage. I posted a depressing status on Spark. I glared angrily in the mirror at my fat self. I gave my bread-filled belly a pinch. I cried and ranted at myself even more than I rant on Facebook about the Hellary Clinton/Donald Chump/Bernie Sinders/Ted Schmooze conundrum we face as voters. (And you think I'm long-winded here! I'm surprised Mr. Zuckerberg hasn't tried to charge me rent for occupying so much space on his site.) I wrote a poem about mistakes and starting over (Maybe I'll share that at some point). I weighed myself in the aftermath and got even angrier. I looked at my picture from Monday, that skinny one in the squeezy black tank top, and I was compelled to burn that tank top in the ashes of the journals and love letters left over from my celebration last Monday. (Sorry, but I got a little Carrie-Underwood-"Because-He-C
heats" crazy with that celebration, even though cheating had nothing to do with it. It was just a happy day of closure and getting rid of things that are no longer needed and would only drag me backward. I did NOT vandalize anyone's car, just so we're clear on that, and I hope the ex-now-a-why? had a celebration of his own, because even Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing...") In the midst of that sadness and rage at myself, though, there was another emotion that was even more prevalent, one I didn't realize was something that would come to bother me post-goal. That emotion was FEAR.
I was watching THE PATH this morning (sort of, as I was working simultaneously) because I had such a crush on Jesse Pinkman that I simply have to watch Aaron Paul's new show, even though I really don't care about fictional cults that have something to do with ladders and Peru. As I was working/watching, I overheard his character say something to this effect: "The fear of the worst thing is worse than the worst thing." I know now that this is true. I am a very chicken-littling kind of person in general, and my anxiety runs high even over trivial matters. I am not only convinced that the sky is falling, but that there are also meteors and fireballs in it and that the ground beneath our feet is falling at the same time. I am VERY good at drumming up illogical, irrational worst-case or even impossible-case scenarios in my head and convincing myself that they are certainties. I live in the middle of Ohio, but if I really tried, I could probably convince myself that I am going to die in a shark attack. SHARKNADO COULD be real, couldn't it? I mean, theoretically... Well, you get my point. For this reason, I went to bed in absolute terror that by morning today, I would gain back all 174 lbs. I lost, along with 30 or 40 to go along with it. I was absolutely sure that I would wake up this morning and not be able to fit in any of my clothing and that I would have to walk around the house using my queen-sized quilt for a moo-moo. I was convinced, in fact, that I would actually have to start moo-mooing because I would be a cow by dawn. The struggle is real...but the fear felt pretty darn real to me too. In fact, it's so real that there's a scientific word for it: pocrescophobia.
So, now I'm a whole other kind of phobe. I fear sharks. I fear earthworms. I fear someone putting onions in my food when I don't know it. I fear the sight of bloody noses. I fear snakes. I fear any body of water larger than a teaspoon. I fear yellow Skittles and Starburst. I fear that Generation Regurgitation will take it upon their unimaginative selves to remake MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL. I fear the day my CorOLDla finally gives up the proverbial ghost. I fear the IRS, disease, drunk people stumbling around in the park, and touching raw meat. Yes, I fear all these things, but the newest fear in my life is gaining my weight back, because that happened to me before. I fear looking again like I did in this picture I asked my ex-mother-in-law to send me (I still adore her as one of my closest friends). I was the only woman in that picture who was not pregnant, yet I looked like I was about to give birth to sextuplets. I fear that, and I REALLY feared it yesterday after being such a weakling and giving in to all that bread and candy. I left Yutzy's Cheese House gleefully, and I gobbled all those goodies gleefully, but I am not gleeful about the cottage cheese those goodies are liable to leave on my middle and thighs.
Fortunately, as MANY OF YOU have reminded me on Spark (thank you ALL for that, by the way), today is a new day. Tonight, I will be going to my sister's church to cheer for my little nephew in his Awana Grand Prix, and that church will be giving away free root beer floats. Saturday, my daughter and I are participating in a Downtown Cleanup day, at which we will be offered Tim Horton's bagels for breakfast and Lee's fried chicken and cookies for lunch. My sister-in-law-to-be will be flying in from Japan next week, and since she only sees us a couple times a year, her visit will involve restaurants, outings, cookouts, rare and tasty, edible souvenirs she always sweetly brings from her side of the globe, and some of her amazing homemade sushi. Mother's Day is May 8, so there will be a lunch or breakfast outing. My daughter's commencement is May 28. The Memorial Day parade and associated barbecue will occur right after that. My kiddo's grad open house is June 5. Then there is Independence Day, the county fair, the local annual food truck competition, the arts festival, and countless other events, holidays, and get-togethers that will happen this year. I demand that my life include these things, these moments and memories, and I refuse to sit at some table in the corner, pouting because I have to eat lettuce or a radish while others have their plates full of the food that is part of the celebration. What I need to learn is reasonable restraint, because that is what is going to conquer my pocrescophobia. I need to learn to have a slice of life without eating the whole pie.
I have lost 174 lbs. I have picked a few back up. I am 45, so presumably, I have a few years ahead of me (unless God gets sick of all this nonsense and decides to just pull the plug, which I likely would have done a long time ago if I were Him). I do not believe all fear is irrational or even unhealthy. I know that if I am going to enjoy life at this new weight range of mine, I need to allow fear and restraint to be part of my life to some degree, but I cannot allow them to turn me into the miserable monster I was last night. I will not forget from whence I came or how far I've come. I will get back to goal and stay within a nice little cushion around it, and I will do that by remembering that each new dawn is another day with its own challenges and rewards. I will remember how awful I felt after that bread binge how awful I looked between those two mamas-to-be, but I will also remember that I squeezed into that tank top Tuesday because I have the power to get past any obstacle, including occasional over-treating. I will enjoy the special days and be very good on all the regular ones in between, and I am excited to see what it's like to live as a normal-sized person without being such a pocrescophobe. It will take me a while to get there in my head, but I have to believe I can do it, and I hope you believe that about yourself, too, whether you are still working toward your goal or have hit it and are trying not to quit it.