Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Story of a Failed Diet

Once upon a time, I weighed 201 pounds. It was the highest weight I had ever been, and I was utterly disgusted with myself. I had recently moved away from a town where I had lots of really good friends, and I found myself feeling very alone, hundreds of miles away from them. My best friend, Debbie, was also my best diet buddy. We had dieted together as neighbors and each lost about 35 pounds counting calories and exercising, but then the weight crept back on for both of us. So I called up Debbie and we decided to diet together again, long distance.

We wrote each other letters almost every day (this was before we had email). We journaled what we ate in a notebook with a program called "Winning at Thinning." We talked on the phone and shared our successes. We were doing pretty well.

One of the things we had decided was that we were both chocolate addicts. We pledged to each other to swear off chocolate permanently. (This was a very big deal to me, because I have always LOVED chocolate, but with a partner I felt like I could give it up so we could better ourselves.) Days and weeks went by without chocolate. We both were losing weight. I took my promise to Debbie very seriously; if something had chocolate in it whatsoever, it was off limits. No fudge ripple ice cream, no chocolate chip cookies, no hot cocoa. Even when my kids brought home some vanilla cupcakes with white frosting, but they had chocolate sprinkles on them, I would not eat them. Not a single fleck of chocolate passed my mouth in months. I dropped about 33 pounds and was feeling pretty good. I was going to the gym, walking, eating right.

One day I went to church where I used to teach children. It was my birthday week, and as I was walking in the hall between classes, a friend came over and shoved a bag into my hands... a HUGE bag of peanut M&M's with a bow on it. "Happy Birthday!" she said as she walked off. I stood there for a minute, looking at the bag. This was some kinda monster bag, 2 or 3 pounds of M&M's... one of my very favorite candies. I didn't have to be in the next class... the halls were emptying. I went into the ladies' room. It was vacant. I went into a stall and stood there with the bag. Should I tear it open and eat them? Eat them all? Half of them? Throw some away? Or hide them in my purse for later? I was literally fighting myself there in the bathroom stall with this bag of M&M's. I even thought about cracking them open with my teeth and just eating the peanuts and spitting the chocolate in the toilet (since I had promised not to eat chocolate) but then I came to my senses, ran back out into the hall, found my husband and shoved the unopened bag into his hands and said, "Don't ask. Take these. I never want to see them again." He smiled and I was free. I walked away and never saw them again.

Now, after all that, WHAT could possibly make me go off that diet and eat chocolate again??

One day I called Debbie to chat about our diets. "Oh.." she said, "I just couldn't really stick with it. I've been eating a lot of candy and cakes and stuff. It's just too hard." And that was the end of her diet. I was so upset. I had been skipping every single bit of chocolate and she was sitting home eating it? Even after we PROMISED each other not to?? Now it didn't matter anymore. Those cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles? Gone, down my throat. Didn't matter anymore. Candy? Inhaled. Everything chocolate went into my mouth and is still to this day caked onto my thighs and hips as evidence of our failed plan. I went straight back up to 201 and way beyond. And I have never seen 201 since.

Is it Debbie's fault I went bonkers? No. It was a mental excuse to go back to eating crapola. And I share this story to show just how ridiculous we can be when it comes to making up "reasons" why we went off our diets or why we can't eat healthy. It's all utter nonsense. Each one of us has the final say over what we do or don't put into our mouths. So next time you give up and start eating junk, keep in mind that if you get fatter it is your own choice. If you want to get thinner ya gotta crack down and fight. It's hard. But it's worth it.


new*me said...

cute story! It is so true how many reasons we can find to give up. Ultimately, if the focus is on really "loving" YOU, then those excuses won't cause you to stray. The best reward we can give ourselves is health and a better quality of life. Thanks for continuing to inspire us all :)

Donna B said...

Thanks for the story! I have been kind of down about all the bloggers who seem to stray all the time and I am looking for inspiration to keep me going. Appreciate your honesty and insight with your posts. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

you are awesome

Lynne said...

You are absolutely right - It's not the husbands, kids, or pals that keep us fat. They are just convenient excuses for us to eat and put off the guilt.

Let's put that to bed.

The Duchess of Wessex said...

You Rock!

Honi said...

right there with you.. i have some very similiar stories... I signed up for WW today.. yay.. I start Monday.. this weekend is devoted to getting my arsenal of WW supplies ready and loaded.. you are so right my friend it is our choice. what we do or do not do us up to us.. either way there can be consequences.. Postive or negative.

RunningNan said...

Thanks for sharing that story! WE can win this battle!

Heather said...

I have had so many friends like that too. workout buddies that stopped wanting to work out, friends who did WW with me who stopped. that is why it truly is us that must do this in order to be successful. no one else can do it for us and no one else's success can compare to our own. and hey, nothing wrong with a sweet treat once in a while.

Dinah Soar said...

So very true...when we gain it is our own doing, same as when we lose weight---no one else can do it for us.

I've come to realize that the majority of "naturally thin" people aren't...they just don't overeat.

Discovering how to eat is key to success. Somewhere along the way those of us who struggle with our weight got "messed" up...escaping the food bondage is essential to freedom.