Engine 2 Diet soon enough so I decided to let myself go until the kickoff date.
And this past weekend was one hell of a last hurrah. Or horror... I ate as if I'd been cast as Renee Zelleweger's body double in the next installment of "Bridget Jones's Diary" and filming was starting Monday. I shoveled food into my mouth and drank with intent, cramming myself full of the things I'll be giving up over the coming weeks. Cheese, carbs, chocolate, wine.
And guess what? I took no pleasure in what I did. In fact, it make me feel like crap.
When I was a smoker I'd have an extra cigarette if I knew I wouldn't be able to have one for a while, regardless of whether I wanted it or not. I didn't enjoy it, but I was compelled to do it... just in case. This weekend I did the exact same thing with food. I ordered Pad Thai on Saturday and got a plate piled with enough food for four. Of course, I didn't eat it all at the restaurant, but by the end of the day the carryout box was empty and I was full - uncomfortably full. I could never be hungry enough to eat that much food - I just did it because I knew I wouldn't get the chance to have Pad Thai (because of the eggs) until June. On Sunday I ordered an omelet with cheese and devoured the whole thing. I rarely eat eggs, and I eat cheese only once in a while. But I was hell-bent on getting a cheesy omelet before I started down the dairy-free trail. I was full after about three bites, but that didn't stop me from cleaning my plate... just in case.
Just in case what?!!! All the eggs in the world would be eaten by the end of May? Just in case there's a cheese shortage in a few weeks? Just in case I'll go hungry during this diet? Just in case I'll feel deprived? Come on! The only issue worth addressing is deprivation and I've done 21-day cleanses a million times before - I know that feelings of deprivation are infrequent and short-lived. And character-building. So just in case what?
This weekend I behaved just like an addict who gets high on the way to rehab. In my book, that makes me an addict too. Anyone who's addicted to anything (drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, shopping, food) understands the convoluted logic we concoct to rationalize bad decisions. And we addicts are prone to preemptive behaviors driven by the belief that loading up on our substance of choice might help alleviate the deprivation we fear we'll experience once we're on the straight and narrow.
But why am I afraid of feeling deprived? For almost four years I've prided myself on following a truly healthful diet. I've gone vegetarian; borderline vegan. I've all but eliminated sugar, salt and gluten from my diet. I'm caffeine free. And I have a couple of glasses of wine once a week. But even so, it's pretty obvious I've still got issues where food is concerned. And they reared their cheesy, carby, sugary heads this weekend.
So during this challenge I've got a new goal - to work through my relationship with the foods I felt compelled to overeat and discover why they still have such a strong pull on me. I hope I find some answers.