So the other day I found myself at work. Hungry. Now this isn’t a surprising moment for me, I am usually hungry. Seriously I will eat non stop all day, so I have trained myself fairly well to eat healthy items throughout the day. You will constantly see me munching on oranges, baby carrots, apples, really continual grazing is how I go. But every once in a while I get this silly little thought in my head…”I must lose weight.”
Now I’m not sure why this thought pops in my head, but it does about once per quarter. I don’t really NEED to lose weight, I’m not heavy and I’m not a twig, I’m an average normal human woman. I’m healthy, I don’t have any medical reason to lose weight except that sometimes my brain goes searching for those tiny little jeans I used to fit in 10 years ago when my husband and I got married and I starved myself to look good in the pictures. Ok, I didn’t starve myself, but I did eat tiny portions, completely stressed over every silly detail of the wedding and refused to eat anything more than I needed to survive as I knew I had one shot at these photos, and the subsequent trip to Maui that followed immediately after.
But I digress.
So here I am, 10 years later, healthy, happy not a skinny-minny-stress-case as I was in the months before the wedding…and I’m standing at my closet, starting at my Ann Taylor Jeans size 6 that used to fit like a glove. And then I do the dumbest thing that any woman can do in this moment. If you are a woman, when you find yourself at this exact spot, looking at those jeans, standing there at the cross roads….take my advice DO NOT TRY THEM ON!!!! Seriously, take a moment, breathe, and fold those jeans back up and put them down.
STEP AWAY FROM THE JEANS.
But do I take my advice? Hell no. I try them on.
They get exactly to my hips and stop, and this is absolutely NOT a good look. Then just because life is hilarious and wants to remind me how silly I was to even try them on in the first place, in comes my sweet adorable daughter bounding into the room. She takes one look at me and giggles and says “What are you doing?”
This is a valid question. I answer “Nothing, just being silly” put on my real pants and off we go playing in the house. All the while in the back of my mind…”I need to go on a diet.”
So this is where it starts.
I start a silly calorie driven diet to lose the extra pounds that my brain has just noticed, even tho I know that I’m healthy, and not overweight, but heaven forbid I get invited to a party and am REQUIRED to wear my Ann Taylor Jeans, I need to lose that weight IMMEDIATELY just to prepare. I justify this by saying the following things.
1. I will save money at the grocery store if I don’t eat as much! (Isn’t that honorable?)
2. I will give away all my “fat” clothes after I lose the weight! (That’s so nice)
So off I go onto my new diet driven adventure eating way less calories than I should, with the full intention to never eat more than this again. Week 1 goes pretty well, but I find I’m quite grumpy. But, 2 pounds down, I’m getting closer. Then week 2 comes along and I start to plateau, which I do all the time, and I start to get a little worried…what if that party is a surprise party and I don’t know about it? What if Ann Taylor HERSELF shows up to my house and I’m not wearing the jeans? So off I go on week number 3 with a little less calories than week 1.
I find myself on this unique day on Week 3 day 6 where I am at work…and hungry. But not the normal hungry… but really truly HUNGRY this is the real deal. I haven’t been eating enough the last few weeks, and now I’m at work, and by some luck there are only 2 other people there, and they are not near me. So off I go on what I like to call my Rationalized-Binge-Eating-Adventure.
I realized that I’m hungry, so I decide to have some oatmeal. That can’t be too bad for me right? Whole grains, yummy! I eat my oatmeal in less time than it takes me to walk from the microwave to my cube. Seriously this is about 50 feet and at foot number 25 I finish the bowl. As to not raise a huge red flag to the other 2 people who are NOT paying attention to me, I still take my empty bowl to my cube and then stare at it for the next 20 minutes.
I’m still hungry.
So after an appropriate amount of time, I go make some popcorn. Just a half a bag will work for me right? Yea, I’ve been good.
I ate the entire bag…mindlessly munching and working and poof the bag is gone! I feel like I did a magic trick…Look at the AMAZING DANI who can eat an entire bag of popcorn in 20 minutes flat!? Where did all that popcorn go? In her very empty pit of a stomach!!
Then because I’ve had 2 portions (really 4 but I lie to myself and say that 1 bag of popcorn is 1 portion) of whole grains I find that it’s lunch time (yay!)
I look at my soup, and decide no. I’ve been good I’m going to get a delicious sandwich to enjoy. I will get the good healthy veggie sandwich that I love. So off I go proud as can be to the deli to buy my sandwich. I walk into the deli and am HIT with the wonderful delicious smell of pastrami. You know that smell, the peppery goodness that you feel like you could just eat the air? Mmmmm. I leave the deli with my new Pastrami Reuben with extra cheese, bag of chips and a pickle…you know for veggies.
So now I think. Ok, that’s it Dani, you had your indulgence, now it’s time to get serious. No more snacking, no more pastrami (as I lick my fingers from the delicious 1,000 island dressing), no more. Veggies only from here on out. Remember I’m on a diet.
2:30 comes. The DREADED 2:30. 2:30 is my nemesis. I usually have an arsenal of attack food to defend against 2:30. I have apples and peanut butter ready to fight. But today, I forgot my apple. Oh no….I begin digging through my desk drawer and find….yes….a snickers.
Here comes my thinking.
“Ok, I don’t have an apple and peanut butter, and Snickers has peanut butter in it. So I”m only halfway cheating.”
I look at the ingredients and the nutritional information.
“Ok, I will only eat 1/4 of the snickers. This way I can have 1/4 of the bar every single day for 4 days straight.”
I open the snickers and take a bite and realize I’ve eaten 1/3 of the snickers already (Snickers are smaller than you think).
“Crap, I just ate 1/3. That’s ok I’ll put it down now, and then have some another day, I’ll split it into 3 days.”
But then there’s that one strand of caramel hanging out of the snickers. I can’t leave that to hang out like that, it will get hard and nasty by tomorrow. So I take one teeey tiny bite at the end to remove the strand. I look at the Snickers and realize I’ve just eaten to the half way point of the snickers bar.
“Darn, now I’ve eaten 1/2 of the bar. That’s ok I’ll save the other half for tomorrow.”
I put the remaining snickers on the desk. ON THE DESK! Why? Because I LOVE torturing myself.
So it sits there, staring at me like a little snickers Gingerbread Man “You can’t eat me, I’m the Second Half of the Snickers bar!”
“Oh yea snickers bar? I can eat you…I’m the boss here!”
And I ate the rest of the snickers.
Then the guilt comes in, well if I’ve basically given up, we may as well just go for it. I convince my husband via email to order pizza for dinner with pepperoni, sausage and that delicious butter garlic dip. mmmmmm. I did add onions and mushrooms, you know for veggies.
Eventually I realized that I’m OK. Really, I’m not heavy, I’m not a twig, I’m a normal average healthy woman. I don’t NEED to lose weight. So I stow away the calorie counting app on my phone, I go to the store and buy loads of healthy fruits and veggies that I love to eat, and things to make chocolate chip cookies because balance is key. Finally I go to my room, fold up those jeans and come to a cross roads. Should I give them away or put them on the top shelf…..
10 minutes later (yes it takes me that long to decide) they are neatly folded on the top shelf of my closet where I can’t reach without a step stool (that will keep me from finding them again for sure).
The doorbell rings and me, in a blissful mood, bound down the stairs to answer the door.
Thank goodness it’s not Ann Taylor.