Today Dave and I went out to lunch and I was so fascinated by my own reaction. I didn't want any of the fattening vaguely French brunch options. The heaviness of them was annoying even to read on the menu. I almost asked to leave. I thought for a moment that dieting had completely ruined my ability to enjoy myself. Then I calmed down and ordered a salad with chicken. Usually I don't order such things at restaurants as I go to restaurants very infrequently and like to treat myself. But eggs benedict or Nutella french toast was just out of the question. Salad and a latte would have to do as a treat. The salad arrived. The chicken was freezing and hard. There was tons of blue cheese. I got the dressing on the side but ate a fair amount of it. Delicious home made Caesar. But I wasn't tempted by any of the fresh baked goods (the place is called Bread and Chocolate for God's sake) and I didn't even eat the chicken or most of the blue cheese. I just don't want to eat a big heavy meal anymore. The guilt is just not worth it. I've lost 15 pounds and don't want to screw it up. I suppose this is maturity. Or maybe it's just that the chicken wasn't very good. At any rate the pork loin with sauteed veggies I made for dinner was much better and took some restraint - as did stopping at one cookie for dessert - but so much less restraint than at any time in the past. Why is that?
I believe it's pretty well understood that dieting is 100% mental. Currently I have the mental resolve to eat properly, and to slay the temptation a cupboard full of cookies could be permanently taunting me with. I'm trying, but not that hard. As the wise sage Kathy Griffin once said (paraphrasing), "The difference between me and Nicole Kidman s that if I have a box of Twinkies in my cabinet I'll obsess about eating them the whole day. I assure you Nicole Kidman never gives the Twinkies a moment's thought." The cookies really are not bothering me and if they do I have one or half of one. So why now?
I'm not really sure, except that I'm ready.
One time in my twenties I was in a salon getting my hair cut when a woman in her 40s or 50s was talking to my stylist. So obviously I couldn't help but listen. She was very put together and fit. She was talking about her 6 mile walk that she did every morning. This was in Boston mind you. It's COLD in the mornings in the winter. I said something like, "How do you make yourself go in the cold and dark?" Now I didn't know this woman, and she said to me with what I perceived to be resolve, and perhaps a drop of pity, but not a hint of condescension, "As you get older you realize that things just work out better if you're disciplined." Of course that's not such a revolutionary statement and I certainly saw my parents live disciplined lives but something about her demeanor really stuck with me. She was just so calm and accepting of that fact. And she seemed to know that I would one day understand.
Fast forward 10 years.
I think I was motivated to start dieting because I was actually worried that I wouldn't be able to complete the prep for the colonoscopy. That is, I was scared that I wouldn't be able to control my hunger for a day. I imagined a scene where I woke up from the anesthesia, groggy and disoriented, in an inherently mortifying situation, only to have the doctor chastise me for not cleaning my colon properly and wasting everyone's time. This nightmare-daydream really did spur me into action. My prep was fantastic. Humiliation averted (I mean, sort of). In addition, having a colonoscopy 2 weeks into a new diet was extremely helpful in getting a quick successful start - even though not eating for 24 hours was miserable.
So early success makes it easier to stay motivated. At least for now. The real hard part comes when that motivation (euphoria?) wears off. Sigh.
1/4 whole wheat bagel with cream cheese
lunch - 2pm after Slumdog Millionaire
large salad with Caesar dressing, some blue cheese
2 medium croutons
sauteed peppers and onions
pork loin -4 oz
small amount pasta with squash sauce (less than 1/2 cup) because....
picked at a bunch of stuff while cooking - BAD!
chocolate chip cookie - small
aerobics in bedroom, about 30 min