Techinical difficulties

We here in the Trisaratops Lounge are struggling. Struggling with that not so tasty, hard to swallow side dish called guilt. Here's what happens to me when I go to a restaurant.

Me: Ooh, look, they have chorizo enchiladas!
Guilt: Hi there! Should you be eating that?
Me: But I was so good this week! I lost a pound! I ate within my guidelines.
Guilt: You're not supposed to reward yourself with food anymore, you know.
Me: I know, I know. But sometimes you go out for Mexican food and you want enchiladas with cheese and chorizo.
Guilt: Helloooo? You are 232 pounds!
Me: I am painfully aware of that.
Guilt: Do what you want - you're having wine already.
Me: Fine. Vegetarian fajitas. But I'm having the sour cream!

And that is how my Friday night went. The guilt can lead me to sound reasoning and healthier choices, obviously. But I've been at this for 1.5 years now, and I thought this would get easier. I imagined I would become a woman who easily chooses vegetarian entrees and enjoys it*. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes it isn't. And obviously, eating only 1600 calories a day is working. I am aware of that as well. I want to change my relationship with food. I want to eat something fatty and not feel guilty. And I do know well. Because Saturday night, guilt and I a few more rounds and I ordered pasta with cream sauce and meatballs. And I ate dessert! If I deny myself for too long, then I will binge, so I gave into the need side of me before it got worse.

When I was around 15 (and overweight, of course) I had a bad experience at a family holiday. I have an Aunt whom I love, and she brought her mother to our family's Christmas celebration. (She's an aunt by marriage, so her mom is not my grandmother.) Her mother, we'll call her Sue, saw me going through the buffet line, and making not the best choices. I don't even recall what I was scooping onto my plate, but she looked at me and asked "Should you really be eating that?". I don't remember what I said to her, but I remember thinking - not cool, man. I ran to my Mom and told her to tell Sue to back off, and she did. Now of course Sue saw an unhealthy young woman on the way to being an unhealthy overweight adult. (Curses! She was right!) And she had her heart in the right place, but jeez o petey, if there is any wrong way to tell a girl she is making a poor choice, that was it. That one incident didn't shape all my guilt tendencies, but it is one that I still remember.
My whole life has been spent with my weight in the back of my mind. Something doesn't go my way? Must be because I am fat. Guy doesn't like me? Must be my weight. And I honestly had begun being disappointed when the calendar turned into another month, and I would sigh and think, another month wasted that you didn't lose weight. So I am proud of myself and excited that I have come this far. 57 pounds gone, and 88** to go. I am actively working on not feeling guilty. Just because I eat a fatty meal does not mean I am a bad person. I need to take responsibility for my choices - and accept that when I choose the higher calorie, higher fat option, I'm going to have to work out harder or more often, and not eat as much the next day. All of those logical things are here with me, just as solidly as the guilt, so I hope logic and reason will win out someday. I feel like I am letting other people down too, not just me. 3 weeks into the Healthy You Challenge and I'm already eating what I shouldn't. And everyone else is doing so well and not faltering. I know nobody cares if I falter - meaning nobody is going to shun or reject me, but it is on my mind all the same. This whole lifestyle change is teaching me to really be honest about what I am eating. And discovering what my body does with extra calories (saves them) and what my body does with exercise and healthy eating (feels better and sheds pounds.) But I don't want to live in fear of food. That's really the crux. I want to say - hello grilled cheese sandwich! If I eat you, I will just eat no cheese tomorrow, and go for walk. And then do that and feel great. I'm working on it. I have to get there someday.

So here I am just thinking out loud. Perhaps writing it down will make it less scary.

* The veggie fajitas - delicious! And I didn't eat all the sour cream.

**Okay, wow, I had never done the math like that, I am more than a third of the way there. Neat!


Lauren said...

I think you are doing great. I am part of the healthy you challenge and I had cream sauce chicken and pasta with coke on Saturday, so don't fool yourself, we aren't all perfect, in fact, we mostly aren't. And you don't have to be either. And Guilt more often than not drives me to eat more. lol. Keep your chin up and your attitude positive, even if you don't eat perfectly once. We aren't perfect creatures. WE weren't designed to be.

curvyjones said...

Oh hon. I've definitely had a rough go of it and just this last week got back on track. You can do it!

Lidian said...

What a great post, Sara. And you are doing so well too, you know sometimes for me it is better to have something nice when I'm at a restaurant, 'cause if I feel too deprived I will be secretly making it up to myself the next day...

I have had some experiences like yours with Sue, with older relatives - good for your mom for telling her to back off!

anonymouse said...

You have lost a lot of weight already! I think you know what you're doing.

Hanlie said...

"Falter" doesn't even begin to describe what I've been doing to myself this last week! We all falter. We are not perfect weightlosing machines. We are just like you!

Guilt is a very counter productive emotion, but I think that your hubby is trying to keep you accountable. He's not shaming you. And sometimes we need that.

It was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me when you mentioned that you're still rewarding yourself with food. I am too!

While this post might have been rather painful for you to write, it has certainly helped me and I'm sure the others too! Thanks!

Some lessons take a long time to learn!

Heather said...

oh I wish it got easier! but it doesnt unfortunately. we will always have to be conscious of our food choices. but you are right..you should treat yourself or you will binge. and the good thing about doing this as long as you have means you know that and know your body.

i hate when people are the food police!! I Dont go around making comments abotu peoples food so why do they feel it necessary to make commetns about mine!?! so sorry that you had to endure that a young age.

Fatty said...

What an amazing post - it really speaks to me (and Mexican is surely my weakness as well). I try to avoid going out to eat because the temptations are just too great.

Paper Battleships said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alice said...

i can totally empathize with the whole "yet another month wasted for not losing weight" feeling. i always put things off hoping i'd be more physically and emotionally ready for it once a bit more weight comes off. for example, i was supposed to have applied for a summer position but i still haven't knowing the interviews are next month and i'm not sure if i can bring myself to face the interviewers at my current state. it's strange and tragic how much my weight keeps me back from going forward with my life. :(

Lady Vea said...

Dude, reading what you wrote, after my post 01-22, it is like walking through my own thoughts. Many key sentences you wrote are almost exact thoughts I have had and struggles I am facing. It is so frustrating, but you seem so encouraging with your determination and sooo positive attitude. I need to be more like you!

EVA said...

mmmm...veggie fajitas! but next to cheesy, meaty enchiladas...good for you!
it is really hard. i know what you mean.
and regarding your aunt, why do people do that? tell you to eat good WHILE you are eating...as a kid when people would say things to me, i would deliberately eat more just to spite them...great plan, huh?