Today is the end of the first week for me on Phase One of the South Beach Diet. Overall, the week hasn’t been too difficult. I’ve kept to the plan and felt pretty good about all of it. I’ve even journaled each day in order to track my food and my feelings. Today, day seven, was actually the first time I felt bothered by the whole thing.
I weighed myself. I didn’t cry, but I didn’t feel good about it either. I weighed more than I thought I did and more than the last time I checked. It wasn’t a fun moment for me, but I made a vow to myself to not speak badly. I was determined to only speak words to myself that would lift me up, regardless of what that blasted scale said.
Because I’m a sugar junkie, I immediately started craving everything sweet. But I didn’t give in to that temptation. My husband wanted to go to Starbucks and while he enjoyed a deliciously sugared treat, I simply had an unsweetened iced tea. I felt really good about that. I was proud of myself.
Psychologically, day two was easier. I realized that a lot of the food I felt that I needed was more of what I wanted. In other words, it was all in my head. I decided to buy some sugar-free chocolate pudding as a treat, but then I decided to not eat it because I thought it might make me want something more… like ice cream. The South Beach Diet allows for treats. Sugar-free Jello is on the list, but Jello makes me gag (it’s just gross to me) so that’s why I got the pudding.
I had a bit of a realization that sometimes people mean well, but don’t do well. That’s hard to explain, but I’m basically talking about those who suddenly decide that since you are on a healthy journey that they, too, must join in. This happens to me every time I announce what I’m doing. Some people are ok about it. They do their thing and cheer you on in the process. Others, however, just want to tell you about all the crap they are eating and how hard life is. I already know life is hard. I already have emotional eating problems because of life’s difficulties. I determined that I don’t need to listen to other people’s drama while I’m trying so hard to work through mine. And I fully realized that I would appear not very nice for saying so, but my journey is about me.
I made an amazing breakfast tostada without tortillas and it became my new favorite breakfast. I also went with my mom and hubby and the kids to Dairy Queen. While they enjoyed ice cream, I enjoyed their company. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel at all tempted or left out by this experience. Something new started happening that day… I realized food didn’t make or break the experience. That’s what they call a light bulb moment.
Sugar cravings were practically gone by this day. I just didn’t care. That’s how I knew that I could finally have my sugar-free chocolate pudding treat without worry. And I did. It was smooth and creamy and perfectly satisfying.
My kids started acting up on day five, as kids will do, and normally it would have sent me straight to the refrigerator. But this time it didn’t. This time I just dealt with it and drank some water.
I hadn’t been hungry up until this day. But I forgot to eat my afternoon snack and as it got later and later, I started to feel really hungry. The kind of hungry that hurts. My body had quickly retrained itself to expect something at that time and when it didn’t get something, it let me know. It’s amazing how quickly you can retrain not only your body, but you brain. Change truly is possible when you commit.
But then I got to thinking about the scale… And I wanted to jump on it. But I felt scared to do so. In reality, I shouldn’t be on the scale until the two weeks of Phase One are completely over, but I kept thinking about it all night long.
I woke up thinking about the scale. I knew better, but I grabbed it out of the closet and headed to the flat surface of the bathroom floor. Even as I was zeroing it out, I was thinking don’t do it… But I did. I got on and I looked and I didn’t like what I saw. Sure, it was better than day one, but it wasn’t great. In fact, it was downright awful when thinking about the way I’ve been eating. I felt immediately depressed.
If you are one of those women who just can’t relate to me because you don’t feel depressed on the scale, well, good for you. But know that your way of being is rare.
Anyhow, I started thinking what’s the point? Why am I doing this if nothing is going to change?
I debated Taco Bell.
I debated caramel frappuccinos.
And then I made some eggs and despite how I felt about the number I saw, I stayed the course. I have eaten according to plan all day long and I know what I’m eating for dinner and it is perfectly South Beach Phase One approved.
Eating based on my feelings is why I am the way I am. Day seven will go down as a learning experience and as proof that I can get through these emotions in a healthier way. It’s not easy. None of this is easy. Honestly, I don’t know how long I will stick it out. If all that comes of this is learning not to eat based on emotions, then I will have won a huge battle. I’m starting to think that if I can conquer that one issue in my life, I will finally start to see some pounds melt away. I’m starting to realize that food has become a comfort to me in ways it was never meant to be. Idolatry comes in many forms.