(Don't let those little smiles fool you, they gag when told sweet potato chips and dried mangoes are substitutes for chips and dessert. They're no dummies.)
Dieting. The word alone makes me cringe. That word also makes me want to open a bag of Cheetos and go to town. (On a side note: I was watching the Martha Stewart show many, many moons ago and she claimed she didn’t know what a Cheeto was. Really Martha? How out of touch can you be? You live in America and have never had a Cheeto? I digress…) So dieting…or as people in the business say, “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.” Gag. I know that lifestyle of which you speak. If social media serves correctly (and doesn’t it always?) this “lifestyle” is full of TIGHT athletic wear showing off perfectly toned abs, green smoothies, mirror selfies, and yoga poses overlooking the Grand Canyon. Basically identical to my current life, except the opposite. Although I do love a green smoothie. Even if it has kale. Look at me, guys, I’m growing!
Anyway, when I attempt to make healthier food choices, I’ll admit I tend to become a bit of a judgy dieter. On my first day, I like to sit on top of my mountain on my high horse and look down on those eating their processed food. “How can they eat that Chick fil A sandwich and fries?! Don’t they know how bad that is for them? But I guess if they’re going to eat fried chicken, at least it’s the Lord’s chicken.” The whole time I’m thinking these things, I’m reminiscing about pounding a #1 with a half and half tea just the week before. Ahh, the good old days. I may even watch in horror as the person in the car next to me downs a milkshake from Sonic. Oh the sugar and the fat in those! Does she know what she’s doing to her body! And I drive off in all my self-righteousness, trying not to remember how smooth a peanut butter fudge shake goes down.
Day 1 is when I’m most judgy. I’m always good on day 1. Day 1 I can’t be tempted. What am I…WEAK? No. Day 1 I’m ALL IN!! I’ve got my meals planned out, my exercise on, and I can’t be stopped.
Fast forward to Day 4: I will cut you for a brownie. I’d give my right arm for a piece of pizza. I will try sneaking Hot Tamales out of my kids’ candy stash. I am JONESING for junk food. I had no idea that tall mountain I was on was actually a glass house…maybe I shouldn’t be throwing quite so many stones. And usually by Day 7 I’m bingeing on chips and I’ve gone to buy a cake in a cup from Puffy Muffin. This is my cycle. Until recently.
Just a few months ago I had a very hurtful experience. It had been going on for some time but I finally had to address it. My jeans were cutting into my stomach. They did it over and over, unapologetically, every day. The jerks. So I finally made the decision to start eating healthier. We don’t talk a lot about dieting in our house but we do talk about making “healthier food choices” which my children just adore. What kids don’t love when their moms start buying healthier snacks at the store?
“You want chips, honey? Oh sorry, we don’t have those but you should try one of these multigrain flax and chia seed crackers! It’s basically the same! And I know you like fruit roll ups but how about one of these tasty dried apricots? Yummmm!” At least I know my kids will not be played for fools when they get older. They don’t buy into this nonsense one bit.
So over the last month or two I’ve changed up my eating, knowing full well I could cave at any point, which has made me a little less judgmental. I’ve had a few hiccups (I went on a trip to Chicago with a girlfriend and enjoyed ALL. THE. FOOD. And it was magical. I feel certain they will serve the pasta and deep dish pizza inside the pearly gates. It was just that good.) but for the most part it’s been really good. And bonus: my jeans aren’t being such jerks anymore! For those of you who are dieting/making healthy food choices, press on. It’s not for the faint of heart. Or the faint of gut. May all your protein bars taste like chocolate chip cookies and your smoothies like milkshakes and may God have mercy on your waistline.
P.S. If you’re like me and don’t see much change in that number on the scale but have noticed your clothes fit better, you have my sympathies. The scale is a punk.