The Emotional Journey

Triumph and Defeat 

Every day was the same lie over and over again. The lie only contained one word, “tomorrow”. Tomorrow I will eat right. Today I will eat this ice cream. Today I will eat this burger. I was in denial about why I was gaining weight at such a rapid rate. It was always something else’s fault. “It’s because I quit smoking”. “It’s the medicine I’m on”. “It’s because I had gallstones”. Deep down I knew it was because I kept putting off eating the way I should. The worst part was that the more helpless I felt about the weight gain, the more junk and ice cream I would eat to make myself feel better. “My weight is already out of control. One more blizzard won’t hurt.”, I would always say. The more I ate the less satisfied I became. I just wanted more and more. I was no longer in control. My life was ruled by sugar. I actually used to wake up just so I could eat cookies for breakfast. Sometimes I didn’t even mean to eat them but I was hungry and it was so much easier to grab a few cookies than it was to make myself a meal. I was going to the gym but I was seeing no progress. I was running anywhere from 1-4 miles a day and I was still consuming more calories than I could burn. Once I got to work things would get worse. I was surounded by food and overcome by boredom. This made the temptation that much greater.


Finally after having enough I told my doctor I needed help; my weight was spinning out of control and I couldn’t stop it. He referred me to a nutritionist. As a former nutrition student I wasn’t sure what a nutritionist could tell me that I didn’t already know but at that point I was game for anything or anyone that could help. When I stepped into her office I had two choices to make. Lie to her the way I had been lying to myself or finally be honest with myself and also tell her the truth. I chose the latter. I felt that it was a waste of time and resources to continue the lie. I was only hurting myself. I told her all about how I would eat sweets multiple times a day, that I felt like it was an impulse. I was addicted. I told her about how easy it had been for me to continue not to smoke because my boyfriend refused to date a smoker but I knew he wouldn’t break up with me for eating cake so I ate cake. She asked me how I was able to get over the addiction of cigarettes and I said, “I didn’t want to be single”. She thought that comment was pretty funny but it was true. What I ended up asking myself afterward was, “what if I keep going down this road? Would I be single anyway because I ate my way to my own grave? This is my health we’re talking about. Why don’t I apply the same thought process I had with smoking to food?”  I shared that idea with my nutritionist and she thought it was a wonderful idea. She told me that it takes three weeks to break a habit and six weeks to break an addiction. So she helped me set a goal for the next three weeks. Originally she set my goal to one dessert a day. I felt that wasn’t good enough so I set it to one a week. She was shocked that someone who had just shared how addicted to sugar they were was setting such a high goal for themselves. She asked how confident I felt and I said, “very”.  She told me I had to reward myself and it couldn’t be with food. So I picked something I had needed so badly that I had actually been looking to get before that appointment. My reward was shoes. This would be the catalyst for my success over the next 21 days.


Unfortunately old habits die hard and the first thing I saw when I got home was that my boyfriend had bought lemon heads and without even thinking I grabbed the box tilted it in my mouth and chewed the yummy goodness til it was gone. It was shortly afterward when I realized what I had done. I had eaten my one dessert for the week. Each day I was quickly disappointed when I stepped on the scale. It barely moved. I was so sure that I would see some drastic changes in the numbers. After all I had made a pretty drastic change to my diet. The disappointment was there but I was willing to do everything in my power to get those shoes! Finally Friday came and I had made it one whole week only eating one dessert. The scale had only moved by one pound but that didn’t matter because I had accomplished a feat that I hadn’t been able to before. One more week passed and I was down 3 pounds now. That Friday I felt like I needed a day to myself so I went downtown for some time to myself to regroup. Once I got there I headed for, The Gyro Stop because I had been craving a Gyro for days! After walking around for a while I decided I wanted a glass of wine and some time to relax. I headed toward my go to place, The Spar. Instead of wine I ordered a glass of blackberry hard cider and a small pizza to offset the alcohol. The cider was so delicious I ended up ordering a second glass. Unfortunately it had a little more alcohol than I realized so I ended up ordering a round of Cajun tots and lots of water to get rid of my buzz. It was a great day but all that extra food took a toll on my progress with weight loss. The next morning I had found that I gained two pounds back. I couldn’t believe it. I knew I was going to have to work extra hard the next week. So I buckled down. I measured everything I ate and used a calorie counting app called Lose It! I made sure to stick to my rule of one dessert per week and I stayed away from eating out.  By Thursday of the third week I had lost a total of 5 pounds! I was so excited! Plus I got to buy my new shoes. I was finally making progress.


Shortly after I had my follow up appointment with my nutritionist I recieved a package in the mail. They were two pairs of jeans I had ordered because my other ones had started getting tight the month prior. I tried them on and they fit like a perfectly tailored glove. It was the first time I had made the decision to return clothing that fit so well. I made the decision to return them because for the first time, I hadn’t been saying tomorrow. I was saying yesterday. Yesterday I chose to be healthy and tomorrow I won’t be starting a new diet, tomorrow I’ll be able to fit into those jeans that used to be tight.



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