Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Eat Yourself

So I've been dieting since my birthday a week ago, and I quit drinking caffeine.  The lack of caffeine sent me for a loop, and I experienced some foul moods and awful headaches, but I think I'm over the worst of it now.  I've been eating at the house, pretty much only when I'm hungry.  We've always had a diverse and fairly healthy diet at home, but I've never managed to eliminate the temptation to eat out or swing through fast-food drive-throughs every few days. My doctor says I've got to drop some pounds, and I know it to be true.

If I'm out on the road, everywhere I look are temptations: billboards, fast food signs, and the scent of burgers, fried chicken and barbeque, which you can suddenly smell from a mile away if you're no longer eating those things.  Yes, I can get over physical cravings, but as I remember from quitting smoking, the mind is insidious and will try arguments like "You didn't mean you're not going to eat a sausage biscuit ever again in your life, did you?  Be realistic.  How about once a week.  That would be okay, right?" or "It's rainy and grey this morning, and it's only 7:45, so if you drink a Mountain Dew you'll have all day to burn off the calories."  Evil.  Well, there are going to be temptations, and I'm going to have cravings.  What I have to tell myself is that if I'm in an area where there's a fast-food restaurant, I'm probably in an area where there's a grocery store.  If I have five minutes for a drive-through, I have five minutes to walk into a grocery store and spend the same six bucks I would have spent on a Whopper combo on a banana and a bottled water and maybe some blueberries or strawberries or wheat thins or a bag of salad or some wheat bread or even a pouch of tuna, all foods which I also enjoy but which won't kill me.

two delicious pieces of golden-brown fried chicken, taunting someone on a diet

Quick aside: that you can't eat healthy food because junk food is cheaper than vegetables is a complete fallacy, as I know from shopping for and cooking for a family of six.  Brown rice is cheap, potatoes are cheap, pasta is cheap, and you can build your meals from there.  You do have to actually cook, though.  Like people did for centuries.  I admit fresh vegetables can be a pain because they can go bad as fast as you eat them here in the South, and you have to shop more, so frozen veggies take up a lot of slack for me.  Anyone can take $25 they would have spent on pizzas for the family to the grocery store and bring home a healthy feast instead.  Any reason for not doing so is based on laziness. 

So anyway, I know I shouldn't stop and eat crappy death food.  So why in the past have I always ended up doing so, even though I know better?  Another argument my evil brain uses is that I "work hard and deserve a treat every now and then".  Well, look brain, your roommate, my body, is composed of about 15 pounds too much fat, and if I stroke out, you literally won't feel so clever.  So work with me here.  

a snake accidentally eats itself
I had an idea this morning while driving, which I haven't really thought through, but that won't stop me from sharing it with strangers.  Maybe "Losing Weight" is the wrong way to think about dieting.  It's so negative!  What a sad loss, you loser, did you lose something on your diet?  Good luck with the losing, loser.  So sad.  Well, what you're actually doing when you lose weight is eating yourself... you're eating the fat which your body has accumulated and stored.  So maybe I should think of myself as a predatory animal, and my extra fat as prey.  When I'm hungry, really I'm hunting.  The sound of my stomach growling is actually the snarling of a wolf with a fatty rabbit trembling in its jaws.  Maybe that's a mindset I can work with.  I'm not losing a part of my self.  I'm devouring it.    

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