Breaking up is hard to do

8 Sep

A year ago my diet consisted of mostly food in a package –  cereal, bread, chips, cookies – all the processed crap a girl could want. Today most of what I eat is not in a box – vegetables, fruit, chicken – all food close to its natural state. I don’t eat bread or pasta anymore. I have some gluten free stuff to substitute, like pretzels or cookies, when I am desperate. I have been very intentional to “do something different” with what I choose to eat and it has paid off.

It hasn’t been easy. Food is comfort. Food is social. Food is how I used to deal with stress.  Take that away, and what do you do?  Well, I didn’t go cold turkey. Instead, I broke up with food, one thing at a time. First it was potato chips. That was easy because I was never a big fan. Then it was pasta…that involved cooking anyhow. Next I broke up with cookie crisp cereal. That was HUGE. I even broke up with all soda. The break ups continued until I had just a few left. My remaining “bad dates” were McD’s ice cream, pretzels and a few other gluten free snacks.

One day my food police said “I don’t want to see any more McD’s ice cream. You can get Greek yogurt ice cream at whole foods instead.” I literally stood there and argued with him.  But you don’t understand, it’s only 150 calories, and I need something to take the edge off…I mean, look at how far I have come. What is a little snack going to do to me? What if I don’t want to? What if I don’t give it up? …..  Then it hit me. I am seriously standing here fighting to eat an ice cream cone. Really?  Really??????  This is not the fight of my life. This is not a terminal diagnosis, the loss of a loved one, a change in job status. It is a stupid ice cream cone. A STUPID ICE CREAM CONE! I broke up with it right there. No more for me. I want something different so I have to do something different again. I choose my future, not my past.

Since then I have not been through the McD’s drive through, but ice cream has been replaced with stupid pretzels. Even though they are gluten free, they give the same “crack like” response you get from wheat. I tell myself “you can just have a serving” but it never stops there. No big deal, I mean, it’s just pretzels….way better than a box of sugared cereal…don’t worry about it. And while I am mindful of not being too hard on myself here, that excuse doesn’t fly anymore…that’s what got me here in the first place. The pretzels have got to go. I may still have the urge to eat them every now and then, but it is not helpful to me. Pretzels don’t make me feel good for eating them….I just feel worse because I will suddenly have to eat the whole bag. A poor mental and physical decision. It’s not “bad ass” to break one of my self-made rules anymore…it’s “bad ass” to stand up for myself, choose something different…something better… and struggle and succeed. So my dear pretzels, I hate to do this in public, but here goes…

Dear Pretzels,

My dear old friend, it is time for us to say good bye. I’m breaking up with you. It’s not me, it’s you. Totally you. You are so wonderful and salty, but so bad for me. I don’t feel good when I eat you because you set me up for failure. In comparison to where I used to find comfort, you are not all that bad. But you are not working for me either. You are a bad stand in for peace of mind. I love you and I hate you and it is time for us to say good bye. It will be hard for me, but I will do what I can to avoid you. …Maybe this break up is about me. I choose something different. I will remember the impact you had on the scale this week when I am tempted next. I will remember how stupid I felt craving the whole stupid bag of you. I will remember all the other things I can do to manage stress. I will remember how fine and fierce and smokin’ hot I am now and will shut you down like a bad carnival ride. So long, pretzels! This girl has a much better life ahead and it doesn’t involve you.

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