I need to have a word with all of you, my readers, and I hope that you will receive this as it is intended. This is a plea for understanding and a little bit of credit; not a rant, not tirade, and certainly not an attack on ANY of you. Over the past few weeks I've engaged in multiple conversations here, on facebook, and through email with multiple individuals regarding my food choices and I'm somewhat tired of repeating myself so I thought I would just answer everyone here, all at once, for all to see.
I am a little disappointed that someone always seems to criticize my choices no matter what I eat lately. Two months of veggies and chicken out the window over a plate of nachos? I can't help but wonder if anyone offering criticism is as "perfect" in their diet as they think I should be. I am the only person I know (other than "266") who has the courage to post my daily food choices for everyone to see; and I know that by doing that I am more or less inviting criticism but I would ask all of you, my beloved readers, for a little slack. I'm only human and I think I've done pretty damn well!
I have now gone more than 7 months without drinking a single, solitary cola. It's been two months since I've had any form of soda at all. I've increased my water intake, forced myself to eat fruit in spite of the fact that I don't even like any of it, started taking a multi-vitamin, decreased my daily caloric intake, got a gym membership so I would stop doing floor exercises, and haven't touched my shake-weight in I-don't-know-how-long all based on your feedback; which I DO value. I haven't had a cheese burger or a hot dog since Thanksgiving. I've cut my coffee creamer intake in half. I haven't been to Dairy Queen or Yogurt Rocks in three months. I have two half-empty bottles of wine in my fridge that I resist every single night because I am now aware of their caloric levels. Can any of you say you've done all of those things too? I have literally had arguments and full-blown fights with "Temptation" over eating at buffets or hanging out with friends because I am afraid of the temptations that I will have to face in those places. I am not a dieter who goes through the day eating whatever happens to land in front of her face and then adding up the calories at the end of the night with her fingers crossed. I add everything I eat, as I eat it; it has become an obsession. Every single food choice I make is made deliberately by weighing the reward and choices against the consequences; I choose where we eat based on how many calories I have available at the end of the day and even with that I have to take "Temptation's" wants and needs into account.
I started this journey because, during the summer, I thought I would have to dump "Temptation" if I ever wanted to be skinny again; not because of his choices but because of the fact that I've always lost weight when single and gained it when in a relationship; and because I thought that I didn't deserve to be with him because of my weight. I started this journey because I refused to make that choice and decided that I would be in love and healthy at the same time and nothing was going to stop that. I will not destroy my relationship with "Temptation" by trying to force him to make a change that he doesn't want to make or by sending him to do his thing while I do mine because my whole point in all of this is to preserve that very relationship, even if it means being fat. I don't call the shots for both of us, we're a team, we make decisions together, we compromise and that is not going to change.
Plus I think a huge factor in diet is portion control. I really don't think a person must cut out food they like and go for a radical change 365 days a year: I think most people who try to do that are setting themselves up for failure. Sure, some people can do it and be ok but not most. Most people, like me, have to find a balance between satisfying cravings and making healthy choices. Look at Giada, the chef on the food channel. She makes loads of crappy foods, has had a baby, and still looks AMAZING! My calories have been consistently under or around 1,000 calories and I've been consistently losing weight so I still fail to see a flaw in my food choices. Yes, I have the occasional "bad" food but I think that's perfectly ok as long as I control how much and how often.
I could just stop posting foods that I know someone is going to criticize, or stop posting food entirely ... but there is a reason I do that. Knowing that I will receive criticism over cheese burgers and french fries is the motivation that has kept me away from them for two months! But between the 33 of you (and a few lurkers who follow but don't "follow") I would be eating nothing but celery and apples every day and that is not a life I even want to live.
I don't want to divorce myself from food entirely; I think I would rather be fat for the rest of my life than never eat another slice of cheese, drink a glass of wine, or hit a drive-through again. That's just not who I am and it's not even who I want to be. But I don't think I have to choose between turning into a food natzi and being fat; in fact I've proven that I don't because I have lost twenty five pounds here! Isn't that proof that it doesn't have to be all fruits and veggies all the time in order to lose weight? I'm proving that it is possible to enjoy life and food and not be obese. I'm not trying to out-exercise a bad diet, I'm just trying to find balance between good food and delicious food and I don't want to "learn to like" foods that I have hated all my life. I have been eating bananas now for three months and I still think they're disgusting.
Sure, my home-made Chicken Scallopini was gallons healthier than what they serve at Macaroni Grill but it also had about as much flavor as baking flour which means it's just a dish I will have to learn to enjoy on rare, special occasions in moderation. I could make the exact same salad with the exact same ingredients in the exact same portion size that I would get from Wendy's and I would dare to bet that the nutritional information will be exactly the same. Why? Because fast food restaurants don't put invisible secret fat in their salad. Fast food restaurants are not inherently bad anymore; it's what we choose to order there that counts. I'm living PROOF of that right? I've lost 25 lbs and I didn't do it eating nothing but celery and apples. Obviously I'm not wrong because if I were I wouldn't have lost any weight and I'd just look like a big ass here on the world wide web. But I have lost weight, the scale and the pictures show it. That is proof ... proof that I'm doing something right.
I'm not asking that you stop offering advice or criticism when it's warranted; I'm just asking for everyone to acknowledge the changes and progress I have made and cut me just a little bit of slack. Ignore the occasional order of nachos if you can see that I've spent the entire week prior making GOOD CHOICES. Don't assume that just because I didn't actually use the word veggies that it means I'm not getting any. The chicken ravioli I posted on Sunday had spinach, bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms in it; a salad is a big giant bowl of veggies; pico is chopped up tomatoes, onions, and peppers and that's it! It's a literal bowl of fruits and veggies. Now if I eat more than one plate of nachos a week or I start having skinny cow ice cream every single night then yeah ... feel free to step up and state your piece. But the idea that one splurge in an entire week completely negates my "diet" when I've eaten less than 1,000 calories for the day and have lost 25 lbs in 63 days doesn't even make sense to me.
Please, I'm only asking for a little understanding. I'm human, I'm not a robot or machine. I don't want to give up the joy that I experience from food entirely, I just want to learn to control it. That's all. That's my plan. And so far I have proven that my plan can work because I've lost a very acceptable amount of weight in an equally acceptable amount of time.
p.s. I'm going to an all-you-can-savor wine tasting sometime soon because I want to. I've given it an awful lot of thought and damn it, I think I deserve it. Valentines day is coming up maybe we'll go then, or maybe we'll go before then when it's not likely to be as crowded I don't know but I'm going and I'm going to enjoy it and I'm not going to feel guilty about it. Why? Because I haven't been in over 6 months and we always have a good time when we go and one blooming night of wine and black truffle cheese will not ruin everything I've accomplished. Does giving a sailor shore leave make him any less of a soldier? No: in fact, the military believes that leave time is necessary and contributes to the effectiveness and dedication of soldiers. I'm going to be taking a shore leave one day soon, and I'm going to like it.
Thank you for your time and I am sorry if I have offended any of you. I like to think that we can disagree without damaging our friendships.