Balance. Control. Discipline.
I like gorging myself on rich food and drinking wine over the weekend. Then I want to hit the gym, run and drink green smoothies all week. Mealtimes involve a healthy chicken and black bean burrito, with no cheese or sour cream. I’ll eat nuts and whole grains, dabble in yoga and meditation, etc.
Then Friday comes and an intense urge accompanied by euphoria hits as I start on a bottle of crisp, zesty chilled Sauvignon Blanc and salty rich snacks. The delirious deliciousness is so good, I become ecstatic with happiness. Everything makes sense on Friday night. The world is right. By Sunday I’m on ice creams and chocolate bars in a desperate attempt to pick myself up off the floor.
Lately, I’ve allowed myself to slip even further from my lifestyle standard. I’ll even eat a rich pasta dish and drink wine on a school night. Not to the point of being a hung over wretch the next day, but certainly not in a position to get up at 5:30am to go for a run.
I just sort of do my day, minus any significant exercise. I try and stick to lower fat lower sugar eating, but it doesn’t pack the same punch. It doesn’t have the heady feeling I get from eating lean protein style foods after sweating and panting, then exfoliating and moisturizing afterwards.
Eating a chicken sandwich on whole wheat knowing I barely managed to roll out of bed and wash myself just isn’t the same.
Then you hear words like moderation and balance. Yawn.
Yet here I am again. Sunday. I didn’t get out of bed until ten. I’ve eaten more chocolate than I care to admit. There are empty bottles in the recycling that I am responsible for. I’m staring down the barrel of another week.
I’m staring down the barrel of the rest of my life.
It’s not the vanity, it’s the mindset captured when I’m being a good girl. I love my indulgent weekends. But they can’t spill into my week. Not anymore. I honestly do have stuff to do.
And it’s not just about my expanding waistline. Or even the puffy eyes. Or a sluggish thought process and general state of confusion as to how exactly I got here.
My urge to nap during the day, a habit I find offensive in other situations, disgusts and compels me at the same time. It’s not those sort of things.
Okay well yes. It is those things. It’s also that I still want to be able to drink a glass or two of wine and not feel like a piece of crap who does this way too often. I want to drink that glass knowing that I earned it. Not panicking that I’m going to feel tired tomorrow, yet being unable to stop myself from swallowing yummy chilled Pinot Grigio. Chardonnay sucks.
I want to eat a piece of cheese and a few olives and not feel disgusted with myself. I want to enjoy a piece of cake and not become immediately embroiled in a ferocious yet silent debate about whether to eat cake until I feel sick or whether to stop eating all together and just cope with my salivating, twitching and excessive drinking…I mean blinking… I mean I like cake. Shit.
I’m very knowledgeable about healthy eating. I’m not limited in my ability to comprehend what is good for me and what is not. I’m just exceptionally good at justifying bad health choices.
For example, my subconscious theory that if I consume a bag of nacho cheese flavored tortilla fast enough, it doesn’t count. I have processed fake cheese corn stuck in my teeth but hardly recall eating anything so anyway what’s for dinner?
Another example? I hold sugary soft drinks in high disdain. I do not see the point in sodas or artificial fruit drinks at all. Until I wake up with a hangover and find myself chugging lemonade like it’s going out of fashion.
I’ll go back to snubbing it on Monday.
No thanks, just water for me.
At least wine has a bit of integrity. Whatchamacallit Zero? Whatsit Light? Bubbly Diet Whatever? Bah! My nose and I are going to go right up, thank you very much. Until we’re above a cold can of yourself because your carbonated caffeinated qualities accompany spicy fattening comfort food perfectly. When I drink you, I know I’m slumming it and possibly drinking cancer or dementia inducing chemicals yet I secretly fear the day you are no longer produced.
As for the ‘full fat’ soda brigade? You make me sick. Until I feel sick and drink you down like a ragged traveler who’s been lost in the desert for weeks. I love you ginger ale, don’t leave me!
I drink infused water now. My water has pieces of lemon, mint, cucumber, berries and ginger floating in it. I’m still gaining weight. It turns out my home grown kitchen herb infused H20 does not offset the doner kebab pizza I scoffed on Friday because I was freaking sick of cooking stuff involving home-made chicken stock and chopping up varying forms of bastard salad. F word I hate salad.
I’m really quite proud of my ability to resist chocolate and sweets. My true weakness is salty stuff. I’m also nauseatingly proud of my honesty. I have a problem with consuming too many salty carbohydrates. Yet you come see me on a Sunday, or when Mother Nature tweaks my biological situation and I’m stood looking at an impressively sized American candy bar and wondering if it’s big enough.
I adore running. My knees remind me that I come from a long line of short, stout (yet really awesome) peasant laborer type women who were built for constant work, but not for the elegant, graceful art of running. Bend, stoop, stir, lift, push, pull, grunt, carry, hurry up, give birth, but don’t run for goodness sake your joints can’t take it. Really?
No…I will lose enough weight off my middle one day so that I can enjoy running and my knees will shut up.
I like the gym, the cross trainer and doing weights. I don’t talk to anyone there yet I love the feeling of unity in health. We aren’t all perfect, but we are here and let’s do this people! I don’t resent the beautiful types who are there. The fact that I mentioned that shows how open minded I am. It does not betray any insecurity at all. I welcome all my gym brothers and sisters with open arms. Even the annoyingly attractive and fit ones.
I avoid eye contact like the plague and the thought of doing a group exercise class truly horrifies me on a level that needs its own blog post but…solidarity people! We can embrace health and find a better version of ourselves.
In all seriousness I love sweating. I also love eating. And drinking.
And green tea is really really boring.
So, what to do? How to find balance in health and habits? The thing is, I know I’m not alone. Lots of folks are struggling with weight and healthy lifestyle habits.
Lots of people freaking hate salad. Even with a nice dressing, extra chicken, or some alternative vegetable that isn’t lettuce. You are the bane of my existence lettuce! I heard, that lettuce has chemicals in it that actually cause hunger. Who would have thought that a bit of produce can be so cruel as well as prone to becoming soggy and tasteless?
Then again, I do like using lettuce as an alternative ‘wrap’ to tortilla or buns. Burger meat in between fresh lettuce leaves is actually okay. So is taco meat.
Fine, maybe I can’t use lettuce as a scape goat for my poor lifestyle choices. I can’t blame the unappetizing bits of soggy green stuff on café sandwiches for making me choose the cheese toastie instead.
Maybe I have to actually swallow back down my urge to isolate myself with a huge piece of black forest gateau.
Maybe I should eat in public more often. And slowly enough that I remember what I’ve consumed. But control doesn’t come easy. It doesn’t grace you with any benefits unless you make the effort and practice good old, agonizingly boring self control.
Sometimes, that means acknowledging your own madness.
Hello. My name is Jessica and I’m not entirely balanced.