This week I fell off the wagon.

In my past experiences with dieting, indulging in food, or falling off the wagon was always a huge deal. I truly felt like an addict, because if I strayed from my diet in any way shape or form, it was like I simply gave up. I would fall off the wagon, and completely get run over and off track.

This happened time and time again.

So when I started this lifestyle, I was so afraid to indulge. I knew my past, I  was so happy in my present, and I simply didn’t want to fall, because if I did, I’d never get up.

Would I?

So for the longest time I refused to indulge.

When I hit 100 pounds lost everyone asked me if I was going to have a celebration meal or treat. So many people told me to do it, that I sort of talked myself into it. I sent my husband to Iowa City to buy me a celebration cupcake.

Don’t judge me for making my hubby drive 45 minutes one way just to buy me a cupcake. Molly’s Birthday Cake Batter cupcake is worth it. Trust me. 

When it was time to eat my beloved cupcake, I made this huge deal out of it. I sat my kids around the table to eat with me. I felt excited, guilty, and excited again. I turned it into this EVENT.  Mandi cheats and eats a cupcake 2017.

I ate the cupcake and I felt…

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Get ready for it…

NOTHING!

I didn’t feel any different. Sure it tasted great, but it didn’t give me anything else. No feeling of joy, congratulations… nothing.

It showed me food has lost all power over me.

Prior to this past year, I had a horrible relationship with food.  If food and I were married, we’d be in serious couples counseling. I built up food in my mind to be so much more than it ever could be. I saw it as comfort, path to memories, my social outlet, my happiness, my boredom buster. So when food didn’t live up to those expectations, which of course it never could because it is simply a fuel for my body, I kept giving it another try and ate more and more and more. I would feel my body satisfying its need for fuel, but because I still hadn’t satisfied all the things that I was “hungry” for I wouldn’t stop eating. So, I kept on eating and eating and eating and eating with absolutely no satisfaction of my internal hunger.

Through this process I have taken the power away from food. I now know it’s none of the things I thought it was. I know it can’t make me happy, can’t keep me company or solve boredom, can’t cheer me up.

So with that said, it also has no power to throw me off track. It can’t ruin my diet.

Food has lost all power over me.

It was now just a cupcake.

So, since that moment, the stigma and fear of indulging is gone. I don’t even call it indulging, it’s simply eating!

So this past week my kids and I traveled to Chicago for Spring Break. Chicago was the absolutely perfect place for me to try out my new found confidence with “eating” because Chicago style pizza is my absolute favorite. I REALLY miss Pizza. I don’t miss much from my Carbie life…

Except Pizza.  Pizza I truly miss.

Lunch the first day we stopped at a snack stand at the base of the Sears Tower, where they sold Giordano deep dish pizzas. I ordered a pizza.

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I sat down with my family and looked at the pizza. I took a bite. Oh it tasted good, but it was really no big deal that I was eating it. Did it make me feel better? Well, sure it filled me up, but I didn’t need food anymore to fill any deeper holes. So, no alarms went off…no wagon wheels ran me over. I looked around at my family – no one was making a big deal, no judgmental looks, no worried gazes. We were just eating.

That night for dinner we visited my absolute favorite pizza place in the world, Pizzeria Uno.

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Yep…pizza twice a day!! Well, when in Chicago…

That night I had two pieces of mushroom and cheese pizza. Again no alarms, no feelings of guilt, just really a normal dinner.

So this pizza binge Chicago trip…did it do anything to this Recovering Carbie?

ABSOLUTELY NOT.

The next day I woke up, started my day, and went back to my regular eating. Life went on like the indulgences never happened. I came home, got on the treadmill and ran my 2.5 miles. Falling off the wagon had absolutely no effect over me. PERIOD.

So here’s my point of telling you all this. Don’t make indulging, or “cheat days” a huge deal in your mind.  Doing that is simply dangerous, because if you give it that power, it gives you an excuse to get off track. Indulging is nothing but giving your body a tasty form of fuel every now and then. Don’t give it any more power than that.

R.C.

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