This week and next, I am cheating on my diet. A little background: Since January 7th, my 25th birthday, I have been on the Atkins diet. I have lost 91 pounds, dropping from 411 to 320. I have never been as happy about my body and my self-image as I am now. However, after seven months on this diet, I was missing some of my longtime favorite foods. I chose these two weeks because they coincide with the end of my summer break from college and with my annual vacation time.
During the first week, I’m at home. I’ve had all sorts of forbidden foods this week – pizza rolls, peanut butter pie, homefried potatoes, ice cream, barbecue, Coke. You know what I realized during this week? I didn’t miss any of this stuff nearly as much as I thought I had. Not a single item I ate during this week is worth weighing over 400 pounds. No food is worth that. Being on a regimented diet plan made me much more aware of everything I put in my mouth, and all these foods did was make me sick to my stomach and give me a headache. Why did I stuff myself with these things for years? Why did they seem so incredibly worthwhile for so long? How did I let food get such a level of control over me? How can so little a thing be so powerful? I was an emotional eater for a very, very long time. Food was the only comfort – the only stability in a very chaotic world. It isn’t any longer. I don’t live for eating anymore; I eat when I’m physically hungry, because my appetite is mostly gone. I don’t sit and disappear a whole box of crackers anymore. And I don’t miss any of these things. I don’t miss my formerly-beloved over-processed snackies. I don’t miss constantly nibbling. I don’t miss the blood sugar roller coaster.
Next week, I’m going to be in Manhattan, the foodie capital of the US. I’m looking forward to exploring all sorts of exotic foods I can’t get here, and on top of that, most of my Atkins-friendly foods are most easily prepared at home, as opposed to ordered at a restaurant. Although I will enjoy the experiences there, I am looking forward to getting home and getting back on track with my diet plan. This is the first time I’ve ever been on a diet where I regretted cheating. I want to get back on it and drop the 60 pounds I have left, to drop me to 260. Even after I drop to my goal weight, I think I’m going to stick with Atkins. Eating my old foods is making me feel ill – I have a headache, I can feel my blood sugar spiking and dropping, and even though I’m stuffed from my dinner, my mind is feeling hungry. I hate the feeling, and I think I might have a hard time making it two whole weeks.
So, anyone else have any cheating stories to share like this? Any other former food addicts out there have anything to tell? I expect this thread to drop like a stone, but I wanted to tell someone my revelation.