Monday, October 26, 2009

The Girl with the Curl

Right in the middle of her forehead.

Did you guys ever hear that nursery rhyme growing up?

"There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid."
---Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This is how I feel about dieting.

(And it may actually be how I feel about myself, since my parents recited it to me endlessly and I did indeed have strange curls around my forehead, largely due to two unfortunately placed cowlicks that gave me the appearance of devil horns sprouting from either temple.)

When dieting is easy, it is very very easy.
And when it is hard, it is BLOODY INTOLERABLE!!!

Now, I'm going to indulge in what my British rellies (relatives) would call a good whinge (whine), but only for a brief second.

Here's my complaint: there are times when it's the easiest thing in the world to get up, do my exercise, eat right, follow my food plan, and just do all the things I know I need to do to achieve my goals. Sure, there may be a rough moment or two, but they're generally swept aside with a minimal effort.

It may be an overstatement to say that it's "easy." It's that it seems right. And it's easy to do what's right. It feels strong and powerful.

Then there are the days when nothing feels right, everything is a chore, and the only way to possibly feel even a little bit better is to eat. Because food makes me feel better (briefly).

And even though I know it's an illusion, a mirage, a trick I play upon myself, I find myself yearning for the fantasy. I wish it were always easy. I wish the days when it sucks SO MUCH and I feel so drained and exhausted and weak never came.

Emotional eating is like the big bad hero in a typical bodice-ripping romance novel. It comes to you, bare-chested and long-haired and oozing allure, and it sweeps you off your feet.

You fight, you resist. Put me down, you cad!!

But your own desires are your undoing. Emotional eating seduces you, pulls you closer, offers you that luscious kiss of oblivion.

Of course, in a romance novel, the hero has multiple redeeming qualities that surface over time, you fall truly in love, and everything is just fan-bloody-tastic.

In real life, we're left picking the crumbs off our lips, staring around at our unchanged surroundings, still needing to confront whatever it is that we're putting off doing.

I'll repeat my whine one more time, and then I'll banish it for the day and move on to the next thing: Why can't it always be like it is on the easy days? Why can't I ever -- once and for all -- learn that food is no magic elixir. It. Is. Just. Food.


  1. Man, Ish, I totally agree with you! It's so frustrating how it goes easy, then hard, then easy, then hard. Argh! But each week where I drop, it's a reminder of why I'm doing this, you know?

    Also, I LOVE your writing style! SO great!

  2. That's the time when you just need to put your nose to the grindstone and just churn out the healthy eating and exercising. If you can do that, then you will have it for life!

  3. Oooh, where to begin....

    I think the main thing is that as long as the 'good' days outweigh the hard days, then you're pretty much heading in the right direction.

    But I so know those times when the emotional side of you is fighting your intellect so hard to convince you that food is the answer, the sticking plaster that will make all the horridness go away. If I knew how to deal with this I would gladly tell you. And I would be slim too!


  4. Ish, I have actually written about this very thing before. I don't understand why it works this way, but it does. This is why I think we have to make the most of the good days, so we can progress as much as we can during these times.

    Keep your chin up. Like Lori indicated, you just have to push through these times. It won't be long until the next easy spell comes along.

    You CAN do it Ish, you CAN do it!