"Though you cannot go back and start again,
you can start from now and have a brand new end."
ďWhatís wrong with me?Ē
Iíve asked myself this question many times over the last few days. Iím sorry to say that
I havenít completely found the answer yet... but I am getting closer. I do take refuge in the knowledge that Iím
not the only one asking this question. I believe that almost everyone who has attempted to lose weight, and failed,
has asked this question at least once.
"But Amy," you might be saying... "you are a successful low carber! You have
met your goal! Why are you asking yourself that question?"
Because I seem to be in a limbo of sorts right now. Iím between temporary success and permanent success. Iíve successfully lost 45 lbs and almost as many inches. Iíve reached, and surpassed, my goal of a size 6. What could I possibly be talking about? Two words — Carb Addiction.
Since reaching my goal in March of this year, I have become complacent - and lazy. This is painful to admit, but true. Iíve slowly been adding back good carbs such as whole grains and berries as Iím supposed to. But Iíve also found myself more lax.
For example: Going out to dinner with my husband and children, in my OWL days, would
have been a great treat. If we opted for pizza, I could easily scrape off the toppings for my meal and/or have a salad, and be very content.
Now that Iím at my goal, I seem to have adopted the mindset that I can have the crust
"After all," says the Carb Demon on my shoulder, "you've skipped the crust for a year and a half now... it won't hurt to allow yourself a slice or two now that you are no longer needing to lose weight."
So, as I am contemplating eating crust and all, the sensible and all knowing Good Health Fairy taps me on the other shoulder.
"You know," she says, "there really is no nutritional value in the crust. And although it may be fine just this once, I know you too well. You will make it a habit instead of a treat. You are an addict!
Now I have an emotional dilemma. Do I eat the crust? Or do I err on the side of caution and skip it?
Have you found yourself here? Itís frustrating, isn't it?
Why do we sometimes do things we know arenít good for us? I wish I knew.
Then there's another thing that nasty little fellow often says to me:
"When are you going to start being normal again?"
Normal? Ouch! That hit a nerve.
As a low carber I have repeatedly stuck out because of my eating habits. The thought of
being normal again is tantalizing. Be honest - how often have you sat in a McDonalds, peeling the bun off your burger and wondering how many people watching thought you were nuts. It shouldnít bother us. But in truth, it sometimes does. Then there is always the annoying fear that someone will realize that you are low carbing and give you a lecture on how you are ruining your health. (Thanks for the tip. Now go eat your McFlurry and let me die in peace.)
But really, what is "normal?" For me, low carb IS normal. To go back to my high carb ways now
would seem very foreign to me. I refuse to let others determine what is normal for me. So now when
that little demon tries to push the issue of being like everyone else, I simply remind him that I
am normal. I am me.
Oh... In case you are wondering — I ate the crust.
Did I regret it? Yes. Not because I felt guilty afterwards. I didnít. But because I
later found myself wanting more, just as the Good Health Fairy said I would. Carb addiction
is a vicious cycle. For some, it can start with something small, and then escalate from
there. Addictions are hard to overcome. Low carb is the only avenue for control I have found.
Why did I cave in when I knew what would happen? Did I feel deprived on low carb? The answer is
easily no. I love what I am allowed on my low carb plan. So, itís time to scrutinize my motives.
In taking a look at the situations in my life at this time, my environment, and my daily
schedule, I start seeing a problem.
So, back to my question. Whatís wrong with me?
- I have a bit of stress in my life at this time. Nothing to write home about, but enough to
cause me some emotional upheavals here and there. I used to always look for solace in my favorite
high carb foods, in my pre-lc days. This explains the aforementioned pizza crust, but I have
slowly found myself doing the same with my favorite LC foods.
My solution: find other outlets for my emotions. Play piano, go for a walk, play with my children, read a good book, or just get out of the house - away from the food. There are endless possibilities of escape for those of us who fight this particular battle.
- I am disorganized around the house lately. This always leads to disarray in other areas
of my life. Eventually it has led to chaos in my eating. Iím not being as careful about counting
carbs as I should be and have been the victim of carb creep.
My solution: To get my life back in order. Keep things running smoothly
and everything will, for the most part, fall back into its proper place.
- Iíve been too busy. I see now that Iím so busy doing other things that Iím no longer taking
the proper time needed to take care of myself. I used to spend a little time each day planning
meals and snacks. Cooking what I needed so I would always have an acceptable snack or quick meal
on hand. Instead I now grab a low carb bar or other lc convenience food that, while okay once in
awhile, have mostly caused me cravings instead of hindering them.
I also find Iím no longer getting in the vegetables or water that I should be. My energy levels
are lagging and my outlook has not been as high.
My solution: Make time for me! Although I feel many of the things I do on a
daily basis are important, taking care of myself should be a priority also. If I donít
take care of me, how can I expect to efficiently handle my dayís duties?
Nothing. I just need to admit that Iím human, roll up my sleeves, and do what needs to be done.
Now, to look at why food and carbs plague us like this in the first place, let's look to
Part Two, written by Lora — "Habits, Control, and Addiction."