I Am That Girl Now

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Feelin' fake.

For strength training today, it was back exercises. I guess I did 'em right, because wow, I'm SORE. It's a good kind of sore, the "wow, you really worked that" sore. I'm in need of that sort of feedback from my body at the moment, that kind of reminder that yes, I'm accomplishing a few things, because right now I feel like such a faker. The fact that it's my stupid little 7 1/2 lb. weights that did this to me, combined with the reminder that I haven't been really pushing myself for speed on the treadmill for the past month or two... oh, and I haven't talked about the cliff I walked myself off this weekend.

Big faker.

I'll start with the good news: I ate a very light dinner last night, when at last my stomach was up to eating. I obeyed my checklist that I've been ignoring for a full week-- I drank water with the meal, I brushed my teeth afterward, I got a single precious thank-you card written, I opened up a Word file and wrote for fifteen minutes (even though I still can't find a starting place on the damn novel, I need to at least get my brain used to stringing sentences together for fictional purposes again-- exercise, exercise, exercise). I washed my face and went to bed before 10 PM.

Okay, now the bad news, which is everything else from the whole weekend.

I don't like chips. I swear to God, I don't like them. They're greasy, they're substance-less-- yeah, there's crunch, but after that point it's like they dissolve into mush with very little chewing involved-- they're tasteless beyond the salt and any Flavor On Steroids powder.

At the Free Lunch On The Company Nickle on Friday, I had chips. I tasted a bunch of different kinds, since there were a bunch of different kinds out there. And that would have been fine, had I not broken a very important rule and wandered back into the kitchen later... and got more chips.

On the third trip to get more chips that afternoon, I absconded with the 1/4 bag of Doritos left over. Ate 'em at my desk.

I've already made my confessions for Friday night-- in which we raided the grocery store and got ice cream and pizza and those damn pretzel things. Saturday I did pretty well-- well, we ate out at a Mexican place for dinner, but it balanced out a bit with the fact that I hadn't eaten all day before that. (D'oh.) Sunday I had a horrible sinus headache, and while waiting for it to go away I agreed to my Hub's terrible idea-- that we should go out for brunch. "Brunch" does not mean the same thing to us. I imagine plates of gorgeous fruit and bowls of honeyed yogurt; he thinks of diner food, skillet eggs and pancakes and toast and bacon. Guess where we ended up? Guess who was in a foul enough mood by that point that she gave up and ordered fried eggs and ham? Guess who was cranky enough over this that she bought a slice of poundcake when she was out grocery shopping for fruit and veggies later? Guess who, when neither of us could be bothered to make dinner that night, proceeded to eat a PB&J sandwich, buffalo popcorn, and the remains of the tape-wrapped Ben & Jerry's?

Yes, that would be me. But it gets worse.

Monday, having sworn to myself once again that I was back on track, I promptly went to the kitchen (BAD Meg!) and snagged the big bag of Chex mix left over from Friday. And two candy bars from the vending machine. I ate a LOT yesterday morning. Mindless, brainless, caught up in this evil delight. Inner Cartman running amuck. Oh my God. Very bad.

I was too sick to eat lunch. I thought I was going to spend all afternoon throwing up. I didn't, in fact, throw up, but how I managed that I will never know. To make things even more exciting, I'd put down about 60 ounces of water with all that salty Chex mix, and it was all staying with me; the bloat was amazing.

I am, without a doubt, the biggest idiot that has ever lived. (And frankly I'm kind of waiting for all of you guys to inform me that it's been nice knowing me but wegottagonowsorry-- and zip away. God, I suck.)

To my (very, very negligable) credit, I threw away the rest of the Chex mix. I got my & my Hub's new habit-- cuddling & such immediately after work-- started, in spite of my icky stomach. I did work on a household project. And I did the rest of the stuff I already mentioned, because there was no way in hell I was going to spend another minute on this terrible backslide.

I have come to grips, this morning, with the fact that I am not a very good girl by nature. I like most of the good-girl stuff, but there's something that really deliciously tempting about breaking rules, sneaking around, getting away with it. I don't like the chocolate, I don't like the chips, I just really, really like the thrill, the hunt, the challenge of smuggling something past prying eyes, the relish of engaging in forbidden activity in a semi-public space where I might get caught. I even like it as a team sport-- running out for terribly-bad-for-us food with my Hub and eating a horrible amount of it while drinkin'. But then, sneaking treats for myself when the Hub doesn't know is also something that I seem to really enjoy planning out and carrying out.

The thing that kills me here is that I really don't like the food. And the more I think about it, I'm not doing this for the food-- I'm doing it because I could get in trouble if I got caught, and I enjoy getting away with it. God, I must have been a cat burglar or a con man in a past life. More likely, this is just a result of childhood conditioning. Sneaking food in my parents' household (specifically, sneaking it past my dad) was my way of having independence, ducking the endless, vicious criticism for my habits and Dad's occasional household crackdowns on junk food. I scored mental points for my brilliant sneaking abilities, because that meant I was out from under his thumb and-- bonus!-- he didn't even know it.

The problem with the Day Off idea-- besides the fact that my Hub apparently mistranslated this into "Eat Anything On The Weekend!"-- isn't the food. The food I could handle. The problem is that I long for hijinks, and when I get a taste of misbehaving I just want more and more hijinks of my very own. Clearly, ignoring this little streak of pure evil is just setting me up for trouble.


My Hub does something occasionally that he refers to as his version of "counting coup"-- when he knows he can't afford a particular video game until payday, he'll go to the store anyway, pick up the game, hold it in his hands, and then put it back. Assuring himself that he could have bought it if he wanted to, neener neener. Maybe I need to steal the idea; get all the sneaking and a more diet-friendly end product. Maybe if I pro-actively sneak out to get only-mildly-bad products every once in a while-- or, more usefully, non-foodstuff products-- then my evil streak would settle down and stop freaking out.

Maybe next time I could take the further challenge that if I sneak food from the kitchen, I must sneak it right back. Double sneakiness.

God, I'm a tool. Anybody out there still talking to me after this revelation?


  • Yes, you tool, we're still here. (At least I am!) And I'm here to assure you that I'm a champion food-sneaker and have really been trying to come to grips with it myself, lately.

    (I mean, when a gal starts grocery shopping ALONE instead of going with her husband - who is WILLING to grocery shop - just so she can secretly scarf down a mini bag of Fritos in the aisles... it's time to do something. Gah.)

    Here's hoping we're both up to that challenge!

    By Anonymous Stenya, at 2:10 PM  

  • Not that I'm any sort of paragon of good eating (especially lately), but when I'm being good, I like to visit the bad food, kind of like your husband and the video game.

    I'll go to the store for a fruit and veggie stock-up, and I'll walk past the chocolate cake and the tubes o' cookie dough and the fancy cheeses, just to see them.

    I would have thought it would make me want to eat that stuff, but as long as I know I'm there for something else, it's enough just to say hi to the cake that I never buy and imagine just for a second, taking a fork to it.

    By Blogger Noames, at 2:23 PM  

  • oh meg, of COURSE we're still here. you are so tough on yourself... :)

    i wish i knew what to say but all i can say is how much i empathise with the 'thrill of the steal' kind of thing. someone can put a plate of cookies out at work and i can ignore them all day but when left alone they're suddenly so tempting... sigh

    By Anonymous dietgirl, at 3:26 PM  

  • Hello!

    I'd like to suggest something . . .what about the possiblity that you are not a tool, just a human? And a pretty brave one at that, to post not only your victories but your momentary defeats as well.

    Try to be a little less hard on yourself. It's great that you've been able to track down the problem to old behaviours learned at home--a lot of times figuring out why we do what we do is the hardest part. Now is the easy part; figuring out how to trick or distract yourself.

    I went through nearly three bread rolls smothered with butter last night before I figured out what was really bothering me. And a lot of what it turned out to be was not as big as I was making it out to be.

    So, from one perfectionist, to possibly another: It's okay to screw up, and it's probably not as bad as you think!

    By Anonymous RosyBlue, at 3:47 PM  

  • LOL...I had a similar "food at work" sneaking episode the other week. It was a Russell Stover chocolate Easter Bunny in my case. I was fine as long as it stayed wrapped up in foil in it's beribboned plastic box, but as soon as someone else broke the seal on Peter Rabbit and took his head as a trophy, the challenge was ON for me. I think I ate most of the poor bugger's body down to the base, one little chunk at a time, each time I walked past on the way to the restroom, or stopped in the kitchen for a water refill. And I had a few of the jelly beans nearby, too, for good measure.

    No one caught me either, though I confessed in my blog under the Awful Truth section the next day.

    It wasn't about the food for me, either. You are right--it's the thrill of the sneak/steal. Even knowing that I was scrapping my deficit for the day wasn't enough to stop me because it was more fun getting over on the world.

    That said, I'm glad I have a set of iron-clad rules for my current Progress and Perfection challenge that will make further Bunny Nibbling impossible.

    It's all about knowing how your own mind works, why you do certain things, and then coming up with ways to prevent those things from happening again. You seem to be an expert at these steps already, so don't dwell too long on a temporary aberration.

    By Blogger Maggie, at 5:44 PM  

  • LOL! Okay, okay, I am not alone. Thank God. I feel a lot better now.

    By Blogger Meg, at 7:25 PM  

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