Part of successful weight maintenance is learning how to manage the various foods and social situations that inevitably surface. This weekend, my challenge was my sister-in-law's baby shower - more importantly, the cake, and ice cream, and brownies, and rice pudding (two kinds!), and cookies, and fillozes (Portuguese doughnuts) that were served at the baby shower. Portuguese folks sure know how to make some tasty sweets, and they're super hard to resist. So I planned to have a modest amount of cake, skip the ice cream, and have small bites of everything else just to taste it.
That was a pretty good plan, and I followed through on it all right. There are two problems for me, though, when it comes to eating sugary foods. The first is that I'm "out of practice" of eating them, so even a small amount hits me like a ton of bricks. Don't misunderstand me here - I have no desire to get back "into practice" of eating them! I'm just much more aware of how they affect me now than I ever have been before. The second problem is that sugar makes me want more sugar. It seems to have the same disinhibitory effect on me when it comes to sugary foods as alcohol does on pretty much any kind of food. So not only do I want more sugar, I'm much more inclined to have more sugar.
Then if you add on the fact that many of the sugary foods I had I like a lot, you can see where this is going. I'm sunk.
So yesterday I had my cake and tasters of everything but the icing. And then at dinner out at, I ordered dessert. And after that, another fillozes.
My reward? A sugar hangover this morning which made me feel like my head was packed with wool and my stomach was tied up in knots. I felt so awful this morning that I slept two hours later than I intended to, and missed my opportunity to go running like I planned. I realized this morning that how I felt when I woke up today was how I felt pretty much every morning before I started on the MNP program. Every day before I began losing weight, I felt physically awful and I couldn't think clearly. That realization was very sobering.
But not sobering enough, apparently. Today, I brought home some cake and rice pudding that my mother-in-law gave me as a care package for my husband. He had a piece of cake, I had a piece of cake. And then I started obsessing about the cake - specifically the icing. And then I caved and ate the rest of the icing that was left.
Fortunately, I realized that things were not going to get any better if the cake stayed in the house, so I put it down the sink garbage disposal before any more craziness could occur. No, I've never gone into the trash to take out something I have thrown away, but I didn't want today to be that day.
There's a reason I don't keep sweets in the house.
In the grand scheme of things, I probably haven't done myself any lasting damage - as long as this doesn't turn into a pattern. What's frustrating is that, once again, I need to feel the pain of these bad choices more than once in order for the lesson to sink into my thick skull. Lots of refined sugar might taste good, but it doesn't feel good. It makes my stomach cramp and my head light and achy, and a little buzzed right after I eat it. Then I feel bloated and sick. The buzz wears off quickly, and I'm left with just the discomfort. Which lasts.
I can't decide if I'm hoping to wake up tomorrow with another sugar hangover or not. Part of me, the part that thinks I need to be punished for my bad choices, is rooting for the sugar hangover. The more merciful part wants me not to have the hangover but to remember how icky I've been feeling for the last day and a half. The temporary pleasure is definitely not worth the pain and discomfort! And it's not worth the risk of losing the health and fitness I've gained over the past year by losing all this weight.
So at my next meal (which will be breakfast tomorrow), it's back to my healthy eating plan. Back to what I know works. Lots of veggies and salads, lean proteins, healthy fats, and sugar free drinks. Back to food that makes me feel energized and empowered and in control. Back to exercising for at least an hour a day. And back to the new life I'm building for myself.