I know what you're thinking:
"Another generic post about a girl who is dieting after New Years. Why did I even click on this crap in the first place?"
And I am agreeing with your pre-emptive thoughts; this article is probably going to be crap. If you're a newfound 'healthy lifestyle' seeker and are looking for a listicle on meal prep tips or 'The Best Tea Brands That'll Boost Your Metabolism,' I suggest you click out of this read all together. I'm pretty much writing this shitty post to express my own feelings about trying to tackle a healthier lifestyle. Disclaimer: I'm not too happy about it.
I started off 2017 like thousands of others across the U.S.: by staring into a mirror and inspecting my recent weight gain, thinking, "Well, I guess everybody else is doing it. It's time to put down the weekend beers and late-night munchies. Where the carrot sticks at?" Wait...sorry. I guess we should take a quick look back to see how I got to where I am today (body-wise, of course).
I have always been a consciously healthy eater-- cooking myself chicken and veggies most nights, choosing whole grain over white-- you know the gig. However, for reasons that not even I could comprehend, I found myself browsing the candy aisles at CVS and opting for a lunch pizza as opposed to my usual veggie wrap sometime around November this year. Sure, I'd treat myself every so often to a few chocolates around Halloween, and I'd maybe have the occasional ramen noodle bowl on a cold, Sunday afternoon. I started weaving what was once my 'treat' into my everyday eating routine. I also began switching out 'vodka waters' for 30 racks of beer during my weekend outing at school (I found that I felt better the following morning if I didn't drink hard alcohol...it only took me four years to figure that one out). I was multiplying my calories right when that frigid Western Mass weather started to creep in, and OK; it's safe to say I wasn't throwing on my running shoes and bracing the cold to exercise like I definitely should have been.
The less healthy my routine began, the more I was looking into the mirror and seeing that I hadn't really gained much weight; or at least I wasn't noticing it. Yeah, my skin wasn't as clear, but I still managed to fit into my 'going out' jeans and I could kind of pull off my freshman year crop-tops (I know, I'm 22. I need to start getting rid of those things). I figured it was due to my metabolism, and I would thank it every day that I grabbed a bowl of fettuccini alfredo from the dining hall. Once school ended and I went back home to the Cape, I figured, "Eh, not much has changed. Maybe I'll start being healthy once spring semester starts. Christmas is coming up anyway, and there's no chance I'm going to watch what I eat then." Well, Christmas came. The amount of food I ate on that day could have fed Hyannis' NOAH Shelter, and for that, I still feel guilty. Then, New Years. My boyfriend and I drove up to Quebec City, stopping at every fast food place you could think of during the ride. And once we were in sweet, sweet Canada, we indulged ourselves with comfort food after comfort food. And there's a reason why Canada isn't exactly known for its healthy food options. There aren't many.
I came back to Cape Cod with memories of maple, poutine and meat pot pie, and boy, was it more than just a memory when I stepped on my scale. I actually think my heart stopped when I saw the number reflecting back at me, sinking deeper into my soul with each breath I tried to take. It was New Year's Day, and I had to regain control of my body.
So here I am, Day 9 of my 'healthy lifestyle initiative'. And it sucks.
I start my day with either a couple of runny eggs (with yolk, I'm not a psycho) or a bowl of Special K. I'm trying to quit my coffee addiction (due to late afternoon headaches) and instead I am replacing it with a big ol' hot cup of green tea, which I'm used to drinking in the afternoons, but boy does it not even come close to that black coffee caffeine high in the morning. I'll eat a couple pieces of fruit if I get hungry before lunch, and I'm trying my hand at quinoa burrito bowls as a lunchtime option (no cheese or sour cream; it makes me die a little inside). I'll eat some carrots and hummus for an afternoon snack when I'm craving nothing but the Cape Cod chips that sit pretty in my pantry, and for dinner, I'm still eating whatever my mom makes, which is always a healthy variety of meat, vegetables and a starch. Where I once had the equivalent of a second dinner in my late-night snacks, I have given up completely, which has caused me to fall asleep with my stomach softly rumbling, whispering variations of "Ice cream...Tostitos..." as I slumber.
I know, I know, it's only the first week. I'm praying my body gets used to the lack of processed, salty and sugary treats that it ever-so cozied up to these past months. It's not like I'm doing anything even drastic, really. I'm eating pretty much exactly how I used to back in the day, but now I know how easily it takes to become addicted to junk. Six months ago, I never would have touched a piece of leftover cake if it was sitting in my fridge. Now, I'd eat three pieces, and my body would still crave that sugar the next day. It does suck that it only took a couple months of living on the dark side to get lost in that endless tunnel, and I know that it's going to take me a few more to be able to see the light. But for now, I am hungry, and pissed off that I can't seem to satisfy this hunger with these carrots and hummus that I keep snacking on. I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and keep on living like a rabbit if I want to get my body back.
And if you're reading this and are feeling the same type of way, at least you know that that makes two of us. Good luck to all you resolution dieters out there; I sure as heck know I'm going to need it.