Dairy and Sugar: You are not my friends.


A little known secret about being really heavy: most of the time you get used to being in a big body. You don’t really think about the concessions you have to make to get around or function because with each pound your body has been trained how to compensate for the extra weight. You really don’t think about being truly fat or obese until you think about doing something new or out of the ordinary… like say… getting on an airplane, social functions where you meet new people… or moving to a new city.

But there are some days when you feel fat. Your mind focuses on every extra pound and every little bulge. You’re uncomfortable when you get up, lean down or walk across the room.

You feel, quite literally, as though you are suffocating.

And of course this is because you are. You feel as though you are trapped under layers you can’t readily discard.

It reminds me of an accident I had around 1997 or so, when the airbag deployed and I was choking on the chemical cloud and felt like if I could just get out of the car I could breathe. It was then I realized the windows had broken out and I had all the fresh air I could stand.

There was no quick fix to my suffocation.

This is how I feel today trapped under all this weight.

I started out the year so great. I lost 30 pounds, I was eating the right foods and I felt healthier and lighter from the inside out. I could feel my body changing. Clothes fit better, and I didn’t quite worry too much about all the excess weight because I knew I was making healthy choices.

I knew that a healthy weight would eventually come.

But of course life threw me a curve ball, as it so often does when I’m doing so well. Unfortunately for me that healthy eating pattern was just like walking a tight rope. I was doing my best to balance as I stayed on this narrow path, meanwhile life was pelting me with all sorts of complications.

I was ripped out of my routine when I had to go to California, and then I was surrounded by people who don’t eat the way I eat. This was especially true in regards to my mother, whose love for all things fried, cheesy or sweet put me face to face with how I got so big in the first place.

It didn’t help I was dealing with the emotional bullshit that comes along with being around my family. I turned into the Ginger of old and ran circles trying to please everyone else even when there was no chance I was ever going to truly succeed.

And I lost myself in food again as a result.

Sugar is a bitch to beat. It’s an addiction, pure and simple. It creates this reaction in your brain that literally makes you physically feel better. So whenever I felt unhealthier or more depressed, sugar became my go-to drug of choice again, and I self-medicated like a m*****f*****. It’s easy to make a treat a diet staple. You go from just enjoying one dessert on occasion to *needing* something sweet every single day.

And if you don’t have it, your mood plummets even more.

The worse you feel, the more you need sugar… but the more you eat sugar, the worse you feel.

It’s an endless cycle.

Dairy works the same way, at least for me. I can go from having random servings of goat cheese to needing good ol’ yellow brick cheddar on a weekly basis. The thought of giving it up, like the thought of giving up sugar, has the same basic reaction:

How will I function without it?

How will I get through those curve balls I know life’s going to throw at me without my go-to, feel-good, self-medicating drugs of choice?

Here are my challenges:

I’m now working (or at least aiming to work) a full schedule – which doesn’t leave me a lot of time to prepare big meals. This makes quick, processed food and fast food a much more tempting option. Especially when my family of men a.) doesn’t want to eat the way I eat and b.) aren’t trained to cook for me even if they did.

Because my family of men won’t eat the way I eat, that means we have to split our grocery money down the middle to create two virtual lists. They get the cheap, processed stuff (because if I don’t cook for them, they’re not really going to cook for themselves) but my budget is through the roof with fresh produce and special ingredients that are harder to find and more expensive to buy.

BUT….

If I don’t eat properly I don’t have the energy to work a full schedule, and I don’t have the money to buy anything else than the cheap, processed food for the whole family.

It’s a vicious merry-go-round which life has spun so hard I can’t jump off it without breaking something.

But I’m gonna hafta break something…. because this is no way to live. I’m sicker more frequently and I have zero energy to do all the things that need to get done in a time frame that is shrinking by the day. I thought I could put off changing my eating habits for another month, but by the time that month comes I’ll feel even worse about myself and it’s just going to be that much harder.

So since today is a grocery day… it’s time to get back on the bandwagon. Dairy and Sugar: you are not my friends.

And you gotsta go.

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