Oh, the things we learn on vacation, when we're not supposed to be studying anything but blue skies and calm ocean breezes.
My family and I went on a cruise last week, which offered unlimited food 24-hours a day, a beautiful pool and pool deck, great adventures, and a fantastic gym overlooking the ocean.
Do you think I took advantage of the gym?
OK, so I did once, and got a good workout in. That in and of itself shows significant progress in my lifestyle. However, I also took advantage of the unlimited food around me all the time, that seemed to always be calling my name. Huge breakfasts, complete with delicious pastries that I never let myself eat at home (because they're never as good.) 4-course lunches in the dining room with full-sized desserts and coffee. A snack while lounging at the pool or walking around the port. My daily 5:30 feast of surprisingly good sushi. ENORMOUS dinners in the dining room every night, where I feasted on rich, buttery sauces and delicious breads and at least one dessert every night (and 3 on one night when I couldn't choose and a bite of each just wasn't enough...I know, I know...)
And then there were the small snacks eaten because I was passing by them...the warm baby croissants, the cheese platters, the cookies, the freshly fried tortilla chips, pretty baby desserts that always look better than they taste (though I ate them anyways.)
I realized something on this vacation: I am addicted to food. OK, so maybe I've realized it all along and haven't wanted to admit it, but there's no denying it now. It's definitely the problem that will plague me for the rest of my life.
I am addicted to food the way others are addicted to cigarettes or alcohol. I want it, I need it, I crave it, and once it's in my presence, there's no stopping me. I HAVE to eat it. Even during the times I restrain myself, my first and foremost thought is of how I can get that food into my mouth.
I've spent the last 18 months learning how to control myself when it comes to food. When I'm at home, I control what I eat and when I eat it. No one but me does the grocery shopping, so I take the easy way out by keeping the crap outside of the house. But when it comes to situations where the control of what's around is NOT in my hands, I'm still a bloody mess.
I also came to realize that there will never, ever be a time in my life where I'm not a slave to food and the emotions that come with it. I will never eat a croissant on vacation without feeling guilty, or stop being proud of myself for making good food choices. I will never be able to slip up without feeling like a failure, and I will ALWAYS have to work to put myself back on track. I'll never be one of those people who eats healthfully and exercises all the time just because they enjoy it. For me, a healthy lifestyle will always mean putting up with moments like those on the ship and struggling my way through them and feeling guilty when I give in.
I have to admit, I've been wishing lately that I was one of those people who was just naturally skinny and beautiful. One of those people who never has to think about the consequences of the food that passes through their lips. I'll never be that way, and no matter how much weight I lose, I'll always struggle with food.
I know everyone has their issues, but sometimes I'd rather mine not be this one. People are supposed to enjoy food, right? I'm a little (OK, a lot) pissed off that that privilege will always be taken away from me due to my emotional attachment to food.
Bear with me as I struggle to climb back on board with this whole weight-loss thing. I need support and love more than ever right now.