No, really. This is going to be WAY TMI. But I don’t care.
Oh, wait. I wasn’t supposed to type that last part.
Sometimes I think I’m not quite right in the head. (Stop snickering.) This week has been . . . well, weird. Half my brain is Committed To Staying On Plan, and the other half of my brain is sneaking around, trying to eat crap food before the first half notices.
Half 1: “So, I’ve planned our meals for the week, and I know you like treats, so I made some of these low-cal brownies, and – HEY!! WHERE DID 4 OF THOSE BROWNIES GO?!”
Half 2: “Brownies? What brownies? There are brownies?”
Half 1: “Don’t start with me, you know there were – HEY! WHY ARE THERE BROWNIE CRUMBS ON YOUR FACE?!”
Half 2: *whistles innocently*
Half 1: “Now you’re just spitting brownie crumbs all over the place!! KNOCK IT OFF!!”
I’ll give you three guesses which one’s winning, and the first two don’t count.
I was watching this go on (with the . . . THIRD half of my brain? now I’m REALLY worried), and wondering WTF it was all about. And then I checked my calendar and realized that I’m about 10 days out from my period. (See? I TOLD you there would be TMI. You should have stopped reading THEN. Don’t complain about it now.) I went through this last month, too: this one week where I would somehow manage to see a food, pick it up, put it in my mouth, chew and swallow – all before I even had a conscious thought about it. There were literally a couple of times where I’d stand there and think, “I just ate that brownie. Why did I eat that? I don’t think I even really WANTED it. It was just there. Did I really just eat that?” It’s kind of like a waking version of sleepwalking. Weird.
And when I DO think about it, the Rebellious Child part of my brain (aka Half 2) just plunges ahead, anyway. Most of the time I overrule her, but sometimes (I guess every week before my period starts) she’s extra-fast and super-determined. So I stand in Starbucks, arguing with myself over whether I’m getting my usual Americano or whether I’m getting a soy mocha. And I think I’ve won the argument. Then I get to the counter and open my mouth and Rebellious Child bellows out, “One grande soy mocha, please!” (Well. At least I was successful in veto-ing the largest size.) And for just a moment, RC lives in the front of my head. Almost literally: in those moments there is a sort of pressure in my forehead, the internal equivalent, I guess, to that willfullness and determination manifested most clearly by 2-year-olds. And in that moment, while she takes over my brain, I can’t seem to activate the override button: I can’t seem to correct my order or just throw it out and re-order. I will drink that damn soy mocha.
If this is really a hormonal thing, I’m going to have to start tracking it. Meaning, if I know when it’s coming, I can plan for 2 things: harder workouts, and low-cal junk food. I can drink hot chocolate soymilk from home with some instant coffee in it for a LOT fewer calories than there are in those mochas. I’m wondering if I can psych out RC that way.
On a related note (and ironically, considering that I just wrote a paragraph about psyching myself out and managing my RC):
I’ve been thinking a lot about small changes and sustainability and being happy with new behaviors and not setting the bar unreasonably high and BLAH BLAH BLAH. But here’s my dilemma. One of the (future) Beck assignments is on choice, or more specifically, the lack thereof. Basically her recommendation for some things is, take the option of the table. It’s not a choice. It’s not even on the MENU of choices to be made. You’ve made your food plan and you really want an afternoon brownie that’s not on the plan? No brownies for you. No choice.
The thing is, to a certain extent, I do REALLY WELL with “no choice.” In my head the response is always, “Not an option,” and it allows me a certain level of calmness. I’m not having the argument internally, so I’m not stressed. It’s sort of an end-run around the RC negotiations.
And that works really well, right up to the point where it stops working COMPLETELY and I eat everything I can get my hands on all at one go. It’s like 80% of the time it’s GREAT, it’s AWESOME and the other 20% of the time it’s a freakin’ DISASTER. Now I realize that 80/20 doesn’t seem like a bad split, but that 20% is enough to undermine the ENTIRE 80% – it’s not like oops, I had an extra cookie. It’s more like, “Fuck this, I’m eating those cookies and 4 brownies and a pound of pasta and 2 bacon-mayo sandwiches and steak broiled with gorgonzola cheese on top and what the hell, make some gorgonzola mac & cheese while I’m at it, and give me that bottle of wine.” Not all at once, but over the course of a week or so: an extra coffee in the morning, a blended coffee in the afternoon, mac & cheese for dinner instead of something healthy. And after a few days of that, it becomes enough to offset the other 80%.
I’m trying now to figure out how to blend the two tactics: how do I know when to just declare, “Not an option” and when to negotiate? Because for all the peace of mind I get with the former, the downfall is swift and brutal. And the latter has less downfall, but the constant negotiations with RC leave me constantly anxious and stressed out.
Stuff to ponder . . .