Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Hump Day, In More Ways Than One

I watched about ten minutes of Supersize Me on MSNBC the other day, up until the point where Morgan Spurlock pukes his Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese out the window of his SUV. (I am tempted to write a tangential paragraph about my habit of sympathy puking and how one time when I was student teaching a kindergartner puked whole noodles on my feet and so I puked right on top of it to the vast horror of twenty-five six year olds and my supervising teacher, but I am a lady and so will restrain myself.)

Anyway.

In a little interview segment, Spurlock talks about how his experience with McDonald's seems similar to his last effort at quitting smoking, namely that the first three days are awful and if you can endure them, you will be good to go for the long haul. I didn't pay a great deal of attention to him at the time, mostly because my neighbors were busy being utter skanks and setting off their New Year's fireworks in the driveway and I was consumed with plotting their death, but today I realized his little two minute blurb about the three day hump was absolutely spot on. In the four years since I shrank myself down to normal size and then regained every little bit of it back, most of my attempts at getting fit have lasted three or four days, maybe a week or two at their very best, and I think I've figured out why:

I have never, ever been completely successful during a Three Day Hump, which has ultimately given me license to fail later down the way.

My first full 24-hour period of healthful eating and exercise was bliss for me yesterday. Fantastic food, excessive motivation and energy, and when I returned from the gym to lavish in the cherry blossom scented bubbles of my body wash in the shower, I felt like an absolute princess. I think I even smiled at myself in the mirror before I got into bed. So I assumed today would be just another brilliant day to tack on to yesterday.

I was only half wrong. Eating and water were great again, and I'm about to head out for a long cardio workout and for the official Breaking of the Plastic Wrap on my Pilates Video That I Bought in 2004 at Target ceremony in five minutes, but I had a couple close calls during the afternoon. My low point of the day usually hits me between two and four pm, which I know is totally common and expected. When the kids are out of my classroom and it's just me and my computer, I can barely move my muscles. When I got home today, all I wanted was more sleep, and when I awoke from my nap all I wanted was pizza. I think if I had had mozzarella and pizza sauce and pepperoni, I would've just put it in a bowl with some crackers and called it good at that point. I was grumpy, and tired, and not wanting leftover, limp, wax beans for dinner at all. I was THISCLOSE to slinging my leg over the side of my armchair, dialing up Pizza Hut, and counting Day Two as an "off day" because I was tired.

Thank God I didn't, or I probably wouldn't have updated this blog again and it would've joined my five other fatblogs in my personal bandwith cemetary plot. I allowed myself to sling my leg over the chair and eat while I was mindlessly watching television, but I ate my leftover GI-friendly stuff, chucked the beans, and had a salad instead. I had a slightly larger portion of low-fat frozen yogurt than I'd usually allow myself, but I decided that forgiving myself for that would be far easier than facing a half-empty pizza box and a broken resolve tomorrow morning. I'm willing to make mistakes, but I'm not okay with destroying myself to entertain my self-loathing anymore.

So hopefully Day Three will be a motivating one instead of a challenge like today was. Or maybe they'll all be challenges...I just don't know yet. I'm not the same person I was four years ago, and that's both a good and bad thing. This time, though, I finally feel ready to do this rationally, and with a lot more grace and humor than I afforded myself in the past.

Take very good care of you.

3 comments:

lukossmom said...

I know exactly what you are talking about. That first 3 days is really the make it or break it point. I have often been gung ho and made the food, mapped out what I was going to eat and done great the first day, then day two comes and I eat a soft pretzel or something and just call it over. I wish you much success this week. Get through tomorrow, it's day three :)

Ashley-Marie said...

Good job saying no to that pizza! Good luck on day three!

Anonymous said...

About the first three days. I found this gave a great explanation of the "first three days are the worst" phenomenon: http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/e4/. (Go to "Losing Weight", then scroll down to "The Initial Plunge".)Once you know that the pain you're going through a) will end and b) is doing helpful things, it's much easier to push over that hump.

Good luck in your journey and go easy on yourself - sounds like you've had the roughest of years and healing takes more time than we often like to admit.

- Naomi