Monday, January 14, 2008

Obligatory Whining

I love not dieting. I do. And I am a bit shocked that it's not taking any effort to eat vegetables or salads, because--shocker--I like them. There is a but, though.

I never imagined letting myself have full reign over what I eat, without consulting anyone else about it, would be so hard. On the surface this seemed great--the aforementioned freedom from consulting books on what I should eat, no running on a treadmill unless I wanted to (that's not going to happen). Just freedom.

Have you ever seen "The Shawshank Redemption?" Where the prisoners talk about getting out and committing another crime to get back in because they're lost without the structure of prison? That's the closest example I can think of for this feeling. I want the freedom but I'm scared of it, too. I have no idea what I want to eat 90% of the time, good or bad. Some days after I've been staring hungrily into the refrigerator for half an hour, trying to decide between one thing and another but not really wanting any of it, I feel like collapsing to the floor in a gibbering mess, rocking back and forth until a nice orderly comes and puts me back in my room.

One thing that I always used to do was make lists of weight-related goals. Eat eight servings of fruits and vegetables each day--and the good ones, too, not potatoes and corn. Exercise six days a week at least an hour a day. Weights three times a week. Don't eat more than X calories. And so on and so forth. At first I didn't miss that; now I do. I have goals for other parts of my life, but I have had to follow a plan for eating for so long that I feel like something's missing now. And it sucks, not because I really want the lists back (I don't) but because it's making me feel like any decision I make is the wrong one.

There's also this guilt I have because I still want to lose weight. I still read diet articles and watch diet shows. I still weigh myself, although the number on the scale no longer makes me want to delve headfirst back into disordered eating. I accept that dieting is unnecessary and almost certainly harmful to my body, but I can't accept the weight I'm at now. (For the record, I am about 65 pounds overweight, and that number is based on what I consider to be my set point.) So does that make me a SA fraud? I don't know. I wish I did.